Monday, June 09, 2008


Samsung's Omnia “iPhone”

Before Saturday’s movie, the theatre showed an advertisement (well, a whole bunch of ads [sigh], but I’m talking about one in particular) for a new Samsung mobile phone. My first thought, on seeing it, was, “Ah, Apple has made a deal with Samsung for the iPhone.” But, no.

The ad was for an iPhone competitor, and one that looks as much like the iPhone as it possibly could. And today, Reuters reports that Samsung Launches iPhone Lookalike:

Korean technology group Samsung launched a new touchscreen smartphone on Monday, hours before Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs was expected to announce a new version of the iPhone.

Like the iPhone, Samsung’s Omnia aims to make Internet browsing easy, and has a wide screen for viewing video as well as music capabilities and a 5 megapixel camera. It runs on Microsoft Windows Mobile software.

The original iPhone transformed the market for so-called smartphones with computer-like functions a year ago and the industry is eager to see whether Apple can repeat its success with a new version, expected to run on faster, 3G networks.

According to photographs released with a statement from Samsung, the Omnia resembles the original iPhone in its dark, shiny finish, curved edges and slim form.

The phone will be unveiled at the CommunicAsia trade fair in Singapore starting June 17 and go on sale in southeast Asia that week. It will be available in Europe in July.

The ad just showed business-folk tossing the device around, with flashes of what the screen might have on it (“All screen images are simulated.”), and a voice-over that implies it’s the next greatest thing. In particular, there was no attempt to tout the sort of cool user interface that’s captivated everyone with the iPhone (and that’s certainly tied up with intellectual property rights). Given that Reuters tells us that it runs Windows Mobile, my guess is that the UI is fairly standard.

While I’m talking about the iPhone, I’ll note that the Sex and the City movie had a moment of (perhaps dubious) iPhone product placement (Apple has always had some of that in SatC: Carrie uses an Apple laptop, which was often shown in the TV series, and is again in the movie). At one point, Carrie has to make a phone call urgently and doesn’t have her phone. She asks someone to give her a phone, and Samantha hands her an iPhone. Carrie takes one look at it, declares that she doesn’t know how to use it, hands it back and asks for another, getting a more standard flip phone from someone else.

Message: Don’t get an iPhone; you won’t know what to do with it.

Alternative message: Get an iPhone; it’ll be all yours, ’cause your friends won’t be able to borrow it.

1 comment:

lidija said...

During my recent agony over a new cell phone I considered iPhone briefly only to find out that (gasp!) it couldn't take videos! Seems this phone can, a big, big plus: