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Verizon to debut Samsung smart phone

The combination cell phone and organizer will use an Intel processor and Microsoft's operating system for mobile devices.

Cellular carrier Verizon Wireless on Monday plans to begin offering a Samsung smart phone that uses an Intel processor and Microsoft software.

The clamshell-style Samsung SCH-i600 will cost about $300, according to sources familiar with Verizon's plans. The combination cell phone and organizer includes a 200MHz Intel XScale PXA255 processor, at least 32MB of memory, a color screen, and runs on Verizon's CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) cellular network.

Samsung's SCH-i600 phone The handset uses Microsoft's Windows Mobile Smartphone operating system. Samsung is the second major phone maker in the United States to use Microsoft's software. AT&T Wireless announced late last month that it would sell a Motorola phone that uses the Smartphone operating system.

Bedminster, N.J.-based Verizon Wireless is a joint venture between Verizon Communications and European carrier Vodafone. Verizon Wireless and Microsoft representatives declined to comment. Samsung representatives did not return calls seeking comment.

Microsoft has been working to increase its market share in smart-phone software, but so far, its mobile unit remains unprofitable. However, the group recently has seen its sales rise, after partnering with major carriers and hardware partners. Still, analysts expect Microsoft's smart-phone efforts to lag behind rival Symbian, which has the support of phone giant Nokia.

In 2003, about 1.8 million phones that use Microsoft's operating system are expected to ship, compared with 8.3 million Symbian units, according to IDC. By 2007, about 16.5 million units with Microsoft's software are projected to ship worldwide, compared with Symbian's 49.2 million units.

In related news, Juha Christensen, an executive in Microsoft's mobile device software group, announced that he plans to leave the company later this year.