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SKT to launch Bada phone

SK Telecom, the country’s leading mobile carrier, is expected to launch Samsung Electronics’ Wave 2, which runs on Samsung’s proprietary mobile operating system, in Korea as early as this week.

Wave 2 will be the first model introduced in the local market that runs on Samsung’s mobile operating platform Bada, developed more than a year ago.

“The telecom will make the last call for the launch date, however, there is a high possibility that it will be launched within this month and possibly this week,” a Samsung official said.

Wave 2, which will be equipped with a 3.7-inch super clear liquid-crystal display screen, will feature an integrated social networking service dubbed “Social Hub” and a 5 million pixel camera, according to Samsung officials.

It will also contain a 1 gigahertz Hummingbird central processing unit, a 2 gigabyte embedded memory and a 512 megabyte random access memory, they said.

People can download mobile applications through “Samsung Apps,” which contains applications developed for the company’s Bada platform, its officials said, adding that Samsung is also planning to provide Bada-only application services for Korean consumers.

“We’re completely prepared for the launch of Wave 2 in Korea, considering that Wave 2 has already been released in Europe,” said a Samsung official.

The previous version of Wave 2 was released on the European market ― including France and Germany ― for the first time in May last year and the second version was also presented in November.
Samsung Electronics’ Bada phone Wave 2
Samsung Electronics’ Bada phone Wave 2

The launching of the new Bada-powered handset in Korea comes as the world’s second-largest handset maker is gearing up to take over a bigger stake in the mid-range smartphone market.

Shin Jong-kyun, president of the company’s mobile business group, has announced its plans to sell 10 million units of Bada phones by the end of June. He also said Bada phones are expected to make a huge contribution to Samsung’s overall smartphone sales this year.

The global electronics giant has doubled its annual smartphone sales in 2011 to over 50 million units with plans to launch new tablets and mobiles ranging from high-end to low-cost.

A recent research conducted by market researcher Strategy Analytics supports Samsung’s decision by claiming that the global market for mid-range models between $100 and $200 is estimated to jump to $28 billion, or 68 percent of the overall mobile phone market, in 2014, sharply up from $7 billion in 2010.

Wave 2 is expected to compete against mid-range smartphones running on Google’s Android mobile OS serviced by the country’s three telecoms. Some recently-launched Android powered-models are LG Electronics’ Optimus One and Pantech’s Mirach.

By Cho Ji-hyun (sharon@heraldcorp.com)
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