Samsung launches iPhone lookalike Omnia

FRANKFURT Mon Jun 9, 2008 6:33am EDT

1 of 2. Employees of Samsung Group work at the company's headquarters in Seoul April 22, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Jo Yong-Hak

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FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Korean technology group Samsung (005930.KS) launched a new touchscreen smartphone on Monday, hours before Apple (AAPL.O) Chief Executive Steve Jobs was expected to announce a new version of the iPhone.

Like the iPhone, Samsung's Omnia aims to make Internet browsing easy, and has a wide screen for viewing video as well as music capabilities and a 5 megapixel camera. It runs on Microsoft (MSFT.O) Windows Mobile software.

The original iPhone transformed the market for so-called smartphones with computer-like functions a year ago and the industry is eager to see whether Apple can repeat its success with a new version, expected to run on faster, 3G networks.

According to photographs released with a statement from Samsung, the Omnia resembles the original iPhone in its dark, shiny finish, curved edges and slim form.

The phone will be unveiled at the CommunicAsia trade fair in Singapore starting June 17 and go on sale in southeast Asia that week. It will be available in Europe in July.

(Reporting by Georgina Prodhan; Editing by Louise Ireland)

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