The convergence of mobile phones and other portable devices shuffled another step forward on Monday when Samsung launched a handset that contained a 1.5GB hard drive with a one-inch diameter.
Samsung has claimed that the SPH-V5400, which was launched in Japan, is the first mobile phone to include a hard drive. Users will be able to store a wide range of different media types on it, including digital music files and photos.
With an estimated retail price of $800, according to the IDG News Service, the SPG-V5400 is a relatively expensive way of buying storage capacity.
But as the device will be able to store over 350 MP3s recorded at 128 bits per second, it could serve as a passable substitute to an iPod -- if there was also music-playing software on the phone, that is.
The SPG-V5400 also has two LCD screens -- a main screen of 320 by 240 pixels, and a secondary screen of 128 by 128.
Over recent years the tech industry has been debating whether mobile phones or PDAs would end up dominating the handheld computer sector. The battle appeared to have swung in favour of the new range of smartphones that have been hitting the market, but manufacturers have been struggling to squeeze enough memory into the handsets.
Hard drive manufacturers are constantly competing to squeeze more capacity into the same form factor -- last month, Toshiba announced it had created a 1.8-inch drive with a capacity of 60GB. There is also a big push to create smaller drives, below the one-inch mark, at a price that's viable for commercial deployment.