Sunday, October 7, 2007

Korean Companies Challenging The iPhone

Here are Korea's answers to Apple's iPhone.

LG’s Voyager (LG-VX10000, left); LG’s Venus (LG-VX8800, center); and Samsung’s Juke phone./ Newsis

They seem cool and, sure, they'll sell. LG's Chocolate sold over 3.4 million units in the last year.

But I see it as copying and reacting rather than innovation. However, in all fairness, that's how the Japanese took over various technologies. They innovated on technology they got from the West. At least, unlike the iPhone, the Voyager and Venus have keyboards.

Still, what would have been really cool would be to see a second generation Chocolate phone released that could take on the iPhone. Maybe that's in the pipeline.

My cell phone carrier here is LG Telecom, and it's time for me to get a new cell phone. For sure, I'll check out the Voyager because the iPhone isn't set to come to Korea anytime soon. However, right now I'm partial to the glittery Cyon model that is out and my last two phones here have been made by Cyon. They both suffered many drops but still gave me loyal service. Plus, I got my current phone pimped out, so I'm the target market for the Cyon crystal.

Anyway, these phones will be available in the US with Verizon and not AT&T. However, remember there is now a hack to use the iPhone on Verizon too, so we'll see how well these do up against the iPhone.
Korean Mobile Makers Step Up iPhone Attack

LG Electronics and Samsung Electronics will confront Apple in a Christmas battle to take down the iPhone, the "blue chip" phone in the U.S. Verizon, one of the leading U.S. mobile operators, on Wednesday unveiled three new mobile phones to compete with the iPhone, which is available only through Verizon's rival AT&T.

Verizon has the biggest subscriber base in the eastern U.S. Among Verizon's new products, the Voyager from LG Electronics has a touchscreen display as wide as that of the iPhone. And the Voyager uses a wireless Internet service that is faster than the one available for the iPhone. Beside the touchscreen, it also has a flip-open keypad, which is expected to attract iPhone admirers who want a traditional keypad, experts say.

Another LG Electronics phone, the black and pink Venus, also has a touchscreen display with a keypad that slides beneath it. Both Venus and Voyager have 2-megapixel cameras and allow high-speed mobile Internet access for speedy music and movie downloads. Verizon will release the two phones next month.

Verizon's third iPhone competitor is the Juke from Samsung Electronics, an ultra-slim phone that looks like a bar-type but has a swivel keypad. In fact it's among the shortest swivel phones ever launched in the U.S. It doesn't support high-speed wireless Internet, but its high-tech design should appeal to young early adopters. The Juke will go on sale Oct. 19.

Verizon's new phones cost from US$100 to $400, less expensive than the iPhone ($399). It will kill the iPhone," promised Mike Lanman, Verizon's chief marketing officer.

Korea Times: LG Unveils 2nd Generation of Touch-Screen Phones
My other iPhone posts.

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