Smartphone manufacturer Samsung finally added T-Mobile to the list of carriers that will see Samsung devices upgraded to the latest version of Google's open-source operating system, Android 4.0, or Ice Cream Sandwich. Devices include T-Mobile?s version of the Samsung Galaxy S II, the Galaxy S Blaze 4G, in addition to two tablets, the Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus and the Galaxy Tab 10.1. T-Mobile now joins the other three major network operators?Verizon, Sprint and AT&T?in offering the operating system update, although Samsung didn?t offer a date for the upgrade.
The Android upgrade was released in March. With Ice Cream Sandwich, Google says it has evolved the user interface, refining animations, making it simpler to navigate and even updating the fonts, to make it all feel more modern. There?s also a new emphasis on widgets, which are resizable and let users do things like check email, see social streams, check their calendars or even play music, without launching an application. Also included are more capabilities that can be performed without unlocking the screen?things like listening to music or accessing the camera?and quicker ways to manage notifications.
Last week Samsung?which, along with Apple?s iPhone, dominate the smartphone market?released its latest Ice Cream Sandwich smartphone, the Galaxy S III, which features a quad-core processor, a 4.8-inch high-definition Super AMOLED (active-matrix organic LED) display, 8-megapixel rear-facing camera and comes in a choice of two colors, Marble White or Pebble Blue. The Galaxy S III will go on sale in Europe May 29, and a Long-Term Evolution (LTE) version is scheduled to hit the U.S. market this summer.
In May, Samsung ousted longtime leader Nokia to become the world's top mobile phone vendor. The company established a new market record for the number of smartphones shipped in a single quarter, according to a May report from IT research firm IDC. Propelling the company forward was the continued expansion of its Galaxy portfolio in nearly all directions?new and old smartphones, product and market segmentation, and multiple price points, screen sizes and processor speeds, the report noted.
Samsung shipped 92 million cell phones during the first quarter, according to an April IHS iSuppli report, including 32 million Galaxy smartphones. Growth of Samsung smartphones helped the company achieve a fiscal first quarter that set a record high, with a year-over-year revenue increase of 22 percent, while the overall mobile device unit posted 86 percent year-on-year-growth.
Analysts have credited Samsung?s rise in the market to a combination of marketing savvy, focused use of Google and the Android OS to provide a user experience handset owners enjoy and a selection of smartphones that look sleek and offer an impressive set of features, like HD video capability, high-quality cameras and 4G LTE connectivity.