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Samsung Unveils Answer to Apple iPhone

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Yet another iPhone contender has emerged onto the market after Samsung unveiled its Galaxy S smartphone

Samsung has launched its Galaxy S smartphone in Asia, and will soon launch the handset globally to add yet another smartphone for users to decide on.

Said to be Samsung’s answer to the Apple iPhone, the Galaxy S pairs Android 2.1 with a 4-inch display and location- and networking-based apps. Separately, Samsung also has confirmed that it plans to release a tablet in the second half of 2010.

Android-Powered

It’s little coincidence, then, that the Galaxy S kickoff coincided somewhat with Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ introduction of the new iPhone 4 in San Francisco. While the iPhone 4 will go on sale 24 June, the Galaxy S is now available to South Koreans on the SingTel network.

Running Android 2.1, the smartphone features a 4-inch super AMOLED screen, 1GHz processor and advanced location-based services – thus, enabling it to be more personalised and area-centric. A Social Hub feature offers a quick route to social-networking details, and also on board is Samsung’s mDNIe (mobile digital natural image engine), a technology also in the company’s LCD and LED televisions and said to boost “an even sharper, crisper viewing experience for photos, videos and ebooks.”

Additional features include a 5-megapixel camera, HD video playback and recording, support for multiple audio file formats, Bluetooth 3.0 and WiFi 802.11b/g/n connectivity, an accelerometer and digital compass, and a memory slot for up to 32GB. Google apps are integrated; email, SMS and MMS, and calendaring are supported; and the phone can view and edit documents in Microsoft Office 2007.

In March, the Galaxy S was introduced at CTIA Wireless 2010, where Samsung additionally announced a partnership with e-reader content provider Skiff. Following its launch in Asia, the device will gradually arrive in other parts of the world. According to the AFP, Samsung says it has already “received 1 million preorders” in Europe and has deals to supply the smartphone “to over 100 global mobile operators.”

In a statement out of CTIA, Samsung President JK Shin described the Galaxy S as “the perfect device for people in all corners of the world who want that extra edge; to be more effective, productive, better connected, and in tune with their smart life – both personal and professional – all in a very easy and simple way.”

Smartphones For The Masses

At a keynote speech at the show, Shin described his vision “to advance the democratization of the smartphone” and “to make smartphones available for everyone, regardless of cost, need, lifestyle or geographic location.”

Of the Galaxy S’ Smart Life feature Shin added, “Smart Life is delivering a smartphone experience that is simple, organised and integrated. And Smart Life is flexible and versatile, allowing smartphone users to customise their user experience to fit their own needs.”

Stepping into another set of Apple footprints, Samsung also confirmed 7 June that it plans to release a tablet device in the second half of the year.

According to Information Week, the affirmation occurred after Samsung employees in South Africa posted to Twitter images on the tablet, which have since been removed.

Reportedly, Samsung has “not yet confirmed the markets for launch or detailed product specifications” for the tablet.