Samsung's WiMAX Phone Mondi Comes on August 1

Mobile phone maker Samsung announced on Tuesday that Samsung Mondi, the Mobile WiMAX-enabled handheld device it already announced for the US market, would become commercially available in the country starting August 1, 2009. The new phone has been designed to work with Clearwire's Clear Mobile WiMAX service, and its availability comes in line with the recently announced launch of the 4G network in Atlanta, Las Vegas and Portland.

According to the company, the new Samsung Mondi (the Latin word for “world”) is capable of delivering double the download speeds that comparable devices would be able to deliver on 3G networks. Not only that the phone will benefit from the extended availability of WiMAX, but it will also offer Wi-Fi connectivity, so that users will enjoy strong connectivity at all times.

The upcoming phone features a solid black finish, a horizontally sliding full QWERTY keyboard, fast access to E-mail, Internet, video content and business applications, multimedia capabilities, and support for a wide range of services, including Fring, Gypsii and Windows Live Messenger. We also have to mention the GPS receiver it packs, along with a 4.3-inch touchscreen display, the 3-megapixel camera, the Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.1 OS, or the Opera 9.5 that it comes pre-loaded with.

“The Mondi is a perfect example of the powerful and stylish innovation that Samsung is bringing to the U.S. mobile market,” said Omar Khan, senior vice president of Strategy and Product Management for Samsung Mobile. “The Mondi packs productivity tools, entertainment options and content management applications into a compact device that is flexible and intuitive.”

Users will also find that the Samsung Mondi comes with enhanced customization options, delivering a set of widgets users can place anywhere they like on the home screen. In addition, it offers easy connection to Microsoft Office Outlook Mobile and other business applications. “With the Samsung Mondi, people can take advantage of powerful broadband speeds to access familiar, easy-to-use software like Microsoft Office Mobile on a sleek, new mobile Internet device,” said Stephanie Ferguson, general manager of the Business Experiences Team at Microsoft Corp.

While currently available on Samsung's website and at the company’s authorized distributors, the new phone will become available for purchase through Clearwire's retail outlets starting August 1. In addition, customers will also find it available in select Best Buy stores located in Atlanta, Las Vegas and Portland. The handset will feature a price tag of $449, or $349 with a 2-year service agreement with Clearwire.

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Daughtry debuted at No. 1 on the U.S. Album Chart

LOS ANGELES (Billboard) - Rock band Daughtry debuted at No. 1 on the U.S. pop chart Wednesday, ending a three-week stretch in which Michael Jackson claimed the top-selling album.

Daughtry's "Leave This Town" sold 269,000 units during the week ended July 19, according to Nielsen Soundscan.

It marks the Chris Daughtry-fronted band's second No. 1 on the Billboard 200. Its self-titled freshman set debuted at No. 2 with 304,000 units in 2006. It went to No. 1 in its ninth week, an incredible feat considering that most No. 1 albums get to No. 1 by debuting there.

Michael Jackson mania isn't over on the charts. His albums, which are not eligible for the Billboard 200 since they were released more than 18 months ago, loomed large on the Top Comprehensive Albums chart, which combines current and catalog releases. His 2003 "Number Ones" hits collection shifted 192,000 copies, good for No. 2 behind Daughtry.

All told, Jackson claimed six out of the top 10 on Top Comprehensive Albums, including "The Essential Michael Jackson" (125,000), "Thriller" (114,000), "Off the Wall" (68,000), "Bad" (61,000) and "Dangerous" (55,000).

Last week's Billboard 200 champ, Maxwell's "BLACKsummers'night," slipped to No. 2 with 103,000. The "Hannah Montana 3" soundtrack was also down one, to No. 3, with 73,000, as was the "Now 31" compilation at No. 4 with 69,000. The Black Eyed Peas' "The E.N.D." held at No. 5 with 54,000.

White Stripes frontman Jack White's latest side project, the Dead Weather, saw its first album "Horehound" enter at No. 6 with 51,000. White is joined by Alison Mosshart (of the Kills), Dean Fertita (of Queens of the Stone Age) and Jack Lawrence (of the Greenhornes and White's other project the Raconteurs). All told, this is the sixth top 10 album for White, counting his three top 10s with the White Stripes, two with the Raconteurs and the new Dead Weather set.

R&B singer Joe claimed his fourth top 10 album and second in less than a year as "Signature" arrived at No. 7 with 49,000 copies. Last October, "Joe Thomas, New Man" entered and peaked at No. 8 with 54,000.

Rapper Twista debuted at No. 8 with "Category F5," which sold 45,000 copies. Taylor Swift's "Fearless" rose one to No. 9 with 37,000, and Kings of Leon's "Only By the Night" jumped four to No. 10 with 33,000.

Overall album sales totaled 6.78 million units, down 6.8 percent compared to the sum last week and down 9.3% compared to the same sales week of 2008. Year-to-date album sales stand at 195.4 million, down 13.9 percent compared to the same total at this point last year.

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