New Samsung Galaxy Devices Ahead of iPhone 5: Reports
Several published reports say that Samsung will unveil a new Galaxy device at an Unpacked event slated for Aug. 29, 2012, perhaps stealing some thunder from Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) ahead of the rumored iPhone 5 announcement on Sept. 12.
The product rollouts will come amid an epic court battle between the two companies over patent infringement, a legal drama currently playing out in the U.S. District Court, Northern District Court of California in San Jose, Calif.
No one seems to know — or be willing to go out on a limb, substantiated or not — whether the Korean giant will show off a tablet or a smartphone in late August, but the speculation appears to center on an update of the Galaxy Note II, a kind of smartphone/tablet hybrid with a screen bigger than a smartphone but smaller than a tablet. Some people are calling it a phablet. Several reports say the new Note will have a 5.5-inch screen, speedier processor, a better camera and perhaps an Android update.
Samsung itself confirmed that it will show off the next Galaxy Note Aug. 29 in Berlin, two days prior to the IFA, Europe’s largest consumer electronics show. But the company wouldn’t provide any further details.
One news outlet quoted Kim Young-chan, an analyst at Shinhan Investment: “It is time for the new Galaxy Note. Samsung’s strategy is to roll out a new product before Apple does, so there will be a new smartphone before the new iPhone.”
Samsung has scheduled a different event for Aug. 15 in New York, and the scuttlebutt around that date is the vendor will roll out the Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet it initially showcased at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February.
As The VAR Guy noted, Samsung’s growing heft in the marketplace and ever-expanding portfolio of mobile devices has made the company, once an also-ran, quite possibly the serious supplier/partner of choice for VARs and mobile solution providers going forward.
Meanwhile, speaking of Android, the FCC issued an important yet underpublicized ruling earlier this week when it told Verizon Wireless that it could not block third-party tethering (using a wireless phone as a modem to obtain Internet access for another device such as a laptop computer or tablet), nor could it demand additional monthly fees to do so.
Evidently, Verizon had bullied Google to block apps from Play that gave customers tethering abilities while avoiding Verizon’s $20-a-month tethering fee. The FCC reached a settlement with Verizon in which the carrier paid $1.25 million to the U.S. Treasury and told Google it would no longer object to the tethering apps. Rules tied to so-called C Block spectrum Verizon purchased required it to offer open access to apps and services. Blocking tethering violated those rules.
It’s always good to see the path to app development remain relatively unimpeded.