Mobile TV’s growing popularity in Korea is spawning new handsets designed to improve viewing footage on small screens. In the latest of such moves, SK Telecom, Korea’s largest mobile carrier, just began marketing the IM-U140 handset shown above. The phone, made by local maker Pantech, sports a 2.6-inch LCD screen that pops up automatically at a 30-degree angle when users push a button.
The phone, costing $760, receives TV signals through a satellite by using technology known as digital multimedia broadcasting (DMB). It also features 4 channel stereo speakers, MP3 player, 3-megapixel camera, electronic dictionary and a touch screen with vibrating reaction. The touch-screen functionality allows users to make calls without using key pads.
Since Korea launched a mobile TV broadcasting network last year -- by beaming video and radio channels onto cell phones of mobile carriers -- more than 1.3 million TV phones have been sold. Another 1 million people use the network to enjoy mobile TV through navigators, notebooks, personal multimedia players and PDAs, which have larger screens than cell phones.