The Galaxy S II missed its summer window. Few handsets were released for the entire month of August. That is wasted time and opportunity in the ultra-competitive market for high-end phones from Samsung as well as from other rivals, such as Apple, Windows Phone 7 and RIM BlackBerry. RIM, at least, did take advantage of the August launch opportunity to launch its new BlackBerry Bold models.
It doesn't help matters that Verizon, which has around 100 million wireless subscribers in the United States and kick-started the Android revolution with its "Droid Does" campaign, isn't carrying the S II. Why is that? Some say it's because its 4G gear isn't compatible with the S II. We think there are other reasons; Verizon has a few more Android phones coming.
Motorola's Droid Bionic could launch as early as this week, providing some high-end Android competition on Verizon Wireless' 4G LTE network. People have been waiting for this gadget since the Consumer Electronics Show last January. One could argue there is more buyer anticipation for the Bionic than the S II.
Verizon is also supposedly prepping the Samsung Droid Prime handset for launch in October. This is supposedly going to be the inaugural Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich" handset.
Ice Cream Sandwich
When Ice Cream Sandwich phones launch, they will be all of the rage, making Gingerbread seemed dated. People may be loathe to by an S II because they might not want to wait to the ICS bump. Recall that the bump from Android 2.1 to Android 2.2 on the original Galaxy line in 2010 took forever.
There are hundreds of Android smartphones all over the world, with more than 100 available in the United States across Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile alone. One could argue the Galaxy S II, Droid Prime and Droid Bionic will all cancel out each other.
Apple iPhone 5
Apple's iPhone 5, which is expected to launch this fall, possibly in October, is also giving consumers pause before buying an S II. It's unclear what new features the iPhone 5 will deliver. But doubtless some shoppers are taking a wait-and-see approach before they make their holiday purchases.
People are still buying iPhone 4's on Verizon Wireless, whose CDMA model provided an alternative to the lone GSM device AT&T sold for years. Android sales in the United States have suffered since February as a result of Verizon offering the iPhone 4.
Windows Phone 7
Windows Phone 7 "Mango" handsets are also launching this fall, providing more competition for the S II for holiday sales.
As much as some consumers are fatigued from the Android choices, some who read high-tech news may fear purchasing an Android handset from an OEM whose ability to offer and support the device may be threatened. Apple's broad lawsuits against Samsung cover the OEMs Android handsets and tablets. Apple has already succeeded in halting Galaxy Tab 10.1 sales overseas. Who is to say Apple won't win a victory to have S II handsets halted in the United States? Users would be stuck with dead-end devices.