Friday, August 26, 2011

Verizon to pass on the Samsung Galaxy S II: report

The question of "why not?" has to come out of this report. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Verizon will not be carrying the Samsung Galaxy S II, considered one of the best Android devices, which has already sold 5 million units globally, without any U.S. carrier support.

Get $20 OFF $100 from MacMall.comSamsung is set to announce the U.S. rollout of the Samsung Galaxy S II, with an event scheduled for August 29. However, without the support of the nation's No. 1 carrier, that rollout may be more muted than was first thought. Since all of the big 4 wireless carriers shipped versions of the Galaxy S last year, it was widely expected that the same would happen with the Galaxy S II.

The device will be sold at $199 on contract, with Sprint to have the first version on the market, according to the report. That version will support Sprint's 4G WiMax service. In 2010, the Sprint version of the Galaxy S was sold at a slightly higher price than the other carriers, due to WiMax as well as a hardware keyboard.

While it's unclear why Verizon would skip the Galaxy S II, it's possible it has something to do with Verizon's LTE service. AT&T and T-Mobile could sell a 4G version of the phone with HSPA+ (which is really 3.5G), and Sprint could sell a version with WiMax capability, but Verizon's LTE is very new, and it's possible that the device, which has been available globally for some time, simply can't support an LTE chipset due to real-estate hardware issues.

Along those lines, perhaps that's why Verizon reportedly has a "similar," but different handset in the works. It's possible this other phone, which naturally hasn't been confirmed, has a better internal layout in terms of an LTE chipset. If that's what it is, we hope it has the same level of hardware specs that the Galaxy S II does.

It's unclear when the iPhone 5 will be released, but we already indicated our opinion: it's important that Samsung get the Galaxy S II released prior to the iPhone 5. The iPhone 5 is sure to dull the edge of any excitement over the Galaxy S II. That said, the Galaxy S II is a beast of a handset.

The Samsung Galaxy S II comes with a 4.3-inch, 540 x 960 Super AMOLED Plus display (which exceeds the specs of Apple's famous retina display on the iPhone 4), a dual-core 1.2GHz Exynos processor, a 2MP front-facing camera, a rear-facing 8MP camera (capable of 1080p video capture), 1 GB of RAM, along with Android 2.3 (Gingerbread).

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