Ina Fried

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Samsung Getting Its Chat On With Siloed IM Service

Not to be outdone, Samsung said on Monday that it, too, will offer an instant messaging service so owners of its phones can contact one another without having to use text messages.

Samsung’s service, to be known as ChatON, is the latest effort by a phone maker to follow in the footsteps of BlackBerry Messenger. Apple has already announced the iMessage service that will be part of the forthcoming iOS 5 operating system update.

Dedicated messaging services such as BlackBerry Messenger and iMessage allow customers to bypass carrier SMS charges while also enabling advanced features such as delivery confirmation and the ability to see when a user is typing a reply.

Although not the first to the game, Samsung has the ability to link together a significant number of devices, pledging to eventually offer the service on a range of smartphones, feature phones and even PCs and tablets. The company is also adding some unique features, including the ability to scribble a message, or to see with whom one communicates the most.

“With ChatON, Samsung has vastly simplified mobile communication by allowing users to connect to our upcoming feature phones and all major smartphones in the market,” Samsung’s Ho Soo Lee said in a statement.

Over the weekend, Samsung also announced new tablets and phones supporting LTE networks, and is expected to at long last bring its Galaxy S II phone to the U.S., with a launch event slated for Tuesday in New York. It was originally slated for Monday night, but the event was pushed back a day because of Hurricane Irene.

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There’s a lot of attention and PR around Marissa, but their product lineup just kind of blows.

— Om Malik on Bloomberg TV, talking about Yahoo, the September issue of Vogue Magazine, and our overdependence on Google