Samsung shows cell phone with hard-disk drive

Samsung shows cell phone with hard-disk drive

Samsung plans to begin selling later this month a cellular telephone that includes a hard-disk drive. The handset was unveiled as the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Telecom Asia 2004 event.

It is the first cell phone of its kind in the world.

The SPH-V5400 was a clam-shell type cell phone and the hard-disk drive had a capacity of 1.5GB, a Samsung spokesperson, said Lee Yoorim, said.

The storage space can be used for several types of media including images photographed with the built-in, megapixel-class digital still camera or music files. The handset can play music files stored in MP3 format and has a built-in FM transmitter so that music can be played through a nearby radio.

Other functions include TV output, dual speakers, 64-tone polyphonic ringer and dual liquid crystal display (LCD) panels. The main screen is a thin film transistor (TFT) LCD with 240 pixel x 320 pixel resolution and the sub screen is an organic light emitting diode (OLED) display with 128 pixel x 128 pixel resolution.

Samsung planned to put the cell phone on sale in South Korea before the end of September, Lee said. The phone was compatible with the CDMA2000 1x EvDO standard and would cost about $US800, she said.

The possibility of putting hard-disk drives into cellular telephones began to be talked about seriously about a year ago. As cellular telephones have added multimedia functions such as music players and still and movie cameras, their manufacturers have been increasing the amount of installed memory. Coinciding with this demand for more storage space, hard-disk drive makers have been looking at shrinking drives to the sub 1-inch level.

Several models of 1-inch hard-disk drive are now available from companies including Hitachi Global Storage Technologies, Cornice and GS Magicstor. In January, Toshiba demonstrated a prototype 0.85-inch drive and Seagate Technology said, in June, that it would begin selling a 1-inch drive during the third quarter.

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