LAS VEGAS-Samsung Mobile Jan. 6 pledged its support for Verizon Wireless' 4G LTE network, promising to build a version of the Samsung Galaxy Tab and a new Android smartphone based on the speedy network.
Products bearing Verizon's new LTE network, which shuttles data 10 times faster than its current 3G speeds, have received top billing here at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show.
The Galaxy Tab powered by Verizon's 4G LTE network will include the same 7-inch TFT display with 1,024-by-600 WSVGA resolution and be powered by Android 2.2.
However, while the current 3G Tab offers a 3-megapixel back camera, the 4G LTE Tab will sport a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera to go with the front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera for video chat.
From the outset, the device will be viewed as Samsung's answer to the Motorola Xoom tablet Verizon touted at the show this week.
However, the Xoom seems to have some clear advantages. First, it's based on the Android 3.0 operating system, which is tailored for the tablet form factor. Samsung's current Tab is based on Android 2.2.
The Xoom, which will be fully upgradable to 4G after its initial 3G launch in February, is also fueled by a dual-core processor for 2GHz of power. Samsung's 4G LTE Tab will only be powered by a 1.2GHz Cortex A8 Hummingbird processor.
When asked about this gulf during a press roundtable here Jan. 6, JK Shin, president and head of Samsung Mobile, said the company will provide more details about its dual-core tablet and smartphone plans, as well as tablets that support Android 3.0, at Mobile World Congress in February.
Whatever Samsung announces at the show in Barcelona next month, the 4G Tab provides the high-end punch Samsung requires, and it comes one day after the company preannounced a WiFi-only version of the Tab.
Samsung also answered Motorola on the smartphone front.
One day after Motorola introduced the Droid Bionic 4G on Verizon and the Atrix 4G on AT&T here, Samsung said it will deliver a Samsung 4G LTE smartphone on the Verizon Wireless 4G LTE mobile network later this year.
The device does not yet have a name, though it will be from the popular Galaxy S line, which has sold more than 10 million units worldwide.
Powered by a 1GHz processor, the Android 2.2 device will have a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED screen and feature Google Search, Google Maps, Gmail and YouTube. Moreover, the HTML5 Web browser will help drive high-speed 4G LTE connectivity for faster downloads.
The device will boast a rear-facing 8-megapixel camera with LED flash and front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera for video chat capabilities.
Shin added that Samsung expects to sell 50 million phones in 2011.
Rounding out Samsung's 4G news, the company will offer a 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot on the Verizon 4G LTE network later this year. This hot spot will connect up to five WiFi-enabled devices to the 4G LTE network at the same time.
Samsung promises Verizon Wireless customers can expect download speeds of 5M to 12M bps and upload speeds of 2M to 5M bps in markets Verizon serves with 4G. The Samsung 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot is also backward compatible with Verizon's 3G network.
Samsung's preannouncements, coupled with the Motorola Droid Bionic and Motorola Xoom 4G promises, underscore Verizon's 4G LTE momentum early in the game.
Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg said in his keynote earlier Jan. 6 that Verizon expects wider rollout of the 4G LTE network to more than 70 markets through 2011, and 175 markets by 2012.