Samsung Spawns Super-Skinny 4G Phone

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Samsung joined forces with AT&T ( T), Sprint ( S) and T-Mobile to launch its latest skinny Android superphone, the Galaxy S II, which it touts as the world's thinnest 4G smartphone.

The slender Galaxy S II is just 8.89 millimeters thick, a shade slimmer than Samsung's 8.99 millimeter Infuse 4G. In comparison, Apple's ( AAPL) popular iPhone 4 is 9.3 millimeters thick.

"I am a firm believer that the Galaxy S II is the best smartphone we have ever launched and the best smartphone on the market," said Todd Pendleton, chief marketing officer at Samsung Telecommunications America, during a flashy New York City launch event Tuesday evening.

The Galaxy S II, a newcomer to the U.S., is flying off the shelves in Europe and Korea, according to Samsung. Speaking during the launch event, Pendleton said that the Korean tech giant has sold 5 million of the phones in the last 85 days.

Similar to the Infuse 4G, the Android Gingerbread-powered Galaxy S II boasts a sleek design and a large super-AMOLED Plus display. Like the Infuse 4G, the S II feels lightweight and sturdy, and also uses Samsung's TouchWiz screen interface. Unlike its predecessor, however, Samsung is aiming the device at both consumers and enterprises.

Conscious of the iPhone's growing popularity in corporate America, Samsung built a host of enterprise features into the S II. These include hardware-based data encryption, support for Cisco ( CSCO) VPN and WebEx mobile conferencing, and Sybase mobile device management and Microsoft ( MSFT) Exchange ActiveSync version 14.

New consumer features on the Galaxy S II include Voice Talk, which lets users communicate hands free with the device by saying, "Hey Galaxy." Voice commands can then be used to perform tasks such as text messaging, dialing and Web searches.
Samsung touts the Galaxy S II as the world's thinnest 4G smartphone.

Samsung has also extended the scope of its Media Hub technology for viewing content such as movies and TV shows. The Galaxy S II can be connected to a TV via an HDMI cable, letting users watch Media Hub content on their TVs.

With Apple preparing to launch its new iPhone 5, however, Samsung needs to quickly stoke up stateside interest in the Galaxy S II, which will be available at AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile during the fall.

While Apple sold a record 20.3 million iPhones during its recent fiscal third quarter, Samsung still retains the title of top global handset maker, according to Comscore. For the three months ending in July, the Korean phone giant held 25.5% of the worldwide handset market, compared to LG, Motorola ( MMI) and Apple, which clinched 20.9%, 14.1% and 9.5%, respectively.

--Written by James Rogers in New York.

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