Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Samsung Unveils 8-GB Mobile Phone

If size matters than this handset is for you. TopTechNews reports that Samsung plans to roll out the SGH-i310 smartphone with an 8-GB hard drive in European markets in the second half of 2006. The music phone "will include a music player, amplifier, and Bluetooth wireless capabilities. The phone also will sport a digital camera, printing capabilities, and a video-out connection."

Yankee Group analyst John Jackson believed "such high-end multimedia capabilities are more likely to appeal to consumers rather than enterprise users." Jackson said, "These type of memory densities are quite simply going to be increasingly necessary to allow phones to perform as multimedia-centric devices. You have to have these larger densities to accommodate mainstream usage patterns."

Jackson added, "Is the operator going to subsidize 8 GB of memory? If not, the question becomes whether consumers would be willing to pay an extra $70 to $150 for that phone."

Jackson thought the SGH-i310 was more of a proof-of-concept "to show the direction of the market rather than be a bestseller as soon as it starts shipping." He said, "Samsung has done this in the past. They create these devices to show that they're a technology leader and to put a stake in the ground for the future."

While I agree that handsets need more internal memory, I'm not convinced hard-drive enabled ones are the right direction due to durability issues. One drop and you're in trouble. With Flash memory capacities growing and prices dropping combined with the increased design flexibility, Flash seems the better way to go...