Samung Chat On App To be launched on september 1st 2011

SEOUL (Dow Jones)–Samsung Electronics Co. said Monday it has launched a mobile communications service, ChatON, for cell phones running on various operating systems, in the latest attempt by the South Korean electronics giant to lure more users to its handset devices.

An increasing number of cell phone users now interact with their friends and families by sharing text, images and video clips using free messaging services, making it a nascent but a fast booming segment.

The company said the free messaging application will be planted on devices powered by its own software platform, Bada, and other basic messaging phones, while users can also download the application on cell phones using other types of operating systems.

“ChatON will be embedded in all devices running on major platforms, including Bada, Android, BlackBerry, (Apple’s) iOS, as well as in other mobile devices, including tablet and (regular) phones,” Samsung told Dow Jones Newswires in an email interview.

The messaging services market is already crowded and Samsung will face a tough battle both at home and abroad, as domestic rivals and global giants such as Apple Inc. (APPL) and Skype seek to boost their presence in the market.

Korea-based Kakao Talk launched a free messaging service in March last year that has become the most widely used charge-free social networking service application in South Korea. The company currently supports three languages services: Korean, Japanese, and English. The free application can be downloaded by iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry users. The company boasts around 22 million subscribers globally, including about 4 million foreign customers in Japan as well as in the U.S.

Global technology giants are also about to join the race.

Apple in June unveiled its own messaging service, called iMessage, which will be embedded in its upcoming iOS 5 platform-based iPhones and iPads available later this year, while Internet-calling giant Skype recently agreed to acquire New York-based start-up GroupMe to offer its customers group messaging services on smartphones. GroupMe’s application lets users text and make conference calls with circles of friends or colleagues.

In order to catch up with its rivals, Samsung said its new messaging service will be available in more than 120 countries, supporting up to 62 languages.

Source: WSJ

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