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Sprint Goes After iPhone with Lookalike "Instinct" from Samsung
Tuesday, April 1st, 2008 at 10:05 PM - by
Samsung's Instinct for Sprint
Photo courtesy of Sprint
Sprint announced Tuesday a new smartphone called Instinct, a device made by Samsung to compete with Apple's iPhone. Instinct follows in iPhone's footsteps in terms form factor, an all-touchscreen interface (no keyboard), as well as some of the features of the iPhone. Sprint's tag line for the device, which will be released in June, is "Slow ends this June," a shot at the iPhone's reliance on the EDGE network for data.
"This revolutionary device speeds up the user experience like no other touch-screen phone and brings the customer's most-used applications and contacts within a single finger tap," the company said in a statement.
Sprint plans on doing this by using its EV-DO Rev. A data network. The company said that, "With EV-DO Rev. A, peak download data rates increase to 3.1 Mbps and peak upload data rates increase to 1.8 Mbps; average download speeds improve to 600 kbps to 1.4 mbps and average uplink speeds increase to 350 - 500 kbps."
Instinct also adds some features lacking in iPhone, most notably voice-activation for phone calls and other functions on the device such as accessing text, picture messaging, information from traffic, movie, sports, news and search. To date, Apple has not offered voice activation on iPhone.
On the other hand, search functions for Instinct will be provided by Microsoft's Live Search technology, whereas the iPhone can access any search engine through Safari, including some built-in Google apps.
Other features supported on the device include a built-in GPS provided by Telenav, Sprint TV for live and on-demand TV content, the Spring Exclusive Entertainment network for sports and entertainment video, and PocketExpress, which is more sports and entertainment information. Users will be able to buy music from the Sprint Music Store.
Pricing for the device has not been announced, but some reports have suggested it will be in the US$300 range or less, a price unconfirmed by Sprint or Samsung. Sprint did announce that data plans will start at $69.99 without specifying what that those plans would entail. ChannelWeb reported that the entry-level plan will include 450 minutes and unlimited data, with unlimited voice and data being priced at $99.99 per month.
Engadet reported that Samsung will spending $100 million on marketing the Instinct, more than the company has spent on any other product in the past.
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