Samsung unveils next Symbian smartphone

Samsung today announced the i7110, its latest smartphone based on its S60 user interface and the Symbian operating system (OS).

The i7110 is a slim and sleek bar-type smartphone at 12.9 millimetres thick and includes HSDPA and Wi-Fi connectivity. It is based on Symbian OS v9.3 and S60 3rd Edition, Feature Pack 2, allowing users to access the S60 applications library and assign their favourites using dedicated hot keys.

Other features include a 2.6-inch Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode (AMOLED) screen, an FM transmitter to allow drivers to receive the voice navigation guidance via car speakers, geo-tagging and navigation capabilities in pedestrian and driving modes, a five-megapixel camera and support for multi-codec formats including DivX.

Geesung Choi, president of Samsung's Telecommunications Network Business, said the i7110's introduction was testament to its strategic focus on the open OS phone portfolio.

The launch follows news last month that the Korean mobile manufacturer had agreed to sell it stake of Symbian's open OS platform to Nokia.

Choi added: "With a strong partnership with Symbian and our increased momentum in the smartphone market, Samsung will continue to offer a wide selection of mobile phones meeting the needs and lifestyles of today's consumers."

Pete Cunningham, Canalys senior analyst, told IT PRO that the product specification looked competitive and the inclusion of pedestrian geo-tagging capabilities was a wise move.

"The consumer research that Canalys has conducted shows that there is strong demand for navigation on phones among consumers, although a reluctance to pay for turn-by-turn navigation," he said.

Cunningham added: "It is nice to see a new product announced that has buttons, a feature that many vendors seem to under-rate currently, with many jumping touchscreen bandwagon."

But it was precisely its consumer focus that would hold such Samsung Symbian OS-based smartphones back in an enterprise market, according to principal analyst at Quocirca, Rob Bamforth.

"It's not just about the device, it's about managing and securing all the applications and data stored on it and its integration with systems at the back-end," he said. "Samsung's ongoing consumer focus will be a challenge for its Symbian business in the enterprise market."

The Samsung i7110 is being showcased at the Symbian Smartphone Show in London, 21 to 22 October.

Miya Knights

A 25-year veteran enterprise technology expert, Miya Knights applies her deep understanding of technology gained through her journalism career to both her role as a consultant and as director at Retail Technology Magazine, which she helped shape over the past 17 years. Miya was educated at Oxford University, earning a master’s degree in English.

Her role as a journalist has seen her write for many of the leading technology publishers in the UK such as ITPro, TechWeekEurope, CIO UK, Computer Weekly, and also a number of national newspapers including The Times, Independent, and Financial Times.