Market research firm The NPD Group on Monday published the latest data surrounding sales of supersized smartphones in the U.S. Using its “Mobile Phone Track,” which tracks smartphone sales in the U.S., NPD has determined that smartphones with screens sized 4 inches and above became tremendously popular in 2010. Devices like Sprint’s HTC EVO 4G and Verizon Wireless’ Motorola DROID X, which launched in the second quarter of 2010, grew to encompass 24% of the U.S. smartphone market by the fourth quarter last year. The EVO 4G was the most popular supersized smartphone in 2010, followed by the DROID X. Samsung’s Fascinate, Captive and Vibrant rounded out the top-5 in that order, according to NPD Group. The firm’s report also notes that fourth-quarter sales of smartphones with screens between 3.5 and 3.9 inches grew just 2% compared to the same quarter in 2009, and sales of smartphones with screens sized 3.4 inches and below dropped 63% over the same period. Hit the break for the full press release. More →
Hey, Samsung Vibrant users… are you sitting down? We have one word for you, and it just so happens to be the made-up compound word you’ve been waiting for: Froyo. That’s right — the Froyo update countless U.S. Galaxy S owners have been kicking and screaming about for ages is finally coming to at least one version of the popular handset. Oh, and it’s coming tomorrow, January 21st. PC Magazine got the goods from T-Mobile CMO Cole Brodman, who said the update will begin rolling out tomorrow. The update will roll out in waves, however, so don’t despair if it doesn’t hit your handset right away. After all, what’s a few more days following the torture you’ve already been through? Commence widespread complaints about the Vibrant not getting Gingerbread in 3… 2… 1… More →
T-Mobile USA’s new CEO Phillip Humm confirmed at an event on Thursday that the carrier will soon launch a pair of new “4G” HSPA+ phones. Humm noted that T-Mobile will soon announce a 4G version of Samsung’s Galaxy S smartphone as well as a 4G addition to the popular Sidekick line that will run Android. “We will launch as new the Samsung Galaxy S 4G … and coming soon, will also be a Sidekick 4G. Everybody knows the Sidekick, and we’re going to relaunch the Sidekick and bring it as a 4G device, Android based, into the market,” Humm said at the event. While he didn’t refer to the Vibrant 4G by name — instead, he called it a “Galaxy S 4G” — Humm’s confirmation certainly firms up our exclusive report from earlier this week. We can likely expect both handsets to be announced next month at Mobile World Congress, and Humm confirmed that both devices will launch in the first half of this year. T-Mobile also said at the even that its current Vibrant smartphone will finally receive a software update “very soon,” and that the carrier will not offer Apple’s iPhone in the near future due to the device’s incompatibility with its AWS 3G network.
UPDATE: Check that. It looks like T-Mobile went with the “Galaxy S 4G” moniker instead of “Vibrant 4G.” Since it’s basically the same phone with the addition of newer HSPA+ compatibility from the looks of things, the carrier likely wanted to distinguish it from its predecessor as much as possible. More →
We’ve heard rumors about the existence of the Samsung Vibrant 4G, but now we have crystal clear proof. One of our trusted ninjas has sent us the above image that shows off Sammy’s next generation Vibrant handset, complete with front-facing camera, and a bonus surprise… Android 2.3. Our source, who said they had substantial hands-on time with the device, described it as “smooth” and “stupid fast.” The device will pack a 21Mbps HSPA+ radio to take advantage of T-Mo’s self-proclaimed 4G network along with a 4-inch Super AMOLED display. You may notice that the device pictured above is not skinned with Samsung’s TouchWiz UI. Unfortunately, we hear the good people at Sammy are working on an Android 2.3 compatible version of the interface as we speak… bollocks. Android 2.3 is, however, great news for T-Mobile users considering this device. Hit the jump for a higher resolution image and let us know what you think!
UPDATE: The legitimacy of this image has come under quite a bit of scrutiny. A few things we wanted to add: this source has — in the past — demonstrated access to unreleased Samsung hardware, this source is standing by the image and will try and get additional images to substantiate, and the source doesn’t, to our knowledge, have any impetus to lie. That being said: take the above image with a grain of salt, as it could be — as others have pointed out — a Vibrant with a camera-mod and Android skin installed. More →
A report filed by AndroidSpin is sure to make the collective blood of Samsung Vibrant owners boil. According to an anonymous source working for T-Mobile, Sammy is purposely holding back the Android 2.2 update for its original Vibrant handset to help differentiate and drive sales of the recently leaked Vibrant 4G. The site’s source writes, “Samsung has NOT allowed us to push the update OTA for 2.2 because they feel it will decrease the value of the upcoming Vibrant4G +.” They later go on to say, “But to shun off and bold face lie to customers is NOT what T-Mobile is about.” As a reminder the report is, up to this point, unverified — not to mention precariously timed as the Vibrant 4G leaked just two days ago. We’ve reached out to Samsung to see if they will go on the record with a comment on the report and will update this article with any new information provided. The complete text of AndroidSpin‘s source is waiting for you after the break. More →
The gang from TMoNews has managed to acquire several documents detailing what the next iteration of T-Mobile’s Samsung Vibrant — the Vibrant 4G — will entail. The report notes that the device will have a 4-inch Super AMOLED display with a 480 x 800 pixel resolution, 1GHz processor, 1GB of internal storage (16GB micro-SD card included), 5 megapixel camera without a flash, front-facing camera, and 1650mAh battery. The Vibrant 4G will earn the latter half of its name by wielding a 21Mbps HSPA+ radio. According to the intel, the device will run Google’s Android 2.2 operating system, not the more current Android 2.3. The addition of a front-facing camera and high-speed HSPA+ radio are nice incremental upgrades, although we’re not sure how this handset will look after Sammy announces the successor to the Galaxy S next month at Mobile World Congress. Hit the read link to see the full slide-deck. If you’re a current Vibrant owner, drop us a comment… we want to know what you think. More →
T-Mobile recently dropped its prices on two popular Android-powered devices from Samsung. The Galaxy Tab, Samsung’s first Android tablet offering, is now available for $349.99 with a two-year agreement; down from $399.99. The popular Samsung Vibrant, T-Mobile’s version of the Galaxy S smartphone, dropped from $199.99 to $149.99 on contract. These new prices appear to be permanent adjustments rather than temporary sale prices, and may help bolster sales as the final weekend of the 2010 holiday shopping season approaches. Sales of the Samsung Galaxy Tab recently passed the 1 million unit mark and inevitable price drops will likely help the device maintain an impressive sales pace. T-Mobile is the first U.S. carrier to drop the regular selling price of the tablet, and it now touts the lowest on-contract price for the Galaxy Tab in the country. More →
Among the top carriers in the U.S., AT&T is the worst by a healthy margin. The news comes from this year’s Consumer Reports reader survey, which ranks Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile along with some regional carriers. Verizon Wireless was ranked as the nation’s top major carrier, though its score of 74 positions it in the No. 2 spot overall behind U.S. Cellular. Readers were asked to grade each carrier on several criteria including value, voice service quality, data service quality and customer support. The ratings were on a scale of “Worse” to “Better,” with three increments in between. AT&T received the lowest possible rating of “Worse” in eight out of nine categories, managing too eke out a next-to-lowest rating for SMS service quality. In response to the survey, AT&T had this to say:
We take this seriously and we continually look for new ways to improve the customer experience. The fact is wireless customers have choices and a record number of them chose AT&T in the third quarter, significantly more than our competitors. Hard data from independent drive tests confirms AT&T has the nation’s fastest mobile broadband network with our nearest competitor 20 percent slower on average nationwide and our largest competitor 60 percent slower on average nationwide. And, our dropped call rate is within 1/10 of a percent – the equivalent of just one call in a thousand – of the industry leader.
Smartphones were also ranked in the same issue of Consumer Reports, and all but one of the top devices in the country are powered by Android. In fact each of the four variants of Samsung’s Galaxy S smartphone received top honors, either solely (Sprint’s Epic 4G, T-Mobile’s Vibrant) or as part of a tie — the Fascinate tied the Motorola DROID X for the No. 1 spot on Verizon Wireless, and Captivate tied the Apple iPhone 4 on AT&T.
AT&T’s Captivate and T-Mobile’s Vibrant are among several Samsung Galaxy S-branded smartphones that have been plagued by GPS issues since they launched. While this isn’t the first time the manufacturer has issued a supposed fix, Samsung today announced the availability of a new app called GPS Restore — which has the sole purpose of restoring a device’s GPS settings to their original state. We’re not sure how this would help resolve any issues, unless Samsung is suggesting that some carrier tweaks are responsible for the problems. In any case, owners of with the Captivate or the Vibrant will undoubtedly be happy to give Samsung’s new GPS Restore app a whirl. Simply search the Android Market for “GPSSamsungRestore” to give it a go. More →
If you’re a Samsung Vibrant owner, you’re going to love this news. The company has announced that an over-the-air update, being referred to as JI6, is now rolling out to address that pesky GPS issue Galaxy S devices have been plagued with. The announcement, which came via Twitter, did not specify any other issues being addressed by said update. When you get the new bits onto your handset, let us know how your GPS performs.
Today, via a press release, Samsung announced that they have
sold shipped one million Galaxy S phones in just over 45 days. Dale Sohn, president of Samsung Mobile, had this to say: “Bringing Galaxy S devices to multiple carriers has given Samsung Mobile the opportunity to reach millions of consumers. I am proud of the instant success of the Galaxy S line […].” The release also gives a tiny shout-out to those waiting for Android 2.2 on their Gally S device, “all Samsung Galaxy S devices will be upgradable to Android 2.2 in the future.” The future? It doesn’t get more vague than that. One million handsets in 45 days sure is an impressive showing for Sammy. We’ve got the full press release after the break. More →
Via a press release, Samsung is letting you know that its Galaxy S is “now DivX Certified for HD video playback at 720p resolution,” and that it is “the world’s first Android mobile phone that is DivX Certified for HD and the second overall DivX HD Certified phone.” DivX CEO, Kevin Hell, was quoted as saying, “We’re pleased that Samsung recognizes the importance of the DivX brand in providing their consumers with a seamless, high-quality entertainment experience.” To view movies in sweet, 720p HD, “consumers can load their video libraries of both standard definition and HD 720p movies [to] the DivX format on the internal and external memory.” There you have it. Anyone out there particularly fond of the DivX format? More →
If you recently purchased — or have plans to purchase — a phone in the Samsung Galaxy S line, the folks over a xda-developers have a pretty interesting tutorial up on their forums. The instructions detail how to carrier-unlock your Galaxy S phone (e.g. Captivate, Vibrant, etc.) without the need to pay for a SIM unlocking service. The process is four steps long and looks to be a 4 or 5 out of 10 on the difficulty scale. Hit up the read link if you want to give this one a shot… and do let us know if you have any success. More →