Sunday, July 31, 2011

AT&T Samsung Galaxy S II to be keyboardless, after all

No, Virginia, it turns out the hardware-keyboarded device seen recently wasn't an AT&T Samsung Galaxy S II after all. BGR earlier said it had exclusively determined that the image above was the AT&T version of Samsung's 5 million-selling (and without U.S. carriers) Galaxy S II, but they backtracked quickly on Friday.

Instead, a new source has come forward, saying that the keyboarded Samsung device wasn't a Galaxy S II, but some other Samsung device, also coming to AT&T. BGR was fooled, the site said by the fact that an image showing the device ID had it listed as the SGH-i927, which was previously reported to be the Galaxy S II's device ID ahead of launch.

It's rather unusual for an OEM to re-use a device ID, even in unfinished form, so we're still scratching our heads, though. At any rate, the Galaxy S II exists un-keyboarded globally, so the keyboard had already thown us for a loop, although it is true that the same thing happened on the Galaxy S, where one carrier, Sprint, had a keyboarded version (the Epic 4G).

One other unusual thing is that the kernel version for the device, via ROM images, appears to be a Honeycomb kernel version.  That's extremely strange since the device is clearly sporting Android 2.3.4 or the latest Gingerbread build, unless this device is perhaps further out and will eventually run Ice Cream Sandwich.

Whither the actual Galaxy S II? Since Samsung just erected a "sign-up" page for information about the U.S. launch of the Galaxy S II, we know it's coming soon. Most rumors currently point to an August release on at least three (AT&T, Sprint, Verizon) carriers.

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