FCC Leaks Information on Samsung SPH-i500 (Updated)

All wireless devices released in the U.S. need to get approval from the FCC. When this happens, the FCC posts information about the device on its website, making it an excellent source of information on not-yet announced wireless handhelds.

The latest device to be outed in this way is the Samsung SPH-i500, a Palm OS smartphone that will feature a clamshell design with a color screen and hardware buttons on one side and the Graffiti area, rocker switch, and telephone dial pad on the other. It is not yet known when this device will be available or at what price.

The users manual that is part of the FCC filing is surprisingly light on details, containing far more warnings on the dangers of RF radiation and driving while using a cellphone than details on how to use the i500.

Still, it does seem to say that it will use Sprint's just announced high-speed network, which it calls 3G but others say only qualifies as 2.5G. It can also use the regular Sprint PCS CDMA network or analog if nothing faster is available.

The i500 has voice memo and voice dialing capabilities. It also supports gpsOne, email, and text messaging.

On the left side of the device are Up and Down Volume keys and a Menu button. On the right side is a button to switch between Phone Mode and PDA Mode. Below that is one to record a voice memo.

The earpiece is above the screen, while the microphone is below the keypad, allowing the i500 to be used like a standard mobile phone, though the screen will tend to touch the side of the face. There is no mention in the user manual of a headphone jack.

Update: The internal photos of the i500 posted by the FCC clearly show that it runs a 66 MHz Dragonball Super VZ processor. Until now, this has only appeared in the Sony T665C and NR series.

It has a removable, rechargable battery.

Samsung has demonstrated the i500 in the past under the codename Bluechip. At that time, it was revealed that it will run Palm OS 4.1. It is 3.4 by 2.1 by .85 inches (87 x 54 x 21.5 mm) and weighs 4.5 ounces (130 g).

Last month, Samsung got approval from the FCC to release the SPH-i330, an updated version of the i300. This Palm OS smartphone doesn't use a clamshell design. It is expected to be available next month.

The Competition
Kyocera is close to releasing a smartphone that is remarkably similar to the i500. The 7135 has a clamshell shape and also supports new high-speed wireless networks. In addition, the 7135 has a built-in MP3 player and SD slot.

Thanks to Victor X for the tip. -Ed

Related Information:

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Kyocera killer?

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/20/2002 10:13:51 AM #
RE: Kyocera killer? Not Really
macbert @ 8/20/2002 10:20:54 AM #
I don't see this "Killing" the Kyocera 7135 due to it's lack of a sd/mmc slot and MP3 player function.

It will be a good, hopefully lower priced, alternative to the 7135 for people who don't need those features.

I for one am greatly looking forward to having my phone, palm, and MP3 player in one device.


I am waiting for the kyocera 7135
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/20/2002 10:21:18 AM #
kyocera 7135 is the best, has MP3 player and everything else!
RE: Kyocera killer?
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/20/2002 10:32:01 AM #
The only advantage over the Kyocera will be the size (thickness) and weight. But, hopefully it puts enough concern into Kyocera that they release the 7135 soon.

As tough as it can be deciding among things like the Treo, Bluechip and 7135, it's great that they are all there. Without the competition the PDQ may still be the only choice.

RE: Kyocera killer?
Token User @ 8/20/2002 12:24:57 PM #
The "killer" for either device will come down to marketing and which networks the deives will be running on - Sprint vs Verizon, and the data packages offered by each company.

These devices are not going to be marketed as PDA's with cellphone capability. They are cellphones with PDA capability - and first and foremost in that equation is coverage and service (because the primary application is not surfing the web, or datebook, or bedazzled - it is making and receiving a phone call).

The killer crossover app for these devices will be the use of the gpsOne functionality. Phone, GPS, wireless web, pda, mp3, all built into a clamshell design - shove that up your PPC and smoke it :).

RE: Kyocera killer?
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/20/2002 12:34:02 PM #
I'll give you a bit more detail, though its been posted in numerous occasions already.

First, go to www.sphi300.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=2264 and have a look at the 7135. Beautiful phone, only if it were about 80% smaller?

Bluechip has the ear mic slot on the left side, below the voice dial/memo button. IR is on top, it is partly obscured by the LCD part when the phone is open, still most beaming is okay.

Stylus is on the left, rear part of the phone and it is pretty cool, for such a smaller stylus.

LCD size is identical to i300, I mean the width. So now you know what you are dealing with. How does that compare with Kyocera, I don't know.

Both look cool, but...
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/20/2002 12:39:17 PM #
Both the Samsung AND Kyocera pieces look promising!

But let's not start comparing until they hit the street and we find out real stuff about them.

Then we'll have more facts to shout at one another, it's more fun that way!

RE: Kyocera killer?
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/20/2002 1:24:33 PM #
If you look at the internal photos posted on the FCC site, the i500 has a Motorola SuperVZ dragonball processor at 66MHz. Clear as day. This is definately a positive over the Kyo 7135.
66 MHz Dragonball Super VZ
Ed @ 8/20/2002 1:46:35 PM #
Thanks, with all the other stuff gong on, I missed that. I updated the article.

News Editor
Going by looks alone, not even close
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/20/2002 5:27:15 PM #
This is one ugly pda phone. And I don't see what killer features it could have over the kyocera. Maybe if it's $300 cheaper or something.
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/20/2002 5:33:14 PM #
Take a look at the specs. The Kyocera and the Samsung are in two different leagues:
The Kyocera:
3.97 by 2.43 by 1.17 inches. It weighs 6.6 ounces

The Samsung:
3.4 by 2.1 by .85 inches and weighs 4.5 ounces.

Samsumg A460 Cell phone:
3.40 x 2.10 x 0.90 inches and weighs 4.6 ounces.

The Samsung is MUCH smaller, and is in fact the same size as my A460! This Palm is going to be the same size as Samsung's new phone, but be a combo PDA/Phone. Thats pretty amazing.

RE: Kyocera killer?
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/21/2002 1:30:39 AM #
> This is one ugly pda phone.

I disagree I think it looks way better than the 7135. My guess is it will be $100 less than the 7135.

RE: Kyocera killer?
useybird @ 8/21/2002 10:36:23 PM #
It looks way too big, even for a smartphone. I mean look at the Treo. It must be half the size!

PS: Wouldn't all soon-to-be-released PDA's be on the FCC website. I am thinking this because There's an FCC mark of approval on the back of all Palms.

BTW, Is it just me, or did Ed change the Palminfocenter logo graphic on the top left hand corner?

Alcoholic: Person with an Alcohol problem.

Workaholic: Person with a Workahol problem.

RE: Kyocera killer?
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/25/2002 8:15:59 PM #
I am going to repeat what someone stated a few messages above.


The Kyocera 7135 is bigger:
roughly the size of a TREO.

The Samsung (Bluechip) SPH-i500 is much smaller:
it's the size and weight of a small cell phone.

That's the breakthrough.

RE: Kyocera killer?
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/27/2002 7:07:30 PM #
For me, smaller size is no breakthrough, it's a dealbreaker. I'm hoping that the SD slot on the KYO will allow me to use Margi Systems "Presentation to Go" software for PPT presentations and their SD card/cable adapter www.margi.com/products/prod_ptg.htm for projectors so I can do presentations from my phone. With the Kyo's wireless email and a collapsable keyboard, I can finally leave the laptop at home!
RE: Kyocera killer?
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/28/2002 7:35:52 PM #
Right on...The Kyocera IS a bit thicker than the i500, but the SD slot is a MAJOR differentiator.
RE: Kyocera killer?
NewTech @ 12/10/2002 7:14:40 PM #
I'm intrigued at the thread here.

Especially the "size wins" issue, and the question as to whether "all in one or separate"
is the way to go.

I don't offer an answer to either issue since I'm deciding myself.

I was an engineer at Motorola, and find myself still using the same Phone and PDA
combo since 1999.

What is harder to believe is that both the phone and PDA are
smaller than any of the phones or PDA's we see today.

My phone is still the 3.0 0Z Motorola 8160 Vulcan (CDMA 800 Mhz Verizon).


When closed, the clamshell housing measures
3.25 X 1.65 X 1.25 inches...yet it wasn't a huge seller.
The biggest 2 consumer complaintswere "It is so small I can see myself losing it easily"
and "the buttons are too close together."

My hands are larger than most, and could never understand that problem (NFL players excluded).
It even has Web browsing ability, and decent battery life.

Then there's my PDA. It's a Rex Xircom 6000.


It is the exact hefty size, volume (and almost weight) of 3 stacked
credit cards.

It does everything a pda NEEDED to do with Adress book, memos, to-do,
tasks, calculator, alarms, USB synch with Outlook, Lotus Notes, a 120 X 240
touch-screen display, even games, and batteries lasting from 2-6 months
(heavy to light use).

If you have a laptop, it would slide into the PCMCIA slot for synchro.

To this day, with all the numbers, games, utilities, and text documents copied from the PC,
I've only filled 25% of the 2MB storage.

What is the point?

I've been waiting for a smartphone for years, and plan on purchasing either the i-500 or 7135.

Europe has enjoyed this technology for many years thanks to common GSM vs. greedy bickering
platforms in the US.

I consider most comments above as important to an informed purchase.

It is too close to speak generally, but Personally I'm leaning on the larger 7135
for it's SD, MP3, and 65k vs 256 color screen.

The removable battery was also key (eliminating most other smartphones).

PS -

Why not Motorola? Although Motorola phones are the best in reliability,
they are lagging behind the voice/data merge as they painfully were (and never recovered from)
digital from analog.

Regardless of market failure, and subsequent discontinuance of both devices,
each performed extremely well...and size?...when the Rex and Vulcan are stacked, they're still
smaller than "tomorrows" i-500 !!

Aren't we all un-predictable/fickle consumers?

RE: Kyocera killer?
Sassymya55 @ 1/26/2003 2:51:26 PM #
Everyone has made valid points. So far, I'm going with the Samsung I330. I prefer the clam shell design for screen protection. For me, the deciding factor would be which network it will utilize. I was an Alltel user for 3 years, and was NOT happy with their service. Sprint, in my opinion, has the better network. The clarity and signal strength is wonderful in my area. So, as disappointed as I was, the Kyocera 7135 won't be an option. I refuse to go back to Alltel, or whoever else besides Sprint supports this phone. Everyone seems concerned more about the PDA side of both items. Well, for the price on both, I'm worried about PDA and phone equally. I can buy a good PDA for a lot less if that's all I'm wanting. Either way, both have their pros and cons. It's just a matter of personal preference.

Samsung SCH-i600

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/20/2002 10:38:32 AM #

It's intereting to see how much similarities the two phone has, thos nobody know what processor the SCH is using.

this would be the closest hardware but differeing OS yet to come, fueling rivalry. The SCH seems to play all the Window media player formats tho' (mp3/.mpeg)

New Samsung SCH-I600
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/20/2002 10:41:14 AM #
Compare this to the New Samsung SCH-I600 PocketPC

Both are hideous!
kyocera 7135 will kill them

RE: Samsung SCH-i600
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/20/2002 1:40:32 PM #
Notice that the Samsung SCH-i600 does not have a touch screen.
Microsoft Smartphone Clone
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/20/2002 3:39:41 PM #
I believe Samsung has a clone to this unit (i600) however running MS Smartphone OS.


And it included a SD slot

RE: Samsung SCH-i600
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/20/2002 11:01:58 PM #
This is Windows powered Smartphone, not Pocket PC Phone edition. It is not supposed to have a touchpanel.
Stinger's lack of touch screen not a bug, it's a feature!
drw @ 8/21/2002 1:29:03 AM #
"This is Windows powered Smartphone, not Pocket PC Phone edition. It is not supposed to have a touchpanel."

So the stinger is basically a crippled smartphone. And you all though Palm, Inc. was running out of feet to shoot!?!


RE: Samsung SCH-i600
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/21/2002 8:57:37 AM #
The Smartphone is more phone than anything. How many phone users do you know that want to whip out a stylus? Zero. We'll see who has the better concept, MS with its phone first/data second Smartphone and data first/phone second Pocket PC Phone combo or Palm with its one size fits all strategy.
RE: Samsung SCH-i600
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/21/2002 10:37:14 AM #
>>The Smartphone is more phone than anything. How many phone users do you know that want to whip out a stylus? Zero. We'll see who has the better concept, MS with its phone first/data second Smartphone and data first/phone second Pocket PC Phone combo or Palm with its one size fits all strategy.

The problem with the 'Stinker' OS is that it is a - for all purposes - a new OS. It won't run PPC software (yes - much of the codebase is the same - but developers will have to at least re-write interface code). This at a time when Symbian, Palm OS, and MS's own PPC phone addition are already out there. Would you buy a smart phone with an OS that has zero software for it?

RE: Samsung SCH-i600
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/21/2002 7:04:32 PM #
I think you are misunderstanding Stinger. It was never designed to offer all the same functions of a PDA, like a touchscreen, downloadable apps etc.

It is an OS for devices that are telephones first and "PDAs" second.

Pocket PC Phone Edition is the OS for devices which are PDAs first and telephones second.

They are two distinct markets. Much as you guys live on your PDAs, many people would be happy just to be able to read some e-mail or see their schedule. They don't need to download software that directs them to the nearest Indian restaurant or provides the full US airline schedule. Stinger is for this market.

If you want to download and install your own apps and other PDA functions, look for the Pocket PC Phone edition devices.

RE: Samsung SCH-i600
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/21/2002 8:34:36 PM #
> If you want to download and install your own apps and other PDA functions,
> look for the Pocket PC Phone edition devices.

No, get a Palm OS smartphone. You can get one from Handspring, Samsung, or Kyocera. Microsoft is a late-comer to this market and crappola like Stinger proves they still have no clue what they are doing. A deliberately crippled OS, yeah, THAT makes sense.

web access?

ckohl23 @ 8/20/2002 11:22:01 AM #
there is no mention anywhere of bluechip's ability or inability to view internet websites wirelessly like handspring's treo. any idea on this?

RE: web access?
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/21/2002 10:41:08 AM #
Of course it can. Samsung included Handsprings Blazer browser in the their first device - so they are likely to do it here. Even if they don't, it runs Palm OS and has an internet connection, so - just get a browser.


I.M. Anonymous @ 8/20/2002 11:23:03 AM #
Release these suckers immediately. I need one of these! They both look awesome (cause they both look the same) so let's just bring em out and let me decide which has better features. C'mon guys. Let's go.

I'm sick of wasting my time signing up for email lists to be the first to know when I can buy one, when I just keep checking on PIC and they'll tell me where and when I can buy em, before the trusty email list from the companies realesing the phones.

Well, anyways, I hope these phones rock!

Viva Palm OS!

drw @ 8/20/2002 11:02:32 PM #
I'm with you on all respects... I checked out the xda at CompUSA, but I read that pocketpc users reset their devices 3-4 times/day. That's not for me. I can go months without having to reset my 6035.

While the 7135 is to be the swiss army knife, the i500 managed to slip a 66mhz processor in there. It's smaller size and weight should make it pocketable, although I'm fine with a holster.

My message to Kyocera and Samsung: FIRST TO GET THEIR PALM-CLAM TO VERIZON GETS MY $500 PEARL.



mtg101 @ 8/20/2002 1:00:03 PM #
...yet more devices for the minority US / Korea market...

RE: Whoop...
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/20/2002 6:12:42 PM #
Jealous are you? :p

FYI... I don't care what format they use as long as the phone has good signals in my primary market...

RE: Whoop...
mtg101 @ 8/21/2002 4:22:51 AM #
A bit jealous yeah...

Then again, maybe it;s time to switch to an OS which is properly supported outside the US, ie Symbian and the P800, or the 7650 which will be dropping rapidly in price once the superior P800 hits the streets.


I.M. Anonymous @ 8/23/2002 12:43:34 AM #
I'm glad. I care little for waiting for Europe's left overs (hey, wait a minute. There's a pun in there somewhere-oh yes, we ARE Europes left overs, sort to speak). Good to see that someone realizes that the US wants better mobile solutions as well.

Kyocera To Make Bluetooth Module For Mobile Phones

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/20/2002 2:49:41 PM #
Kyocera To Make Bluetooth Module For Mobile Phones

OSAKA, Aug 18 (Nikkei) - Kyocera Corp. (6971) has developed modules that enable mobile phones to use the Bluetooth short-distance wireless communication protocol, company sources said Saturday, The Nihon Keizai Shimbun Sunday edition reported.


Following the appearance of Bluetooth-enabled personal computers and digital consumer electronics, major electronic parts manufacturers, such as Murata Mfg. Co. (6981) and Taiyo Yuden Co. (6976), have commercialized Bluetooth modules. Hitachi Maxell Ltd. (6810) has also decided to enter the Bluetooth module market.

Copyright (c) 2002, Dow Jones Newswires


RE: Kyocera To Make Bluetooth Module For Mobile Phones
I.M. Anonymous @ 8/24/2002 5:30:10 PM #
Hank Mobley !!! It's you isn't it ???

Nobody cares to read your Bluetooth stuff. Give it a rest !!!

Nice Phone, Two potential problems.

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/20/2002 3:33:42 PM #
This is Definitely an awesome phone. The fact that it has a big, touch screen, stylus, graffitti, dragonball 66mhz, Excellent form factor makes it just great.

My only two concerns are the lack of an SD slot which is available on the i600 (did they just not have enough room?) and the battery life. The battery shown on the FCC website is only 800mah which means that with all the power sucking features on this phone the battery may not last more than 1.5 - 2 hours.

I really hope the battery life is semi-decent because I can live without an sd slot but I can't live with a short battery life.

No Keyboard

I.M. Anonymous @ 8/20/2002 7:24:23 PM #
I have a handspring Treo 270, and was hesitant to switch to a keyboard only model, but I must say that after using it for a while, it is going to be hard going back to Grafitti.

I still use my Palm Vx on occasion, and I have become so much faster with a Keyboard. Also, you don't look as much of a dork when you are in the pub writing an SMS on a keyboard than with a pen...

Anybody else feel the same?

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