Samsung to launch Pocket PC handhelds
By Reuters October 3, 2001, 9:15 a.m. PT Samsung Electronics said Wednesday it will use Microsoft’s Pocket PC operating system in handheld computers that will come out in 2002. “We’re working closely with Microsoft as well. We’ll bring out a Pocket PC next year,” Eric Kim, Samsung Electronics’ global head of marketing, said in an interview in London. The news comes as Samsung is launching its first handheld computer on the U.S. market. The model will use the rival Palm operating system. Samsung has so far produced handheld computers only for the Asian market. The new device with Microsoft software is aimed at a global audience. Samsung had said last year that it was working on a smart phone using Microsoft’s “Stinger” reference design. Meanwhile, Microsoft will launch on Thursday a new version of Pocket PC. Samsung plans to build mobile phones into all its handheld computers. As a late entrant to the world market for handhelds, Kim said, Samsung wants to stand out from the rest. “Wireless is a key differentiator for us. Unlike players such as Nokia and Ericsson, we have both a strong market position in both wireless and electronic devices,” he said. Samsung is the world’s fifth largest producer of cell phones, with a 6.9 percent global market share, behind Siemens, Ericsson, Motorola and Nokia. Producers of handheld computers, such as Palm, Compaq Computer and Hewlett-Packard know little about mobile communications, according to Kim. “Those guys don’t have wireless experience. We think that gives us an advantage,” Kim said. “We want to integrate the two, make converged devices and create new markets.” Samsung’s market research shows there is strong demand for integrated handhelds and cell phones, provided they are small and light enough, Kim said. “You don’t need two separate lists of phone numbers. You can record voice messages and send messages,” Kim said. Story Copyright 2001 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.