Samsung Electronics is preparing to launch two new Palm-OS based cellular telephones in the US market in the coming months.

The first of the two devices to appear from the South Korean electronics maker will be the SPH-I330. The handset is an updated version of the SPH-I300 handset and was originally scheduled to hit the market in April this year but is now expected in September, according to Samsung.

The handset is a tri-band unit, compatible with CDMA (code division multiple access) at both 800MHz and 1,900MHz and the analogue AMPS technology. On the CDMA side, the telephone supports Sprint's recently launched CDMA2000 1x network, which offers users packet data rates of up to 144k bps (bits per second).

Touch screen Looking broadly similar to the previous model, the main face of the handset is dominated by a large touch-screen LCD (liquid crystal display) screen capable of displaying 256 colours. Other features include a GPS (global positioning system) receiver for accurate location finding, speaker phone, infrared sensor, 16-tone ringer and a Web browser for wireless Internet access. The telephone is based on version 3.5 of the Palm operating system and will run all standard Palm applications.

In terms of physical size, the I330 is slightly smaller and lighter than Samsung's previous model. It measures 125mm by 57mm by 18mm, which is a fraction larger than the I300 while the weight has been cut from 170 grams to 150 grams in the new model, said Samsung.

The second telephone from Samsung is the SPH-I500. Full details of the telephone are expected to be announced by Samsung in September or October, but initial details of the telephone have been revealed through a filing the company made with the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which must approve all cell phones before they can be used or sold in the US.

Like the I330, the I500 will be a tri-band model compatible with CDMA, including CDMA2000, and AMPS, and is expected to be offered through Sprint PCS, according to the filing.

Clamshell The second handset looks less like a PDA and more like a conventional cell phone. Samsung has chosen the popular clamshell design for the handset, a move that necessitates moving the graffiti writing area from directly beneath the display to just above the telephone keypad on the lower part of the folding