updated 11:45 am EDT, Fri July 8, 2011
Rumor claims US carriers stalling on Galaxy S II
Samsung may not see a repeat of its rapid rise in the US smartphone market due to a backlash from carriers, rumors alleged Friday. Where the original Galaxy S was unveiled just a month after it shipped in Korea, American carriers haven't even mentioned the Galaxy S II two and a half months after it shipped. The Chosun Ilbo understood from a Samsung executive that US carrier talks had "dragged on," implying a stalemate.
One factor was the choice of networks. The Galaxy S II in international form is GSM, but most US carriers outside of AT&T and T-Mobile are CDMA. Samsung is rumored to be working on Sprint and Verizon models. Motorola's willingness to court the American market and expertise in CDMA may have dampened Samsung's prospects.
More important, however, may be a changing smartphone market, the sources said. Despite Samsung's protests to the contrary in its legal dispute with Apple, many US carriers saw the Galaxy S as the only real iPhone rival last year. That's no longer the case, and Samsung now faces "much tougher competition" from other manufacturers.
No companies were mentioned by name, although HTC has been by far the fastest growing Android maker in the US with phones like the Evo 3D and Thunderbolt often the most popular Android models on a given carrier. Samsung also now faces more direct competition from Apple itself, as the iPhone is on Verizon and could reach at least Sprint as soon as this year.
The Galaxy S II is already Samsung's fastest-selling smartphone ever at three million in 55 days and is even coming to Canada before the US in a form mostly unmodified from what was first seen in February. Fully half of the initial sales, however, are believed to have come from Korea.