Given Samsung's tendency this year to prematurely unveil its own products, the official announcement of the Mondi WiMAX MID first spotted at MWC in February and accidentally seen again just last week didn't catch anyone by surprise.
The specs are more fleshed out this time around, but key details like processor, price, and availability are still unknown. [Update: CPU revealed]
Full press release below.
Samsung Mobile Launches First WiMAX-Enabled Mobile Internet Device
Samsung Mondi™ Provides Full Broadband Speeds, HTML Web Experience and Mobile WiMAX/WiFi Access in Compact Touch Screen Device
LAS VEGAS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Samsung Telecommunications America (Samsung Mobile) today announced the upcoming availability of the Samsung Mondi™, the most advanced mobile WiMAX enabled handheld device in the U.S. The touch screen Mondi, which takes its name from the Latin word for “world,” is designed for use with the Clear™ mobile WiMAX service from Clearwire.
The Mondi carries many of the powerful features and uses of a laptop computer or netbook, but its compact slider form factor easily fits into the hand or pocket. GPS Navigation provided by Route 66 adds to the Mondi’s versatility. Available in a solid black finish, this device extends horizontally to reveal a full QWERTY keyboard. The Mondi™ is packed with multimedia features that offer instant access to E-mail, Internet, video content and business applications.
Mondi packs a full-featured web browser, powered by Opera 9.5, which takes full advantage of the device’s 4.3-inch touch screen. To keep connected while on-the-go, Mondi offers best-in-class location based services and instant access to social networking websites. It also supports various services including Fring™, Gypsii™, and MS Live Messenger.
The Mondi is completely customizable, thanks to a set of widgets that can be dragged and dropped anywhere on the display screen for easy viewing and use. Mondi is also an excellent device for work or for play. WiFi connectivity offers the business user fast and simple connections to Outlook Email / Calendars, Microsoft Office and many other vertical business applications outside the Clear service area. For the multimedia user, this device offers the ability to download and watch movies, listen to music or play games.
The Samsung Mondi includes the following features:
“The Samsung Mondi is an important step toward our goal of bringing 4G network speeds and connectivity to people across the U.S.,” said Bill Ogle, Chief Marketing Officer for Samsung Mobile. “The Mondi™ is a great match for people who want immediate access to the Web without having to sacrifice download speed and portability.”
“The mobile broadband experience that the Mondi offers to Clear customers places the power of the open Internet in the palm of the hand,” said Atish Gude, Chief Marketing Officer for Clearwire. “As our network grows across the US, we will continue to work with innovative device manufacturers to expand the mobile WiMAX device ecosystem and leverage the value that a 4G wireless Internet connection delivers.”
Samsung is the global leader in delivering mobile WiMAX technologies and offers an end-to-end solution including chipsets, infrastructure, mobile devices and consumer electronics, including devices capable of accessing both mobile WiMAX and other wireless technologies. UQ Communications in Japan and Scartel LLC., in Russia are examples of other operators preparing for significant commercial deployment of national-wide service using Samsung’s mobile WiMAX total solution.
Clearwire currently provides mobile WiMAX service in Portland, Ore. and Baltimore, MD. The company expects to bring the service to more than 80 markets by 2010. Some of the major markets expected to launch Clear service this year include Atlanta, Las Vegas, Chicago, Charlotte, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Honolulu, Philadelphia, and Seattle.
It's nice to see Honolulu in the list of cities that will get the Clear treatment this year, but I'd rather the Mondi be equipped with an unlocked SIM card slot for HSDPA connectivity. I'd also prefer something other than Windows Mobile 6.1, which I'm not really feeling on my Xperia X1.
How much do you think the Mondi will cost? I'm thinking somewhere along the lines of $350 to $400, maybe a little cheaper if there's a subsidy deal in there with Clearwire.