So the WiMAX version of the Samsung Galaxy S II was outed earlier by a slide on one of Samsung's product pages, but now the details are confirmed. Unlike the T-Mobile and AT&T versions, this one will tack on "Epic 4G Touch" to the original Samsung Galaxy S II moniker. It will also be the first of the three to become available, launching on September 16.
Samsung's much anticipated Galaxy S II smartphone is about to get its official US debut later this evening. It's set to launch on three of the four major US carriers with the device to vary slightly for each. One of these variants is a WiMAX version called the Samsung Epic 4G Touch, which has apparently outed itself a bit early.
Hurricane Irene may have postponed the much anticipated US debut of the Samsung Galaxy S II to tomorrow, but that hasn't stopped official press images for the smartphone to start making the rounds. The first press shot to be revealed is that of the WiMAX variant called the Samsung Epic 4G Touch.
Here's the skinny: the following information is a set of educated guesses, analyzed facts turned into what I feel will be exactly what Apple will release at their next major keynote event as far as mobile devices go. First, I do not think that the device will have a "5" in the title. Although it's been an eternity in human time since the last iPhone release, that being the iPhone 4 for Verizon, in Apple time it's only been nearly enough time before the next massively successful release. What I believe here instead is that all four of the biggest carriers in the USA will get the newest version of the iPhone inside October of 2011 and that this device will hold more water than just hardware improvements.
Not even a day after the Wall Street Journal reported that three of the big four USA mobile carriers would be getting the next version of the iPhone, we've got a tip that the fourth, T-Mobile that is, will be getting a taste of the iOS goodness as well. This information comes from a contact within T-Mobile who, speaking with MacTrast, let the world know that the next iPhone (perhaps the iPhone 5, as it were,) would be releasing on the T-Mobile network sometime in early to mid October, 2011.
It appears that Sprint, one of the "big four" carriers in the USA to NOT have gotten their hands on any version of the iPhone thus far, will be amongst those lucky 3 (T-Mobile still not included) that are able to sell the next-generation device come October. It's the Wall Street Journal that's reporting their sources "familiar with the matter" that Sprint will be supplied with the iPhone 5 (or whichever iPhone is the most current at the time) alongside Verizon and AT&T. Meanwhile Sprint stock has jumped considerably today (see image inside post below) in light of the news.
Sprint is reportedly in talks with cable companies to buyout Clearwire, which has recently announced adoption of 4G LTE and its need for funding to build out the new network. The carrier is already invested in Clearwire, but may seek to buyout the remaining portion of the company and may do so jointly with Comcast and other cable partners.
This past week brought more patent litigation drama along with new rumors for the exciting gadgets to come in the next few months. Sales of Samsung's Galaxy Tab 10.1 have been blocked in Europe after Apple won a preliminary injunction on the tablet. Apple became the world's largest company briefly when its market valuation surpassed that of Exxon Mobile. Windows Phone Mango is now rumored for a September 1 launch with Nokia confirming closure of its US Symbian and feature phone operations. The first screenshots of Android Ice Cream Sandwich leaked with its roll-out likely in November. And there's much much more. Continue after the cut for the full video and roundup list.
RIM was set to release a WiMAX version of its BlackBerry PlayBook this fall, but those plans are now scrapped after Sprint announced that it no longer plans to carry the 4G version of the tablet. Despite this and the many hurdles that the PlayBook has struggled through, RIM remains optimistic and has responded saying that they will instead focus on other carriers.
In a move that's likely going to have users on both sides of the brands setting down their cups of beer and adding a little vodka, Research in Motion's BlackBerry Playbook has been dropped from Sprint's plans to carry the device with WiMAX. The PlayBook now has not secured deals for carrying by and of the largest three mobile carriers in the United States, including AT&T and Verizon Wireless. RIM will now have to market and bear the full burden of device development including support for application developers all on its own - not the most positive situation while other top-name brands have carrier supported tablets of their own.
Wednesday of this week, HTC sent out a new update on the situation they've had brewing for some weeks, that being one where fans of the devices have demanded handsets have unlocked boot loaders so that they might root and hack them for custom modifications. HTC responded some time ago to the call to action by indeed responding with a declaration that they would, indeed, be unlocking their devices come this Summer and Autumn. In their most recent update, HTC notes that there have been many questions as to why their most recent devices still come locked, responding with updates on how and when each device would be unlocked and what users would have to do to make it happen.