updated 10:45 am EDT, Wed July 20, 2011
Samsung Galaxy S II gets official launch window
Samsung's mobile chief JK Shin at an event kicking off the launch of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Korea confirmed that the Galaxy S II was reaching the US next month. The dual-core Android phone would arrive "sometime in August," the executive said. He didn't name carriers, but Sprint is confirmed and is unofficially known to be accompanied by AT&T and Verizon.
Why the phones were releasing relatively late compared to last year wasn't mentioned. The S II has been available in Korea as of late April and other parts of the world this spring, with even Canada already getting it today. Rumors have persisted of carriers dragging on negotiations, in part because they weren't as desperate to have an iPhone equivalent as they were a year ago.
The timing could once again see Samsung's top-end Android phone forced to ship roughly in line with a new iPhone. Apple this year has pushed back a new iPhone to the quarter ending September to load it with iOS 5 but, because of Samsung's own delay, will end up shipping to the US at roughly the same time.
Samsung has had relatively brisk sales of the Galaxy S II and reportedly moved three million in two months, although it's unclear how accurate this is when it also had three million pre-orders. It has so far competed closely with Apple this year. The Korean firm is believed to have shipped 19.5 million smartphones in the spring, just under Apple's 20.34 million iPhones. Small pieces of the salse count were Bada and Windows Phone 7 devices.
Shin has indirectly hinted that Samsung may have a tougher time competing with Apple in the longer term. He estimated a total of 60 million Samsung smartphones arriving in 2011. Apple has so far shipped 39 million iPhones in the first half of the year and may more than double that figure given the iPhone 5 launch in the summer, possibly with Sprint and T-Mobile onboard, and an expected holiday spike in the fall.