Today, T-Mobile finally revealed the release date and pricing for its version of the popular 5.3-inch phablet, the Samsung Galaxy Note. However, even with its fantastic specs and obvious demand, it’s possible that the T-Mobile Galaxy Note could be dead in the water.
The original Samsung Galaxy Note launched on AT&T’s 4G LTE network in the early part of 2012. AT&T first showed off the unique smartphone, which sports a 5.3-inch screen and a S-Pen stylus, at CES 2012 in Las Vegas.
While we were skeptical of the phone at first, considering the flops of similar devices like the Dell Streak, the Galaxy Note went on to sell very well around the world with Samsung reporting sales in the millions.
However, up until now, AT&T has been the only place to get the device. Sprint and Verizon both passed on the original Galaxy Note and the device is only now arriving on T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network.
In the build up to the Samsung Galaxy Note’s launch on T-Mobile, we heard from consumers who were genuinely excited about the launch of the device.
But at this point, those numbers might be dwindling for a couple of reasons.
Samsung Galaxy Note 2
First and foremost, the Samsung Galaxy Note 2. This is a device that is rumored for an announcement on August 15th here in the United States and based on rumor, it’s looking to be a much more powerful device than the previous Galaxy Note.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is rumored to employ an HD display with 720p resolution that checks in at 5.5-inches. That’s a better resolution than the original’s display. The screen is also a bit bigger.
It’s also said to include a number of other improved features including a quad-core processor, an upgraded rear camera, and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich or even Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is also rumored to have a design similar to that of the Samsung Galaxy S III, a design that has clearly impressed the masses as the Galaxy S III has sold very well worldwide.
On paper, this device blows the original Galaxy Note out of the water and that should, and likely will, give consumers pause when it comes to picking up a T-Mobile Galaxy Note.
I know the phrase “Why not wait and see what happens on August 15 and on August 30th at IFA?” would likely be drifting through my head if I was in the market for a new Android smartphone and specifically, one with a big screen.
And I think that those who are interested in the Galaxy Note on T-Mobile are likely (and should be) asking themselves the same question.
Lack of 4G LTE
And second, the Galaxy Note for T-Mobile is an HSPA+ device and not a 4G LTE smartphone. At this point, it would be pretty tough to convince me to buy a phone that doesn’t employ 4G LTE capabilities.
Sure, HSPA+ 42 on T-Mobile is fast, but even T-Mobile is going to be shifting to 4G LTE come next year.
On a productivity beast like the Samsung Galaxy Note, it’s part smartphone and part tablet which makes it a perfect device on-the-go, having access to 4G LTE data speeds, which can peak at up to 10 times faster than normal 3G, makes more sense then having access to HSPA+ or T-Mobile 3G.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 will likely have 4G LTE and the AT&T Galaxy Note does have 4G LTE (and the rest of the T-Mobile Galaxy Note’s features) and that feature alone will make it tough to sell the Galaxy Note on T-Mobile this late in the game with only HSPA+ access.
And let’s not forget about the iPhone 5. Those who aren’t opposed to buying Apple products will want to wait and see what the company has in store for the iPhone 5, a device that is rumored for September or October.
The iPhone 5 is also rumored to have 4G LTE capabilities and larger, 4-inch screen itself which could entice those looking for a big-screened smartphone.
Again, the same question is running through my head. “Why not wait and see what Apple has up its sleeve?”
The point is, had T-Mobile launched this device three or four months ago, it would have had a huge success on its hands. But launching it this late in the year, so close to the launches of the iPhone 5 and Galaxy Note 2 will likely hamper sales.
Diehards will buy it, no doubt, but the mass appeal just isn’t there.
Feel the same way? Or disagree? I’d love to hear your thoughts.