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The Samsung Galaxy S II (which comes in two variants) has sold 10 million units worldwide. It finally launched on a U.S. network (Sprint) on Sept. 16, and will arrive at AT&T and T-Mobile shortly.  (Source: Sprint/Samsung)

The Omnia W, Samsung's first Windows Phone 7.5 "Mango" handset  (Source: Samsung via Engadget)
Samsung is advancing with both Microsoft and Google's third party operating systems

Samsung Electronics Comp., Ltd.'s (SEO 005930) may have its hands full legally dealing with lawsuits from Apple, Inc. (AAPL), but thus far that hasn't held it back from posting some big sales numbers.  Samsung, who trails only Apple in smartphone manufacturer market share, announced it had sold ten million Galaxy S II smartphones in less than six months.

I. Galaxy S II Selling Approximately Twice as Fast as Its Predecessor

The figure seems particularly impressive as U.S. carriers are just now getting around to deploying the Galaxy S II.  

The original Galaxy S only sold 10 million units for all of 2010 despite having variants deployed on all four of America's top carriers -- Verizon Communications Inc.'s (
VZ), AT&T, Inc. (T), Deutsche Telekom AG's (ETR:DTE) T-Mobile USA, and Sprint Nextel Corp. (S).

The Galaxy S II was much faster out the gate.  Launching in April in Samsung's home country of South Korea, the handset reached sales of 1 million in a month and 3 million in 55 days, exclusively within the Korean market.  By July, Samsung had moved 5 million Galaxy S II smartphones, as sales had expanded to include European and Japanese carriers.

On September 16 Sprint launch the Epic 4G Touch, helping propel Samsung to the new market of 10 million units sold.  That figure should soon increase.  AT&T is releasing a Galxy S II on October 2 for $199.99 with two-year contract.

The phone is expected to land on T-Mobile as well sometime this fall, but Verizon customers 
may be left out in the cold.

There are two variants of the Galaxy S II making the rounds.  The 
original one packs a 1.2 GHz Exynos ARM dual-core Cortex-A9 chip, with 1 GB of DDR2, and a 800x480 pixel 4.27-inch screen.  A second, newer variant brings a faster CPU -- 1.5 GHz -- and a 4.5-inch display (still at the same resolution).  The Galaxy S II provides an interesting alternative to the iPhone; while it lacks the high resolution of the Phone 4's Retina Display, it has a much larger screen (particularly for the 4.5-inch variant), a faster CPU, and more RAM.

All the versions run on the latest smartphone release of Google Inc.'s (
GOOG) Android operating system, 2.3.4 "Gingerbread".

II. Omnia W Gets Official -- No Love for the U.S.?

In related news, Samsung unveiled its latest member of the "Omnia" Family, the Omnia W.  The Omnia lineup has traditionally been powered by operating systems from Microsoft Corp. (
MSFT), barring the oddball Omnia HD -- a Symbian driven smartphone.  Past versions included the Omnia, Omnia II, and assorted Omnia Pro models.  With the arrival of the new Windows Phone 7, the Omnia 7 was sold as a replacement to the WP7-powered Samsung Focus, in some regions outside the U.S.  Both phones were essentially the same, with a 4.0-inch display and 1 GHz Snapdragon ARM CPU from Qualcomm, Inc. (QCOM), though the Omnia branded model lacked a microSD expansion slot.

With the new Omnia W the brand name has a new hardware entrant, just in time for the 
release of Windows Phone 7.5 Mango.

The phone features Qualcomm MSM8255T 1.4 GHz Krait-core based CPU from Qualcomm.  Note this is a single-core design.  For those curious the reason why Samsung uses Qualcomm in its Windows Phone 7 handsets is because Microsoft forces all its hardware partners to standardize to Qualcomm chips.  This likely comes much to the chagrin of Samsung and rival ARM chipmakers like NVIDIA Corp. (
NVDA).  But presumably it does allow some optimizations on WP7 that would be impossible, or at least difficult on a multi-CPU OS like Android.

The screen has shrunk, disappointingly, to 3.7-inches, though it does pack a respectable 800x480 resolution.  The phone's memory is also a bit anemic at 512 MB.  The phone packs a 5 MP camera and adds the microSD slot the Omnia 7 lacked.

One interesting feature should be 
the addition of near field communications.  With Mango finally bringing NFC to Windows Phone 7, the new phone will be Samsung's first WP7 handset to pack the hardware necessary to exploit the feature.  This should allow the phone to be swiped like a credit card for payments on compatible readers.

So far Windows Phone 7 sales have been very poor despite perhaps the most "outside-the-box" interface on the market.  However, Microsoft and Samsung surely are hoping the Mango hardware will be better received than the first generation platform.

Critical to that will be carrier support.  On a troubling note the press release makes no mention of U.S. launch plans, stating:

The Omnia W will be commercially available starting in Italy from end-October and gradually rolled to globally including Europe, CIS, Latin America, Africa, South East and South West Asia.

It's possible that Samsung may have a separate U.S. Mango handset in store; similar to its strategy with the Omnia 7/Focus

Samsung currently is 
facing paying licensing fees to Microsoft for both Android and Windows Phone 7 handsets.  One advantage of embracing the WP7 platform is that Apple has thus far been too afraid to sue Microsoft in the mobile realm.  In other words Samsung doesn't have to worry much about WP7 handsets being banned in some Apple-friendly jurisdictions, though that advantage may be a moot point if customers don't express interest in Mango.



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Looking for a good WP7
By tayb on 9/26/2011 7:37:50 PM , Rating: 2
I was underwhelmed by my iPhone 3G and even more disappointed with my Droid X. My iPhone was extremely slow toward the end and the battery life was terrible. My Droid X is snappy but it is horribly buggy.

I want to give WP7 a try. My co-worker has one and I was impressed when I used it. Apps aren't a big deal. I use my phone to make calls and surf the web.




RE: Looking for a good WP7
By TakinYourPoints on 9/27/2011 7:48:33 AM , Rating: 2
It is a bit weird to judge an ancient iPhone (3G was basically 2007 internals with a 3G antenna and better battery) and the Droid which is running a mediocre mobile OS. You'd do better on newer hardware in either case.

That said, I think you'll be happy with WP7, it is a really nice, smooth mobile OS.


RE: Looking for a good WP7
By tayb on 9/27/2011 7:40:25 PM , Rating: 2
It's the only frame of reference I have to judge on. The OS hasn't changed that much since then even if the hardware has.

My Droid X is running the latest version of Android available. It isn't the phone that sucks, it is Android. It crashes frequently and the media player is just extremely bad.

I'd be better off with newer hardware but that isn't going to change the issues I had with the OS itself. It will be a long time before I give Android another shot. iOS or WP7 will be next. I'm waiting to see what Apple has for the iPhone 5.


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