RealTime IT News

Ballmer Changing Tune on Pricey Smartphones?


Eye of the Needle by David Needle (bio)

Insights from Silicon Valley and beyond


Steve Ballmer with Armani.jpg

Remember Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's famous jab at the iPhone when it first came out at a $500 price?

"... that is the most expensive phone in the world and it doesn't appeal to business customers because it doesn't have a keyboard," said Ballmer.

Well it wasn't really the most expensive phone in the world. In fact, Ballmer just endorsed another one costing $500 more -- but hey, it has a keyboard.

Ballmer was on hand with famed Italian designer Giorgio Armani October 9 to help launch a new Armani-Samsung smartphone that will sell for 700-euro ($1,032) and will, of course, run Microsoft's new Windows Mobile 6.5 software. It actually sports both a touch screen and keypad.

Samsung said the new Giorgio Armani-Samsung smartphone is "the most elegant and functional mobile on the market."

The phone features what the Samsung said is a unique two step tilt hinge form factor with both full touch screen and QWERTY keyboard hybrid, and "a stunning 3.5 inch Ultra Brilliant AMOLED display."

Next page: A look at the new Armani phone

[Continue reading this blog post at Eye of the Needle by David Needle]