Galaxy S II coming to U.S.; trouble for AT&T/T-Mobile deal

Sydney Myers
Teen Lifestyle Editor from  Dallas, TX
| September 5, 2011

Samsung dominated the news last week with the announcements of its Galaxy S II for U.S. carriers. T-Mobile, interestingly, wouldn't allow us any hands-on time with its device and Verizon skipped the Galaxy S II completely. We discussed possible reasons for this as well as the standout features of the device. Along with the Galaxy S II, Samsung unveiled its Tab 7.7 and Galaxy Note at IFA. The Note is a smartphone with a 5.3-inch display. Is there a market for a device this large?

This week's special guest was Cam Bunton from Today'siPhone and he discussed his thoughts on the HP Pre 3 and webOS. He brought out an interesting point that I had never thought about but that may be the answer to why webOS has struggled to gain traction in the market. Check out the interview to hear that. We then discussed the problems that AT&T is having with trying to acquire T-Mobile and what this could mean for customers. Lastly, HTC's new Windows Phone devices were discussed along with the idea of if these phones are worth buying or if you should wait for other Windows Phone devices coming by the end of the year. We finished with a live open Q&A. Check out the show notes below and enjoy the podcast!


PhoneDog Live Podcast #18

4:02 - Samsung Galaxy S II announced for AT&T and T-Mobile, Epic 4G Touch for Sprint
4:35 - What changes, if any, is T-Mobile making to their version?
10:58 - Did Verizon skip the Samsung Galaxy S II due to device competition?

There's talk that T-Mobile will ship their version of the Galaxy S II with a Qualcomm processor rather than the Exynos processor that the AT&T and Sprint versions use which may be the reason why bloggers were not allowed any hands-on time with T-Mobile's device at the show. The bigger question that everyone is wondering about is Why did Verizon choose to not offer the Galaxy S II? Could it be due to the fact that it would mean too much device competition? Verizon already has three high-end Android smartphones coming down the line, adding a fourth may be too much for costumers to handle and would mean that the marketing budget would be stretched too thin. It's disappointing, but we're still excited about the announcement for the other three major carriers.

16:43 - Samsung unveils new Galaxy Tab 7.7, 5.3-inch Galaxy Note at IFA
17:28 - Is there a market for a 5.3-inch smartphone?
18:39 - Is the stylus idea catching on?
21:28 - Samsung currently has no plans to bring Galaxy Tab 7.7, Galaxy Note to the U.S.

I'm personally of the opinion that if you have to think for too long about who could or would use a certain device, then more than likely no one will buy it. The are certain scenarios where the Galaxy Note could be useful, but I don't feel that manufactures should design a product and then come up with way to use it. Rather, you find yourself in a situation or facing a certain problem and then design a product around that. I don't feel Samsung did that with the Note. On the other hand, I've heard from several people who bought the Dell Streak, another device with a 5-inch display, and they loved it. To each his own, I guess.

22:50 - Samsung interested in acquiring webOS from HP?
24:15 - Samsung has no interest in buying webOS, says CEO

When I first heard the news that somebody, anybody, was going to buy webOS, I was instantly excited. The hope that webOS may be able to live on in mobile devices rather than be subjected to the hazy future that HP has in mind for it is good news. It was a sharp wake-up call when I heard Samsung CEO Choi Gee Sung use the word "never" in connection with acquiring the struggling OS. Will anyone ever give webOS life again? Who knows? I can understand Samsung's reasoning since the company is already involved with Google's Android, Microsoft's Windows Phone, and their own OS, Bada. Taking on a fourth OS may have just been too much for the manufacturer to handle.

25:59 - Special guest Cam Bunton (@TiP_Cam) from Today's iPhone joins the show and shares his thoughts on the Pre 3 and webOS

Cam brought out an interesting point that I had never thought about concerning webOS. He said that "it doesn't seem to know what it's competing against" and went on to say, "It doesn't know what it wants to do and I don't know what I want to do with it." He basically made the point that it couldn't replace a BlackBerry because as a business or enterprise device the BlackBerry is much better and it can't replace an iPhone because of the severe lack of apps. So it's stuck in "limbo", as Cam put it.

This may be at the very heart of why webOS struggles. It doesn't feature the customization, widgets, and gaming that Android offers; it can't hardly stack up to iOS in terms of app selection; and no OS can compete with BlackBerry OS's security features. Even Apple and Google have had to face that. So where does webOS stand? Who is it for? Could the lack of answers to these questions be the reason it never gained traction?

39:19 - Department of Justice files complaint to block AT&T/T-Mobile deal
46:14 - AT&T may be prepping two-step plan to get T-Mobile acquisition approved

It's becoming clear that there's no win-win scenario here. If the deal doesn't go through, it could be just as bad as if it does go through. Why? Well, why did Deutsche Telekom want to sell T-Mobile in the first place? Obviously, it was struggling and the company needed support to keep the U.S. portion of its business up and running. So if the AT&T deal doesn't go through, T-Mobile still may be bought by another company and there's no guarantee that costumers will be any happier with that deal than they are with this deal. Also, if no one ends up buying T-Mobile, the carrier could just disappear completely which would obviously have negative results. So even if this merger is blocked, keep in mind that you may not like Plan B any more than you like Plan A.

50:50 - HTC Titan and Radar sport Windows Phone Mango, 4.7-inch and 3.8-inch screens

The Titan and the Radar offer only minor improvements over previous Windows Phone devices made by HTC. The Titan offers the most improvements with its 1.5 GHz processor and giant 4.7-inch display. With phones featuring a dual-core processor already on the market or coming within a few months, even a 1.5 GHz CPU may not impress some consumers. That being said, after using Windows Phone for a month, I don't think it needs a dual-core processor in order to offer excellent performance. Still, we're pretty confident that better Windows Phone devices will be coming before the end of the year so I would recommend waiting for those before jumping on the Titan or Radar.

58:02 - New alleged iPhone 5 cases appear, get compared to an iPhone 4
1:01:30 - Apple loses another iPhone prototype, iPhone 5 design teased by Apple software?

Yes, Apple lost another iPhone, in a bar no less. You'd think they would have learned from their last episode to be a little more careful with these things, but it's happened again. There has been no confirmation yet as to whether or not Apple was able to recover the lost device, but a search was made in the home of one man who was somehow involved.

New leaked cases and an icon give us a rough idea of what the next iPhone may look like. To the dismay of several iPhone users I've talked to, it appears that it will have the same flat back that the iPhone 4 features. Apparently, the curved back that previous iPhone versions had makes it easier to hold the device as apposed to the iPhone 4's flat back. Of course, we won't really know what the next iPhone will look like until Apple itself shows us.

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