T-Mobile Galaxy Note Dead in the Water?

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.

The T-Mobile Galaxy Note could have some issues.

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.

A Galaxy Note 2 launch in August could spell trouble for the T-Mobile Galaxy Note.

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.

Read: Samsung Galaxy Note 2 Release Date: What Not to Expect.

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.

Read: Samsung Galaxy S III 4G Showdown: T-Mobile HSPA+ v. AT&T LTE (Video).

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.

iPhone 5

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.

Read: iPhone 5 Release Date: What to Expect This Fall.

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.


  1. pFal

    07/31/2012 at 8:43 am

    I completely agree. Just another stupid tactic by T-Mobile. I have the money to buy both phones, but I’m still not going to waste any of it on the Note when the Note 2 news comes out 7 days after the Note. Maybe they can sell it to the oblivious for those 7 days, and then try to hide the news or distract their customers with a discount. I would hope T-Mobile will be smart enough to cut a deal with Samsung for the Note 2, but knowing their history probably not. T-Mobile would rather take a good deal than a smart phone. Either way I’m going to wait for the Note 2 and hop on where ever it goes considering jailbreaking probably won’t be an option.


  2. Ablonso

    07/31/2012 at 5:27 pm

    It took 5 months before a US carrier had the first Note. None are even rumored to be carrying the Note 2 at this point. Yes, I’m sure in a couple of months when they are actually released, not just announced, one can be had unlocked that probably won’t run LTE. Is that really worth it?

    The oldest US Notes are now 6 months old at this point. Not really obsolete. Do people stop driving their cars as soon as the newer version comes out?


    • $$$$$$

      08/08/2012 at 2:16 am

      Good argument until you compared using a 6-month old phone to driving a 6-month old car. Tens of thousands of people drive >10 year old cars. Not many people use 10 year old phones…


  3. Madman

    08/08/2012 at 1:44 pm

    How is 720p resolution better than 1280×800? If 720p means 1280×720 it’s actually lower resolution and 16:9 instead of 16:10. The former aspect ratio is only good for marketing to the ill-informed as ‘full HD’!! who think that black bars around 16:9 content is bad.


  4. Steve

    08/16/2012 at 3:01 pm

    After much research on the matter, I decided to sell my GS2 and buy the existing Note and here’s why: I got it for $179 at WireFly, and second: everything I’ve read regarding the Note 2 says it will have a larger BUT narrower screen. I really don’t like that qhd-type aspect ratio……. I had a Sensation that I ended up returning for just that reason (screen way too narrow in portrait view).


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