Samsung to develop two-megapixel camera phone

CeBIT: Megapixel camera phones are all the rage in Hannover, and Samsung is keen to take a piece of the action

Samsung is planning to launch a camera phone capable of taking pictures with a resolution of two million pixels before the end of this year.

At a bullish press conference at the CeBIT trade show in Hannover on Friday morning, the Korean IT giant revealed details of its handsets planned for release this year and declared it was determined to dominate the growing market in camera phones.

"Camera functions are becoming more essential for mobile communication," said Ki Tae Lee, president of Samsung's telecommunications network division. "We will introduce the two-megapixel camera/mobile phone for the European market by the end of this year."

Two-megapixel cameras are already available in Japan, where fast mobile services make it easier to send larger files over the network.

In the meantime, European mobile phone users will soon have plenty of choice if they want to upgrade to a one-megapixel camera phone. Samsung has now become the latest manufacturer to reveal its plans in this area.

The SGH-P730 will go on sale in Europe by the third quarter of 2004 at the latest. Its one-megapixel camera can be used to take still pictures and video clips, and the GPRS mobile phone will also play MP3s. Like previous Samsung models, it has a "twist-and-flip" case design.

While Samsung claimed that that P730 is "Europe's first camera phone", this title has already been claimed by Sharp with its GX30.

Samsung also launched a 3G handset at CeBIT, the SGH-Z105. This is the company's second third-generation device, and it is set to go on sale in Europe this year -- if operators manage to get their networks working.

Ki Tae Lee explained that Samsung is working with Vodafone ahead of the launch of its 3G networks in Europe.