Samsung carrier partners AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile will sell their Galaxy S II models later this month. Did the phone maker wait too long versus iPhone 5 and Ice Cream Sandwich?
August sure was a quiet month for
smartphones, particularly for those based on Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android
Beyond carrier preannouncements of
forthcoming phones, a moratorium was practically put on the month, with
Hurricane Irene perhaps the biggest event to mark (or mar, if you prefer) the
mobile sector, with carrier outages up and down the East Coast.
broke the quiet Aug. 31 with the introduction of its Galaxy S II handsets in
New York City
. AT&T (NYSE:T), Sprint (NYSE:S) and T-Mobile are all
offering their own takes on the ultra-thin, ultra-light handsets, which are
equipped with 4.3-inch, Super AMOLED Plus screens, 16GB of onboard memory and a
1.2GHz dual-core processor.
Sprint is launching its Galaxy S II
Epic 4G Touch Sept. 16, so the company is making its Galaxy S II a summer
launch. AT&T and T-Mobile have yet to commit to launch dates for their
versions, which could arrive after Sept. 21, making them fall releases.
To that end, GigaOm
raised a fair question: Did Samsung wait too long to launch
the S II? As writer
Kevin Tofel noted
: "I have little doubt that it will continue to sell
well in the U.S., but perhaps not as well as it might have sold if it were
The next one to three months are going
to offer many solid smartphone choices. Indeed, one of the reasons Verizon
reportedly eschewed the Galaxy S II was to focus on the Samsung
Droid Prime (or Nexus Prime)
This smartphone will reportedly
be the flagship Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich"
blends holographic user interface capabilities and other "Honeycomb"
Verizon is slated to launch its
long-delayed Motorola Droid Bionic 4G phone later this month.
Finally, Apple is expected to launch
the iPhone 5 in October, which will severely test Galaxy S II sales on
AT&T, Verizon and possibly even Sprint this fall.
Droid Bionic, Droid Prime and the iPhone
are only three that we know are coming. There could be a lot more on the
horizon. Maybe Samsung really did miss out on a full month of Galaxy S II
Analysts shrugged their shoulders at
the news. Current Analysis analyst Avi Greengart said there is no launch
strategy when it comes to mobile devices these days. "You ship as soon as
you can ship," Greengart said.
Gartner analyst Ken Dulaney largely
"Apple is always a threat, so
launching it whenever is not that relevant," Dulaney said. "Android
and Samsung must succeed on their own." He added that Samsung won't worry
about ICS for Android because the Galaxy S II devices will certainly be
upgradable to ICS.
"Samsung launches mostly when the
product is ready," Dulaney added.
Now we'll have to wait and see how it
sells ahead of the iPhone 5 and against the Droid Prime, Droid Bionic and other
high-end handsets that are sure to flood the market this fall.