Samsung unveils iPhone-like handset

Ultra Smart F700
Samsung's new Ultra Smart F700 mobile phone features some of the sleek design and functions that characterize Apple's much-hyped iPhone. AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

Samsung Electronics Co. has unveiled a new mobile phone that features some of the sleek design and functions of Apple Inc.'s much-hyped iPhone.

Samsung's Ultra Smart F700 will be exhibited at next week's 3GSM World Congress, a telecommunications exhibition in Barcelona, Samsung spokeswoman Sonia Kim said Friday.

Mobile phone makers have been scrambling to match the iPhone, unveiled last month by Apple CEO Steve Jobs. The device, which will be available starting in June, marks the iPod and Macintosh computer maker's entry into the mobile phone business.

The ultra-thin iPhone is controlled by a large touch screen. It plays music, surfs the Internet, and runs a version of the Mac OS X operating system, among other functions.

Samsung said the Ultra Smart F700 also has a full touch screen as well as a traditional QWERTY key pad that slides out "for users who are not yet familiar with a touch-screen-only user interface."

The phone can also access the Internet, play music, take pictures, show videos, handle e-mail and share photos, said Samsung, the world's third-largest manufacturer of mobile phone handsets.

Its third-generation (3G) technology is considerably faster than the iPhone's EDGE system, and its 5-megapixel camera outclasses the iPhone's 2-megapixel camera.

"The Ultra Smart F700 is a good example of how (the) mobile phone will evolve in the future," Choi Gee-sung, president of Samsung's Telecommunications Network Business, said in a statement Thursday.

Apple's iPhone will cost $599 for the high-end model.

Kim, the Samsung spokeswoman, said marketing plans for the Ultra Smart F700 remain unclear because the company wants to see what kind of reaction it receives at the Barcelona show.

Last month, Samsung rival LG Electronics Co. announced its own touch-screen mobile phone, the KE850 Prada.

The LG phone, produced in partnership with the Italian fashion brand, is to go on sale in late February for $780 at mobile phone dealers and Prada stores in Britain, France, Germany and Italy. It is to be launched in Asia in March.