updated 04:05 pm EST, Tue February 10, 2009
LG Arena Multi Touch
LG's KM900 Arena should beat out the Palm Pre to be one of the first non-Apple phones to support multi-touch input, LG Korea's press site shows. The interface, known as S-Class, will let users pinch to zoom in the web browser and while viewing photos. While its main home screen has a conspicuously iPhone-influenced design, the 3D aspect divides the front end into core phone tasks, apps, media playback and a section for widget apps like clocks and calculators.
The page moreover confirms the Arena's high-end status with a 5-megapixel camera, 8GB of internal storage and a microSDHC card slot that supports at least 32GB of headroom. New is word that the phone will have dedicated graphics hardware to accelerate visual effects as well as vibration feedback and Dolby Mobile audio.
Fuller details will appear at LG's presentation during the Mobile World Congress show next week, but the company has already let slip that the Arena will ship to Europe in March. Support for US frequencies hasn't been published.
The inclusion of multi-touch combined with the iPhone-style user interface may put LG at risk of a conflict with Apple, which has warned it would aggressively defend its IP if it feels companies are infringing on its patents for multi-touch interfaces. It's not known how likely a dispute may be; Apple is often credited with having the largest patent portfolio for multi-touch but doesn't necessarily have patents for all possible methods. [via Unwired View]