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Samsung sticks hard-disk drive in new phone

Mobile with 1.5GB of storage.

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Samsung has stuck a hard-disk drive in its new mobile phone. The handset was unveiled at a Korean telecom show and is the first cell phone of its kind in the world, the company says.

The SPH-V5400 is a clam-shell type phone and the hard drive can store 1.5GB, the company said. The storage space can be used for several types of media including images photographed with the built-in, megapixel digital camera or MP3s. It also has a built-in FM transmitter so music can be played through a nearby radio.

Other functions include TV output, dual speakers, 64-tone polyphonic ringer and dual LCD panels. The main screen is a TFT screen - 240 pixel by 320 pixel - and the sub screen is an OLED - 128 pixel by 128 pixel. The phone will go on sale in South Korea before the end of September, for around $800.

The possibility of putting hard-disk drives into cellular telephones began to be talked about seriously about a year ago. As cellular telephones have added multimedia functions such as music players and still and movie cameras, their manufacturers have been increasing the amount of installed memory. Coinciding with this demand for more storage space, hard-disk drive makers have been looking at shrinking drives to the sub-one-inch level.

Several models of one-inch hard-disk drive are now available from companies including Hitachi, Cornice and GS Magicstor. In January, Toshiba demonstrated a prototype 0.85-inch drive and Seagate said in June that it would begin selling a one-inch drive later this year.




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