March 7, 2006 9:18 AM PST
Samsung unveils 8GB hard-drive phone
The "candy bar"-style device, the SGH-i310, will pack 8GB of storage and run Windows Mobile 5.0. Samsung is hoping the device, which can hold more songs than an iPod Nano, will take off with music fans. In addition to its large hard drive, the device will let users sync playlists from their PC as well as store documents, photos and other information in the phone's internal memory.
The i310 is the fourth of Samsung's hard-drive phones: The device was preceded by one model packing 1.5GB of storage and two offering 3GB. For those needing more storage than the i310's hard drive can offer, the phone's memory can be expanded using micro SD cards.
The phone also packs Bluetooth, a 2-megapixel camera and USB 2.0. The i310 will officially debut at the CeBit trade show in Hannover, Germany, this week and is expected to go on sale in European markets in the second half of this year.
While phone manufacturers have made no secret of their ambitions to steal a little of the iPod's portable-music market share, recent research has cast doubt on consumers' attitudes toward using their mobiles as music players. According to a study by RBC Capital Markets, 70 percent of consumers have no interest in playing music on their mobiles.
Jo Best of Silicon.com reported from London.
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