Samsung Secret Smartphone Weapon: LTE - InformationWeek
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Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman

Samsung Secret Smartphone Weapon: LTE

Long Term Evolution 4G is on tap for Samsung's next super phone, expected to be unveiled next week.

Word broke Thursday afternoon that Verizon Wireless won't sell Samsung's Galaxy S II smartphone. The S II, which was announced earlier this year, is a superphone touting high-end specs and power aplenty. AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile will sell their own variants of the Galaxy S II, all of which are expected to be unveiled at an event scheduled to take place Monday, August 29, in New York City (hurricane permitting).

Verizon didn't provide a reason for skipping out on the Galaxy S II beyond a cryptic note from a spokesperson noting its current lineup of Samsung devices. Verizon did sell the original Galaxy S along with its network operator competitors, so this development is at least worth paying attention to. Here's why.

Samsung slipped up again. This time, a Samsung-managed site revealed details of two devices being announced next week at the IFA event in Berlin. One of the devices is a tablet, the second is a smartphone. One characteristic shared by both is their support for Long Term Evolution 4G.

Some of the details about this smartphone, which were published by ThisIsMyNext, include a 4.5-inch display, an 1850mAh battery, NFC, 1.5-GHz dual-core processor, an 8-megapixel camera, and multi-mode LTE, which will allow the device to work in multiple countries. According to Samsung, this new device will also be called the Samsung Galaxy S II, despite the difference in screen size compared to the original set of Galaxy S II devices.

Circling back to Verizon, there's one big reason it may not want to participate in the big Galaxy S II love-fest planned for next week: It has a LTE smartphone to announce, and doesn't want to share the spotlight with its carrier competitors.

Think about it. Verizon Wireless has not actually announced any new LTE smartphones since CES in January. Sure, the Thunderbolt, Charge, Revolution, and Bionic (still to come) have all been released in stages throughout the year, but Verizon and its partners haven't introduced brand new hardware in nearly nine months.

Surely, Verizon would want any new LTE smartphone to get its own stage. With reports of an LTE-enabled Galaxy S II in the wings, it is probable that Verizon will eventually sell this new, LTE-equipped version rather than the one being announced by AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile next week.

There's also the Nexus Prime to consider. Most reports that have circulated about the device so far point to a release on Verizon's network. The Nexus Prime will be the next reference Android device, probably running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. This device deserves its own spotlight. It is possible that Verizon is waiting to announce this device at a separate event/time with Google.

Obviously, none of the details are concrete, but they provide the best picture we have at the moment of what's to come with respect to Samsung's Android smartphones.

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