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Thursday, July 07, 2005
MP3 Phones to Dominate Market


Mobile phones with built-in MP3 players are starting to form the mainstream of the cell phone market.

All products introduced by Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, and Pantech & Curitel this year equipped with an MP3 function. Industry insiders expect that over 70 percent of the 15 million units of old and new handsets to be sold in the Korean market will be MP3 music phones. LG Electronics said ?We are predicting that MP3 phones will account for more than 80 percent of our sales this year.?

The memory size and functions of MP3 phones have developed to approach the level of proper MP3 players. Samsung Electronics has released handsets with a 1.5-Gb HDD (hard disk drive) through KTF in February and plans to launch a ?super music phone? with 3 GB of storage. Users can store up to 500 tunes with 1.5 GB and 1,000 with 3 GB.

LG has recently released a ?Real MP3 Phone? with an exclusive chip for MP3 playback whose more powerful high and low registers offer users a crisper sound. It also provides equalizer effects, and a ?multi-tasking? switch lets users to do multiple jobs simultaneously, such as sending text messages while listening to music.

Pantech & Curitel have released a necklace-style MP3 phone.

Domestic mobile telecom providers are also pushing the trend by opening music portal sites, with SK Telecom?s MelOn, LG Telecom?s MusicOn, and KTF?s Dosirac opened in the months since November. ?The market share of music phones will grow as they are increasingly becoming a personalized fashion accessory and fashion trend, while mobile operators are expanding their music business,? an LG official said.

From Park Chang-shin, heri, chosun.com



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