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Samsung-Google smartphone Nexus S makes debut

Posted December. 08, 2010 11:20,   


The highly anticipated smartphone Nexus S, a joint project between Samsung Electronics and Google, has made its debut.

The two companies Tuesday unveiled the device installed with 2.3 (Gingerbread), the latest version of the Android operating system.

Google Vice President Andy Robin said, “We have jointly developed the Nexus S, which adopts the latest Android platform, by closely collaborating with Samsung in the aspect of hardware and software.”

Google presented a type of “reference phone” by installing a new operating system, which introduces a sample to other smartphone manufacturers. The first such device was Next One produced by the Taiwan-based HTC.

HTC instantly raised its global profile by being Google’s first choice for smartphone, followed by Samsung. The Korean company, which has consolidated its lead in the Android software segment by introducing the Nexus S, is closely trailing Nokia and poised to become the world’s top mobile phone maker.

○ Armed with Gingerbread

The most notable feature of the Nexus S is the installation of Gingerbread, the latest version of the Android operating system. Gingerbread allows software developers to more easily create game content and supports diverse multimedia functions, according to Google.

The Nexus S comes with a four-inch Super AMOLED display and a five-megapixel digital camera. It features ergonomic curves and measures 63 millimeters wide, 123.9 millimeters long, and 10.8 millimeters thick.

The Nexus S is also armed with a near field communication (NFC) chip and thus shares data and communicates with other devices using the same chips. Since the NFC chip has been installed in the Nexus S, chances are high that this function will spread to other up and coming smartphones.

The Nexus S has been designed for users who enjoy games or augmented reality, with its Gyroscope sensor tracking 3-D moves. Going beyond the function of conventional sensors that detect simply right and left, Gyroscope can send the 3-D moves of a person and is installed in the Nintendo Wii game console and iPhone 4.

Additionally, the Nexus S comes with powerful multimedia functions including 3-D graphics and high definition video.

○ Goal to lead world in mobile phone production

Why was Google’s second strategic smartphone named “Nexus S” and not “Nexus II”?

A Samsung source said, “We don’t want to be No. 2” when asked by the U.S. IT magazine Tech Crunch. The company apparently aims to advance in the global market as Google’s key partner rather than as just the maker of the Nexus II.

Samsung’s emergence as a partner for Google’s strategic smartphone indicates that the Web portal considers Samsung an important partner. Google Korea President Lee Won-jin said, “Google headquarters has been deeply impressed by the success of Samsung’s Galaxy S series, which is installed with Android.”

With the success of the Galaxy S, Korea is the world’s fastest growing market for Android phones. Samsung ranked first in the global Android phone market in the third quarter with a 32-percent share.

The company is also projected to vie for the title of the world’s No. 1 mobile phone maker with leader Nokia through the introduction of the Nexus S, following the success of Samsung`s low-cost smartphone (with its own Bada operating system) and the premium brand Galaxy S.

A survey on the global mobile handset market conducted by the Gartner Group last month said Samsung narrowed its gap with Nokia from 17.1 percentage points in last year’s third quarter to nine to 11 percentage points in this year’s third quarter.

kimhs@donga.com sanhkim@donga.com