updated 07:50 am EDT, Mon June 28, 2010
Samsung to have Galaxy S on all US carriers
Samsung today launched a full attack on the US smartphone market by unveiling four versions of the Galaxy S. The Epic 4G for Sprint is the most unique and uses that carrier's WiMAX speeds much like the Evo 4G: it can share its connection as a Wi-Fi hotspot and brandishes a front-facing video camera for chat. A sliding QWERTY keyboard makes it unique among all the US launches.
The previously teased T-Mobile Vibrant more closely follows the formula and uses a touch-only design with 7.2Mbps, HSPA-based 3G. T-Mobile focuses on bundles instead and gives the phone a copy of the movie Avatar on a 2GB microSD card as well as a month of free GoGo in-air Wi-Fi and preloaded copies of Amazon Kindle for Android, MobiTV and Slacker Radio.
Verizon has also teased early plans of the Fascinate, an EVDO-based 3G version of Samsung's phone, and US Cellular has also signaled its intentions to produce a similar version. Neither has said how theirs will differentiate from one another.
All of the phones will have the same core four-inch Super AMOLED screen, which purportedly has 100 times the contrast of any rival display but is still viewable outdoors. They also share Samsung's custom, quick 1GHz Humminbird processor, a rear five-megapixel camera with 720p video recording and 802.11n Wi-Fi with DLNA media sharing. Every version runs Android 2.1 with a customized UI that adds a Swype keyboard; Android 2.2 is due in the "near future," Sprint said, but when that will come wasn't mentioned. None of the variants will support Flash out of the box as a result.
Launch details are also unknown for all but the Vibrant, which will ship on July 21 for $200 on contract. AT&T has already previewed its version of the Galaxy S, the Captivate, but hasn't firmed up its launch details.
The campaign marks a major return to the American smartphone arena for Samsung. While it has the top spot in overall phone share in the US, it has virtually fallen out of the smartphone category as Apple, HTC, Motorola and RIM dominate. With few exceptions, virtually all of Samsung's US smartphones have been Windows Mobile-based devices that have failed to get traction. Android also gets a push as the Galaxy S is the first Google-based phone in the US to avoid being locked into a carrier exclusive.
Vibrant for T-Mobile