Sprint's Samsung Conquer is hitting shelves Aug. 21 for $99.99 after a mail-in rebate and a two-year data deal. The carrier is pricing the Conquer low versus AT&T and Verizon.
Sprint is building on its lineup of Google (NASDAQ:GOOG)
Android 2.3 "Gingerbread" smartphones with the Samsung Conquer, the
carrier's first sub-$100 4G smartphone.
to launch the phone Aug. 21 for $99.99, after a $50 mail-in rebate, and with a
two-year contract. Equipped with a 1GHz processor, the Conquer doesn't lack for
power despite its low price, compared with Sprint Gingerbread phones such as
the HTC Evo View 4G and Motorola Photon 4G that cost $199.99.
sports a 3.5-inch touch-screen, a 3.2-megapixel rear-facing camera with flash
and zoom, and a 1.3-megapixel front-facing shutter to allow video chat via Qik
and other video-calling applications.
As with most
Sprint smartphones launched this year, Sprint ID packs are heavily featured on
the Conquer. These free software modules, also known as carrier bloatware, let
phone owners choose from applications, widgets, shortcuts, ringtones and
also has a microSD card slot that comes with a 2GB card and supports up to a
32GB memory card.
Sprint said it
would sell the Conquer in all its retail channels, including retail stores, the
Web and telesales. Consumers must purchase the Sprint Everything Data plan,
which starts at $69.99, plus a required $10 premium data surcharge for
The handset is
also 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot capable, supporting up to five WiFi-enabled devices
on Sprint 3G or 4G networks. This will run customers $29.99 a month.
While it has
become common for carriers such as LTE and Huawei to release low-cost, but
powerful smartphones based on Google's Android operating system in Asia, it's a
new trend in the U.S.
If others such
as AT&T (NYSE:T), Verizon Wireless (VZW) and T-Mobile begin offering
sub-$100 Android phones with the latest Gingerbread OS, it could result in
explosive growth for Android, which has 40 percent U.S. market share (comScore)
and as much as 50 percent worldwide (Canalys).
Conquer was revealed less than a week after Sprint launched its latest high-end
smartphone, the Motorola
Photon 4G, for $199.99 on contract. The phone, which
eWEEK reviewed, has an 8-megapixel camera and connects to a docking station
to let users access their phone content from an HDTV.