Thin phones for summer: Wafer, Barracuda, Curve

There are three phone launches today, all toying with the "thin is in" cliché: Alltel released the Samsung "Wafer"; RIM/AT&T unveiled the "Curve"; Nokia launched the "Barracuda." Let's get the crucial information out of the way first: The Barracuda is 10 mm thin. The Wafer is 8.4 mm. The Curve is 15.2 mm.

Alltel's Samsung Wafer costs $50 with a two-year contract, and marks a win for Samsung, which now has four handsets offered through the carrier. Only fellow Korean handset maker LG has more with five handsets offered through Alltel. The Wafer features XM Radio, Axcess TV and a 1.3 megapixel camera.

AT&T inked an exclusive deal for the BlackBerry Curve, RIM's latest prosumer-oriented smartphone, which features a full QWERTY keypad, 2 megapixel camera and an advanced media editor for video and photos. RIM said the device is like the Pearl but with a QWERTY keyboard. Some expect the device to cost $200 on average. AT&T plans to start selling it this spring.

Nokia's Barracuda is just one of seven devices priced under €100 and unveiled today by the handset maker. The Barracuda will launch next quarter in both "developed" and "emerging" markets. Nokia showed off the Barracuda last November at an investor event to put an end to claims that the handset maker has not done enough to capitalize on the thin phone trend.

For more on the thin phones:
- see this CRN article about Nokia
- check out this article about Curve from InformationWeek
- and take a look at this Sci-Fi Tech article about the Wafer