Samsung bets on MMS for 2004

Samsung Electronics, is betting on Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) in the Middle East and announced that 95% of its new mobile phones in 2004 would be MMS-enabled.

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By  Maddy Reddy Published  November 3, 2003

Samsung Electronics, is betting on Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) in the Middle East. The company today launched the region's first MMS mobile phone to be equipped with a super-VGA digital camera, the SGH-E700. Samsung also announced that 95% of its new mobile phones in 2004 are to be MMS-enabled.

MMS allows mobile phone users to enhance their text messages by adding sound, images and other rich content. Etisalat launched its MMS services in the UAE in July this year and is hoping it would provide them a benchmark of consumer acceptance for mobile multimedia services. It is scheduled to roll out its 3G services by mid-2004.

"Short Messaging Services (SMS) are enormously popular both here in the Middle East region and globally, with more than 1.5 million SMS messages being sent each day from the UAE alone. With a subscriber base of over half a million MMS users in the Middle East, as per our estimates, our goal is to make MMS as easy to use as SMS and thereby increase its usage," says D. K. Byeon, president, Samsung Gulf Electronics (SGE).

"As part of our commitment to provide a compelling MMS experience, we have launched a superior digital camera phone, the E700, which is bundled with MMS-interactive features. Our first MMS-enabled camera phone, SGH-V200, was an overnight success in the region and today we have created another first with the SGH-E700," adds Byeon.

The SGH-E700 weighs 85g and includes functionalities such as a super-VGA digital camera, General Packet Radio Service (GPRS), Wireless Access Protocol (WAP) browser, internal antenna and a dual-colour high-resolution LCD display screen.

"With a dominant number two position (after Nokia) in the Middle East's mobile phone market, Samsung is best positioned to benefit from the progression to next-generation messaging services such as MMS. Our commitment to introduce MMS capable mobile phones will play a key role in creating our market share for the regional mobile phone market. This year we aim to boost our mobile phone growth rate by 100%t," says Steve Han, senior manager, telecommunications, SGE.

Samsung believes MMS is a natural evolution of SMS as the awareness of camera phones increases with users choosing to send and receive 'richer than text' messages on colour screen handsets from their camera phones. "By 2004, we estimate camera phone sales to comprise 25% cent of the total regional mobile phone market," says Sudhir Nair, sales and marketing manager, SGE, Telecom.

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