South Korea's Samsung Electronics has previewed a combination phone-PDA (personal digital assistant) running the Palm operating system, and said it expects to make it available in the US before the end of the year.
Samsung showed off its SPH-i330 - a compact handset that is light on buttons and heavy on screen space - at the Comdex show in Las Vegas last month. Its colour, 160x240 pixel display is touch-screen sensitive and doubles as a dialling keypad. In PDA mode, it features all of the standard Palm OS applications such as an address book and calendar, and uses Palm's Graffiti language for inputting text.
The handset is a dual-band, tri-mode unit compatible with CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) networks and with the analog AMPS (Advanced Mobile Phone Service) networks. On the CDMA side, the telephone supports Sprint PCS Group's recently launched CDMA2000 1x network, which supports packet data rates of up to 144Kbps.
The SPH-i330 runs version 3.5.3 of PalmSource's operating system as well as its Blazer Web browser, and is an update to a similar device that is already on sale, called the SPH-i300. The company said earlier in the year that the new device would be available around September, but has missed that release date. Pricing for the device has not been announced.
Samsung is also working on a combination phone-PDA based on Microsoft's Pocket PC 2002 Phone Edition software, the company has said.