Korea's LG appears to have beaten Apple to the keypad-less punch with the launch of the PRADA Phone, which also carries the more prosaic model designation KE850.
The new phone has no traditional keypad but instead sports what LG terms "the world's first advanced touch interface". This is said to make the overall user experience a highly tactile one. It's a new design, said to be the result of fashion legend Miuccia Prada, in charge of the eponymous luxury goods producer, and LG.
Apart from the touchy-feely interface, the PRADA phone is supermodel skinny at a mere 12mm, and comes with a 2Mpixel camera featuring a lens from the famous Kreuznach-Schneider factory. It doesn't appear to have the iPhone's huge 4 or 8GB internal memory however, although it does come with a micro-SD card slot for storage expansion.
Here's a quick rundown of the features of the LG PRADA, available in Europe starting February 2007 costing around 600 Euros or US$777.50:
• Capacitive Touch Screen
• Music Player (MP3, ACC, ACC+, WMA, RA)
• Music Multitasking (Messaging)
• Video Player (MPEG4, H.263, H.264)
• Macromedia Flash UI
• Document Viewer (ppt, doc, xls, pdf, txt )
• EDGE Tri-Band (900/1800/1900)
• 98.8 × 54 × 12 mm
• 2M CMOS Camera / LED Flash
• External Memory Slot (Micro SD)
• Innerpack Battery 800mAh
• Bluetooth 2.0, USB 2.0, USB Mass storage
LG's local PR people thought the PRADA phone has much wow factor, but don't believe it'll come to New Zealand any time soon. The GPRS/EDGE-only data connection could be one reason for that, as Vodafone is likely to prefer 3G models for its network.