Samsung just made it official that the Nexus S, their most recent vanilla Android experience, is heading to AT&T’s network. That’s great news for anyone who is looking to upgrade on July 24th, or who was planning on heading over to AT&T’s network at the end of July and was looking for a proprietary-software free Android experience. Unfortunately, though, it was probably a huge waste of time for AT&T in the long run. Sure, launching a device like the Nexus S on their network may not seem like a huge waste of time, but when we look at what's coming, there may be room to speculate.
Why? There are a couple of reasons, actually. First and foremost, though, is the fact that the Samsung Nexus S is a dated device. It’s already been out a few months for T-Mobile’s network, and it most recently launched on Sprint’s airwaves. The difference with Sprint, though, is that the device is a 4G-enabled handset, while T-Mobile’s and AT&T’s version aren’t. And while some may not say that the Nexus S being out for a few months already is a bad thing, I’d like to say that’s true, but when it comes to Android the general public seems to get uneasy about a device that’s a few months old. The argument to that would be that the Nexus S is a vanilla experience and isn’t weighed down by unnecessary software that will slow the update schedule down, but that could potentially be a rough argument for someone new to the Android experience.
Second is the fact that the AT&T version is just a 3G-enabled device. Sure, so is the T-Mobile version, but that was the first one to hit shelves. So, basically, we’re getting the same phone that launched on T-Mobile’s network a few months back, just optimized for AT&T’s network. Coupled with this, is the fact that Sprint was able to launch their own version of the Nexus S, but promote their 4G network at the same time. Why didn’t AT&T do the same thing? Why are they launching, for all intents and purposes, an old phone?
The third reason is probably the one that makes the most sense for anyone who knows what’s coming down the pipe. There’s no denying that AT&T is launching an old phone on July 24th, but that’s probably not the main concern. The big point here is that we know that the Samsung Galaxy S II is coming to the AT&T network here soon. How soon? Well, while nothing is officially official from AT&T’s side quite yet, Samsung officials did announce that the Galaxy S II will be landing in the United States in August. No specific dates, especially not in regards to carrier-specific launches, but we know it’s coming in August. That’s potentially just a week or two after the launch of the Nexus S. For anyone who wants a new phone and knows the Galaxy S II is coming, why would they go for the Nexus S instead?
In AT&T’s defense, they are launching the device for only $99. That’s a good move on their part, as it positions the handset for easy consumption to anyone who wants a new phone right now, and wants a true vanilla experience. You’ll have to sign a new, two-year agreement to get that pricing, but there’s no surprise there. And in the phone’s defense, the Nexus S isn’t a slouch by any means in the specifications department. It’s a beefy handset, and one that’s not going to disappear into the past of old phones quite yet. But, the Galaxy S II is a strong contender to make it happen sooner, rather than later.
So let me just ask the most direct question: is anyone out there, knowing full-well that the Galaxy S II is coming, going to actually pick up the Nexus S? And if you are, let me know why. And who of you out there are still waiting to get their hands on that Galaxy S II? Let me know in the comments below.