Last week, we exclusively reported that AT&T was planning to launch a variant of Samsung’s Galaxy S II with a full QWERTY keyboard. Well, we have good news and bad news: BGR learned on Friday from a trusted source that this handset is actually not the Samsung Galaxy S II that should soon make its way to AT&T. That’s the bad news — but it’s really not that bad. The good news is that this is an entirely separate smartphone that will be launching soon, which means Android fans on the nation’s No. 2 carrier now have two sleek Samsung smartphones to look forward to. The phone we leaked showed the model number SGH-i927, which was widely reported to be Samsung’s internal code number for the Galaxy S II ahead of launch. It looks like Samsung did some recycling with this smartphone, because test models currently carry the same model number. Also of note, the image above shows that the phone is running kernel version 18.104.22.168, which is actually a Honeycomb kernel rather than a Gingerbread kernel. We’re not sure what kind of game Sammy is playing here, but we’re now certain AT&T won’t be adding a QWERTY to the S II when it launches soon… alongside the sexy unnamed slider pictured above. Android is all about choice, and AT&T subscribers are about to have two pretty great new choices in the near future.
TechCrunch on Wednesday published a report claiming to reveal “Android’s dirty secret,” and quite a secret it was. According to the report, which cited a person familiar with handset sales for multiple manufacturers, between 30% and 40% of many Android handsets are returned by consumers. “Plainly put, these figures are absolutely ridiculous,” a source told BGR. We spoke to multiple well-placed sources following the publication of that story, but in reality we didn’t have to know the claim was ridiculous. If return rates were in fact “approaching 40%” as the report suggests, vendors wouldn’t just be bailing on Android, they would be going out of business. Handset returns are a huge deal in the wireless industry because every single device returned by a customer costs the manufacturer money. It also costs the carrier money in the event the device was sold through a carrier, and it costs the third-party retailer money if the device was sold through a third-party retailer. Read on to find out how many Android devices are really being returned. More →
AT&T confirmed on Monday that its entire 2011 Android smartphone lineup will receive the latest Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) update in the future. AT&T will push the OS to the HTC Inspire 4G, the LG Phoenix, the Pantech Crossover, the Samsung Infuse 4G and the Samsung Captivate. Oddly, the LG Thrill 4G is missing from that list, but we suspect that it will also receive the software patch following its release. Motorola released its Gingerbread update to the ATRIX 4G over the weekend. AT&T did not announce a specific timeline in terms of when the devices would receive Android 2.3, and the company said that the upgrade process and release dates will vary by device. Read on for the full press release. More →
Samsung will launch its wildly successful Galaxy S II handset in the United States in next month, Yonhap News reported on Wednesday. “We expect to release the Galaxy S2 in the U.S. market sometime in August,” Shin Jong-kyun, Samsung’s president of mobile business and digital imaging recently told media. The original Galaxy S launched on each of the four major carriers in the United States, as well as on some of the smaller carriers, and we expect many of them to also carry the Galaxy S II. The device made its debut in other parts of the world earlier this year and has been flying off of store shelves. On July 4th, Samsung announced that it had sold 3 million units in 55 days and said the Galaxy S II was its fastest selling smartphone ever. There’s a lot to get excited about: we called the device the “greatest Android smartphone available on the planet” in our recent review. More →
Samsung Mobile’s chief product and technology officer Omar Khan announced on Monday that he is departing the company to take up a post in the mobile division of Citigroup. There, Khan will work on the bank’s global mobile solutions. Khan’s role at Samsung was to plan, market and manage new products, content and services. He was a staple at most Samsung press conferences, where he introduced new products such as the original Galaxy S line, the Infuse 4G, Galaxy Tab, and more. Nick Dicarlo, vice president of portfolio planning and product marketing, and Gavin Kim, vice president of content, data services, and enterprise Mobility will remain on board at Samsung Mobile and will be “assuming most of the product and service spokesperson responsibilities for Samsung Mobile,” Khan said. More →
Earlier this week Samsung filed a complaint with ITC against Apple and asked the government agency to block the import of Apple’s iPod, iPhone, and iPad. The battle between Apple and Samsung has been long drawn out. In April Apple sued Samsung over the Samsung Galaxy S, Galaxy Tab, and other products, alleging that Samsung was infringing on its intellectual property by creating copycat devices. Samsung bit back later that month and sued Apple in its own intellectual property lawsuit. Both Apple and Samsung requested that the other company show its upcoming products, but the court forced Samsung to show its new devices and denied access to Apple’s next iPhone and iPad. Apple filed another patent lawsuit against Samsung last week, again alleging that the company making unlawful use of protected IP. According to FOSSPatents, a decision on the import band could be reached in 16 to 18 months. The legal battles could take a toll on Apple and Samsung’s relationship; Apple remains the largest buyer of Samsung’s LCD products, and FOSSPatents said there are reports that Apple is planning to drop Samsung from its list of component suppliers. More →
Apple on Friday filed a new patent infringement lawsuit in South Korea alleging that multiple Samsung products are infringing its patents. “It is no coincidence that Samsung’s latest products look a lot like the iPhone and iPad from the shape of the hardware to the user interface and even the packaging,” an Apple spokesperson said regarding case. The move is the latest in an ongoing legal battle in which each company claims the other is making unlawful use of protected IP. Apple struck first back in April when the Cupertino-based technology giant sued Samsung, claim it copied “Apple’s technology, user interface and innovative style in these infringing products.” Samsung responded just one week later by filing countersuits in South Korea, Japan and Germany, and then in the U.S. as well. Both companies are thought to have grounds for legal action, but their close relationship stands to take a hit as a result of the feud; Apple is currently Samsung’s largest buyer of LCD components. More →
In April, Apple filed a lawsuit against Samsung for intellectual property violations and alleged that Samsung’s Galaxy S, Nexus S, Epic 4G, and Galaxy Tab products, among others, were copycat devices that all-to-closely resembled Apple’s products. Now, the Cupertino-based firm has expanded that initial lawsuit to include several more of Samsung’s devices, including the DROID Charge, Exhibit 4G, Galaxy Ace, Galaxy Prevail, Galaxy S, Gravity, Infuse 4G, Nexus S 4G, Replenish, Galaxy Tab 10.1, and the Galaxy S II. Here’s the kicker: Apple also believes Samsung’s hardware QWERTY sporting Sidekick 4G is infringing on its intellectual property. Apple argued that Samsung has products that “blatantly imitate the appearance of Apple’s products to capitalize on Apple’s success.” Samsung responded to the original lawsuit in April and said it is “responding actively to the legal action taken against us in order to protect our intellectual property and to ensure our continued innovation and growth in the mobile communications business.” Read on for taste of Apple’s revised complaint. More →
Nokia’s smartphone reign, which lasted nearly 15 years, is coming to an end. Analysts from Nomura Research say Nokia’s lead in smartphone units sales will be lost this quarter for the first time since Nokia became the top smartphone company in the world by sales volume in 1996. But it gets worse — according to Nomura, Nokia won’t be topped by just one company this quarter… both Samsung and Apple will surpass Nokia, pushing the struggling Finnish smartphone maker to the No. 3 spot globally. “Nokia looks set to relinquish its smartphone crown to Samsung and Apple,” Nomura wrote in a note to investors on Monday. “Further emphasizing the shift in power to Asia is our forecast for HTC to almost match Nokia during 2012.” Nokia will retain its lead in overall cell phone sales, Nomura says, thanks in large part to the company’s strong position in emerging markets.
Holding out for arguably the best Android device in the world to finally hit AT&T? Well, it’s coming. We don’t know exactly when, but thanks to an international Samsung Facebook page, the Samsung Galaxy S II for AT&T looks like it has been updated to the carrier’s specifications, sporting four Android menu keys and styling similar to the AT&T Infuse 4G. While Samsung’s Galaxy S II is available for purchase in the U.S. with AT&T 3G bands, you’d be paying full retail price upwards of $700 as opposed to picking up an AT&T-branded one with a two year agreement for what we’re guessing will end up being $199. More →
Samsung announced on Monday that it has sold more than 1 million of its new Galaxy S II handsets, and that the phone has been “selling like [hotcakes].” The Korean company said the time it took for sales to pass the 1 million milestone was the fastest of any device it has sold, and that the Galaxy S II beat the Galaxy S to that sales figure by 40 days. The Galaxy S II made its debut on April 29th, and we’re not surprised that Samsung has managed to sell one every three seconds — when we reviewed the Galaxy S II earlier this month we called it the “greatest Android smartphone available on the planet.” More →
Samsung has been ordered by a federal judge to grant Apple access to a number of unreleased tablets and smartphones as part of an ongoing patent dispute. Apple filed a lawsuit against Samsung last month, accusing the Korean consumer electronics giant of infringing on a variety of Apple patents and trademarks. “Rather than innovate and develop its own technology and a unique Samsung style for its smart phone products and computer tablets, Samsung chose to copy Apple’s technology, user interface and innovative style in these infringing products,” Apple said in a court filing. Last week, a judge gave Samsung 30 days to deliver five of its forthcoming devices — the Galaxy S II, Galaxy Tab 8.9, Galaxy Tab 10.1, Infuse 4G, and DROID Charge — to Apple so the Cupertino-based company can determine whether or not it wishes to request an early injunction. “Apple has demonstrated good cause for some, limited expedited discovery,” said San Jose federal judge Lucy Koh. “While Apple has not yet filed a motion for preliminary injunction, courts have found that expedited discovery may be justified to allow a plaintiff to determine whether to seek an early injunction.” Samsung argued that the devices have not yet been released so granting Apple access to them would be inappropriate, but Koh dismissed the arguments, citing the fact that Samsung is already advertising the devices and giving samples to members of the press. More →
Samsung on Monday announced that it will finally begin rolling out Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) to its popular Galaxy S and Galaxy Tab devices. Samsung had started to roll out Gingerbread last month, but was forced to halt the update due to a bug identified shortly after it was released. Samsung has apparently addressed the issue, and the update will release the update once again this month beginning in the UK and other European countries. The Android update, which will require users to connect their devices to Samsung’s desktop software, will then roll out to North America and other regions at an unspecified time. Hit the break for the press release. More →