Comp., Ltd. (SEO:005930) is the world's leading
seller of handsets on the world's leading smartphone operating system --
Android OS. While that has made it a tempting legal target to
competitors , it has also been a
financial boon to the South Korean electronics giant.
At the IFA
2012 trade show in Berlin this weekend, Samsung had some big news
for Android fans pulling the wraps of refreshes to two familiar product lines.
The first new model is an improved model of the Samsung Galaxy S II. The new model
continues the dangerous game of mobile brinksmanship, upping its armaments to
including a whopping 4.5-inch touch-screen display (up from 4.27 in.).
There's no word on the resolution, yet -- hopefully Samsung will look to
match Apple's 960x640 iPhone 4 resolution, which currently is the highest
resolution smartphone on the U.S. market.
Also new is a higher clocked 1.5 GHz dual-core, likely a clocked up Exynos system-on-a-chip,
Samsung's in-house ARM Cortex A9 design. Samsung also did not announce
whether the width would change from the previously announced, industry-leading
The new model sports an LTE modem, meaning that it will likely hit America's
Verizon Communications, Inc. (VZ). It will launch
beside its (presumably) smaller-screen, slower-CPU Galaxy S II brethren -- the
HSPA+ Samsung Hercules and the LTE Samsung Epic 4G Touch (names unconfirmed).
The Hercules is rumored to get at least the display bump as well -- no
word yet on the Epic 4G Touch.
The package is rounded out with an 8 MP camera, an 8-device capable Wi-Fi
hotspot (rather ludicrous from a bandwidth proposition), an 1850mAh
battery, and NFC (Near Field
Communications). The phone runs on Android 2.3 "Gingerbread".
While the new LTE-equipped Galaxy S II is sure to titillate smart phone fans,
tablet fans also were given something to get excited for.
Samsung announced an LTE-equipped Galaxy Tab 8.9, an 8.9-inch tablet running
Android 3.1 "Honeycomb". The new tablet on the block will join
the growing Galaxy Tab family, which includes the original 7-inch model, and
the Galaxy Tab 10.1 (inch) model.
The tablet also sports the new 1.5 GHz dual-core and includes a 3 MP camera.
It remains a slender 8.6 mm -- thinner than Apple, Inc.'s (AAPL) iPad 2.
Speaking of Apple, the new tablet's international release could be blocked if
Apple is able to secure victories in its numerous international lawsuits
against Samsung. Apple claims to own design patents that grant it
exclusive ownership to minimalist (button-wise), thin multi-touch tablet
designs. Things seem to be headed in the opposite direction, though --
Apple was handed an unfavorable
decision by a Dutch-court last week. The Dutch court rebuffed
Apple's claim to minimalist tablet exclusivity, saying Samsung did not violate
Apple's design patents.
Apple must now try to convince courts in America, Australia, Germany, and South Korea
to see things differently. Given that the Galaxy Tab 8.9 looks like a
smaller Galaxy Tab 10.1, the outcome of those cases should decide whether
Samsung would be able to sell its new tablet in those regions.