Samsung Co on Tuesday showed off a new three-way foldable combination of phone, personal computer and music player tailored for an emerging wireless broadband technology the company is pushing as a global standard.
The gadget was unveiled at a Samsung-sponsored industry conference on Mobile WiMax, a technology just coming into use that promises fast remote broadband connections.
Samsung calls the device a Mobile Intelligent Terminal (or MITs), weighs 560g and contains a fold-out keyboard, 13cm screen, 30 gigabyte hard drive and Windows XP software. It incorporates the CDMA mobile phone communications standard, which is used in South Korea and other countries including the US.
Kim Hun-bae, Samsung vice president for mobile research and development told reporters that MITs is the world's first WiMax device that also has the function of a mobile phone.
The Suwon, South Korea-based company said it plans to launch the device, which incorporates Internet access, voice and video phone calls and TV reception, in South Korea during the first half of next year. Samsung didn't mention any plans for marketing the device in the US or other countries.
No price for the device was given.
Samsung said it has functions including a camera, MP3 player and can show movies. It is one of just a few products tailored especially for WiMax technology, Samsung said.
WiMax has been strongly endorsed by Samsung, which is cooperating with US companies Intel Corp, Sprint Nextel Corp and Motorola Inc to commercialize it in the US.
South Korea is the first country to commercialize WiMax, which promises fast wireless broadband connections and mobile roaming at high speeds.
Limited trials of Mobile WiMax are under way in South Korea, with plans to cover the capital, Seoul, by early next year.
Sprint Nextel has said it aims to launch WiMax networks in some US markets by late next year, working with Samsung, Motorola and Intel.
Samsung is confident the WiMax technology will soon become the global benchmark, a top executive said on Tuesday.
"We have established a standard in [South] Korea but it won't take long to spread throughout the world," Lee Ki-tae, president of Samsung's telecommunication network business, told reporters.