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Samsung Demos WiMAX MID

Las Vegas — Samsung Telecommunications came to CTIA 2009 with its first mobile internet device (MID), which incorporates Mobile WiMAX and Wi-Fi for wireless HTML Web browsing.

The company also said it would offer a software development kit for third parties that want to develop Internet-connected widgets for phones equipped with Samsung’s proprietary Touch Wiz touchscreen user interface.

Here are other announcements Samsung made during a preshow press conference, here, last night:

  • It unveiled its next-generation Instinct touchscreen phone for Sprint;
  • Samsung said it is on track with its original Android-OS roadmap to deliver an Android-equipped device in the second half. Senior VP Omar Khan declined to specify the countries in which the device would be launched;
  • The handheld MID, dubbed the Mondi (Latin for “world”), packs the “power of a laptop,” a 4.3-inch wide-VGA touchscreen, slide-down QWERTY keyboard and preloaded maps that turn it into an Internet-connected personal navigation device. 

Although the device features Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional smartphone OS, it lacks cellular voice

capability. An embedded microphone, however, could be used with a VoIP application that other companies could offer, Khan said. Other features include Samsung’s widget-based TouchWiz user interface, 4GB of embedded memory and a MicroSD slot that accepts 32GB cards.

The Mondi will be available in the U.S. in the second quarter through stores operated by WiMAX carrier Clearwire as well through Samsung’s Web site and indirect channels, including Best Buy, at a price to be announced.

Clearwire provides mobile WiMAX service in Portland, Ore., and Baltimore but expects to bring the service to more than 80 markets by 2010.

On April 19, the next-generation Instinct, dubbed the Instinct S30, will be available through Sprint channels at $129 with two-year contract after $100 mail-in rebate. The 3G phone is equipped with the same features as its

year-old predecessor but adds preloaded instant-messaging applications, calendar sync and support for 32GB memory cards, up from 16GB. On top of that, the S30’s core Java core APIs (application programming interfaces) will be open to third-party application developers to develop downloadable messaging, multimedia, contact/calendar, and Bluetooth applications.

Samsung is taking a similar open approach to its TouchWiz user interface, available with other Samsung phones built on the Windows Mobile, Symbian and Samsung-proprietary OSs. Next month, the company said it would announce details of its plans for developers to “create an array of [Internet-] connected mobile applications” for TouchWiz phones, Khan said.