Go to contents

Slim Phones, Slimmer Functions

Posted January. 26, 2006 03:03,   


The biggest issue in the mobile phone market since last year has been the “Slim Phone.”

Unlike thicker, ordinary phones in your pockets, these phones are light and thin. What’s more, they are attractive, so many people are opting for slim phones.

Mobile manufacturers are striving to tempt consumers with slim phones.

Last year, Samsung Electronics and Motorola dominated the slim phone market with the “V740” and “Razr,,” respectively. Recently, LG Electronics has entered the slim phone market with its “Chocolate Phone.” Pantec and VK have just entered the slim phone market as well.

“From now on, mobile phones will evolve to become thinner,” say market experts.

But at the same time, the functions and designs of super-slim mobile phones is not satisfactory because higher functions require thicker widths, leading to trade-offs.

Slim Phones Lack Functions –

Samsung Electronics’ recent V840 Slim Slide Phone and LG Electronics’ V590 Chocolate Phone contain 1.3-million pixel cameras. These days, 2.0-million pixel cameras are the norm, and 7.0-million pixel camera phones are even available, illustrating the weaker feature set of slim phones. VK’s X100 Card Phone does not even have a camera function.

Because mobile phones tend to have both moving pictures and MP3 players installed, mobile phone memory capacities have increased to the 3.0GB level on average, but except for the Chocolate Phone’s 512MB, most slim phones have a memory capacity of less than 100MB.

Current slim phones cannot access terrestrial Digital Multimedia Broadcasting (DMB).

Slim phones also have the battery capacity of around 800mA, half the capacity of ordinary mobile phones (1300mA), and customer complaints about battery life abound.

What Counts is the Development of State-of-the-Art Slim Phones–

Related companies say that many consumers prefer thin designs at the cost of complex and sophisticated functions.

Director Kim Jung-suk of the VK Strategy Marketing Team says, “Slim phones tend to have poorer functions due to technological barriers. But sophisticated functions that are not often used have been greatly reduced, making the slim design possible while strengthening the telephone registry function, so it appeals to mature consumers.”

Most mobile phone companies such as Samsung and LG are focusing on technology to make phones thinner. In fact, Samsung Electro-Mechanics recently developed super-mini 2.0-million pixel camera modules that are 35 percent smaller.

“Research efforts are underway to make slimmer mobile phones,” a Samsung spokesperson said. “In the near future, we will succeed in making slim phones with complete functions installed.”

Jeong-Hun Park sunshade@donga.com jaykim@donga.com