T-Mobile may soon be getting a new 4G smartphone and its fastest yet-the Samsung Vibrant 4G Galaxy S phone, an update to its current 3G model of the Vibrant.
T-Mo News, an unofficial blog of all things T-Mobile, on Jan. 11 posted an image of promotional signage for the smartphone, which appears to be Samsung making good on its promise to soon offer 4G phones to all the major U.S. carriers.
At the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show, Verizon announced it also has a 4G Samsung phone on the way, though the device is still awaiting a proper name. Chances are good that Samsung will announce the name at February's Mobile World Congress, where Samsung President JK Shin has said the company plans to share juicy nuggets of 4G tablet and smartphone news.
If the signage is to be believed, the Vibrant 4G will be "the fastest device on T-Mobile's [4G HSPA+] network."
The Vibrant 4G has also been upgraded to Android 2.2 and will include a front-facing camera with T-Mobile Video Chat, powered by Qik. Like the current Vibrant (customer favorites, says the sign), the 4G version will feature a 4-inch high-resolution Super AMOLED (active-matric organic LED) touch-screen; 16GB of memory, expandable to 32GB; and a 5-megapixel camera that can record video in 720p.
In early November, T-Mobile beat Verizon to 4G, with the launch of an ad campaign describing its HSPA+ (Evolved High-Speed Packet Access) network as "America's largest 4G network" and introducing the myTouch 4G smartphone to run on it.
T-Mo News reports that while the myTouch 4G and T-Mobile G2 offer 4G speeds, they're nonetheless capped at 14.4M bps. The Vibrant 4G, however, is "slated to be T-Mobile's first 4G phone that offers 21+ M bps speeds."
Like competitors Motorola and HTC, Samsung has enjoyed enormous success with its line of Android-running smartphones. In a Jan. 2 report, Bloomberg reported that Samsung met a goal of selling 10 million of the Galaxy S handsets since they first went on sale in June 2010. And in early December, sales of its Galaxy Tab tablet passed the 1 million mark.
While electronics giant Sony told Reuters Jan. 7 that in one year's time it would like the No. 2 tablet spot behind Apple, Technology Business Research analyst Ken Hyers told eWeek that by that time, Samsung, not Apple, will likely be the market leader.
"I think that Samsung will become the leading tablet manufacturer, but it will take some time-Apple is outselling Samsung by 10 to 1 and has 90 percent market share," Hyers wrote in a Jan. 11 e-mail.
"Apple's share will probably shrink to 50 percent this year, with Samsung taking the bulk of that new share," he continued. "By 2012, when Sony wants to achieve second place, I think Samsung will be No. 1, Apple No. 2, and Sony will have a really difficult time dethroning either of those companies."