Samsung demos MP3 cellphone
Doesn't download MP3s, but it's a start
Samsung this week demonstrated a cellphone equipped with a built-in MP3 player which it plans to ship in the US later this year. Given current cellphone technologies' data transmission speeds aren't sufficient to download an MP3 - at least not in any sensible timeframe - so it's no surprise that the Samsung machine doesn't support downloads through cellular networks. Instead, users can hook the phone to a PC via both devices' USB ports. The phone contains 64MB of memory, which should be sufficient for up to two hours of music, though newswires reporting Samsung's launch claimed the phone holds only 15 minutes' worth of music, enough for two or three songs, and so of limited use. The point here though is not really the utility of the device demonstrated - it's a prototype, after all - but that it demonstrates the way cellphones can evolve to provide features beyond voice communications. Start bundling WAP access and built-in organiser facilities, and the cellphone quickly becomes a rival to PDAs and other handheld devices - doubly so since already more people carry cellphones than PDAs. Many WAP pundits, for instance, believe that the technology will thrive because users will automatically gain access to it when they upgrade their phones - they'll get it for free, as it were. And it may eventually work this way for MP3 too. Samsung's selling point is that there's no need to carry a separate MP3 and a cellphone when you can have a phone that does both tasks. ® Related Story Japanese trio unveil MP3-on-cellphone system
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