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March 10, 2008

Samsung and Adidas Take On Nike and iPod

By Anshu Shrivastava, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Samsung (News - Alert) Electronics and Adidas have teamed up to launch Samsung’s miCoach music-mobile phone, which industry insiders believe will give competition to Nike and iPod.

Along with playing music, Samsung’s new device also keeps track of workouts. In addition, miCoach tells users to “speed up” if they aren't keeping pace, and provides them updates on their heart rate, time left in their run, and more, according to reports.
In addition, Samsung’s new device includes a heart-rate monitor, a sensor to attach to a pair of running shoes and a Web workout journal to help people design and keep track of fitness programs.
This device is similar to the Apple (News - Alert) and Nike offering, which also keeps track of workouts, telling runners the distance traveled, calories burned and other information through earphones, and also on the iPod display screen.
However, while Samsung model is also a mobile phone, the Apple’s device is just a music player. According to reports, any runner can stop their music and workout by pressing a button on the miCoach, and answer a phone call.
In comparison to iPod, Samsung’s latest offering has far less music storage capacity.
The miCoach comes with 1G byte of storage space, while the iPod Nano comes in 4G byte and 8G byte capacities, according to reports.
The other main difference is that the sensor sold with the Samsung and Adidas system fits on the laces of a runner’s shoes, while the sensor in the Nike+iPod system is built into the shoe.
The miCoach will be available first in Germany, then the rest of Europe by the end of March, according to Sophia Kim, a representative at Samsung. Samsung is yet to decide on when to enter North America or Asia.
Samsung plans to sell two different kits through Samsung and Adidas stores and mobile phone retail outlets. The basic kit, which includes the miCoach mobile phone and arm band, is expected to cost around €200, while the deluxe kit—which also includes the shoe-sensor, heart monitor and more—will cost about €400. However, Kim said that prices have not been officially set yet.
“Adidas designed the monitoring systems for the miCoach package, as well as the Web-based coaching and training system,” said Kim.
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