Olufsen, Samsung create cell phone
New phone will have B&O design and acoustics
B&O CEO Torben Ballegaard Sorensen says the phone will be easy to use.
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COPENHAGEN, Denmark -- Bang and Olufsen is to team up with Korean electronics company Samsung to create a mobile phone incorporating B&O's top-quality acoustics and design.
Torben Ballegaard Sorensen, CEO of Danish audio and video maker B&O, said the phone would have "enhanced acoustic capabilities" and would be released later this year.
Bang & Olufsen is known for its expensive, sleekly designed art-house type televisions and home stereos.
"Together we want to create a mobile phone that is dedicated to communication in a comfortable and convenient way," he said.
"The design and use of the phone is very simple and straightforward, yet in every aspect of the design there is a carefully thought through relationship between form and function."
He said it would have basic communications features and little in the way of high-tech extras, and would target the high end of the market in terms of price and quality.
"We are starting out with one model but may come out with more later," he said, adding the phone would be aimed at people over the age of 25.
"This will be super simple. We believe that many people feel overwhelmed by the options phones contain. We will attempt to produce something that ... will suit our core clients. They don't use phones as a game station. We are emphasizing what the phone is meant for, which is talking."
While most mobile phone makers are focusing on launching third-generation (3G) phones with features like video calls and downloading music, Sorensen said the joint venture would stick to tried-and-tested technology.
President of Samsung's telecommunications business Kitae Lee said the partnership between the two companies would make customers think about phones in a new way.
"Samsung is always trying to push the boundaries of mobile phone design and development, and we consistently search for innovative deign ideas and concepts across industries."
The new mobile phone will be launched in 17 Europe countries in the fourth quarter of this year, and will be for sale in Bang and Olufsen shops, as well as and high-end Samsung distribution partners.
South Korea's Samsung is the world's third largest mobile phone maker after Nokia of Finland and U.S. Motorola, and its announcement follows comments earlier this month that it aimed to become an elite brand name.
Top rival Nokia has previously targeted rich consumers with its exclusive Vertu brand of very expensive mobiles made from platinum, gold and diamonds, as well as its N-series, which features built-in hard drives and high-quality camera lenses.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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