T-Mobile is rolling out 12 new smartphones, a tablet and Wi-Fi hotspots, but move plan may backfire if Apple’s patent battle with Samsung affects distribution.
The Bellevue, Wash.-based carrier’s product launch will begin on October 10 and continue through November 19. The busiest roll-out day is scheduled for November 2, when the carrier plans to release six new Samsung smartphones.
T-Mobile’s is staking its claim as the holiday season approaches, especially as the iPhone 4S arrive at Sprint, Verizon and AT&T. But, T-Mobile’s heavy emphasis on Samsung is putting the carrier under pressure as tensions escalate abroad.
Apple is demanding a federal injunction banning sales of Samsung’s Galaxy products over patent litigation, with a hearing set for October 13, just three days after T-Mobile’s first roll-out. If Apple is successful, it would mean Samsung would need to negotiate a royalty settlement or risk a ban on its products, which coincides with the crucial holiday season.
Should a final verdict be handed down, Samsung is expected to scramble and agree to Apple’s demands rather than risk losing out on lucrative sales.
T-Mobile and Verizon, meanwhile, appealed to stop a potential ban. The carriers contend Samsung’s products are crucial to their welfare, but the final decision will rest on whether Apple can convince the judge there is a question about the patents.
T-Mobile is expected to take pre-orders for the Samsung Hercules and the HTC Ruby starting October 10. The Hercules is T-Mobile’s version of the Galaxy S2, minus its larger screen, and is intended to directly compete with Apple’s new iPhone 4S.
The Ruby, though, may have to single-handedly carry the load for T-Mobile if the court blocks Galaxy sales. Another HTC device, the Amaze 4G, features front and back cameras, but may have some difficulty against the iPhone 4S, particularly so close to the Apple device’s release.
On October 19, T-Mobile plans to launch the Huawei Wayne, an entry level 4G model, but the big release is coming on November 2, which will feature the LG Maxx QWERTY, LG Maxx Touch, HTC Omega, LG Flip 2, Samsung Ancora and Huawei Tallsome.
T-Mobile is expected to re-name the LG Maxx phones as the MyTouch and MyTouch Q. Both have a 3.5-inch HVGA display, an 800MHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 512-megabytes of RAM, and a 5.0-megapixel camera.
The Omega, also known as the Radar 4G, will be T-Mobile’s lone Windows Phone offering. It has a 1-gigahertz Snapdragon processor, 3.8-inch SLCD display, eight-megapixel primary camera, and front-facing camera.
The LG Flip 2, a slider phone, has a dual-screen design and QWERTY keyboard, while the Tallsome, expected as the Huawei MediaPad, features a larger pixel-density larger than the iPad.
T-Mobile also plans to release the Galaxy 10.1 after Thanksgiving, just in time for Christmas, and plans to push it as an alternative to the iPad. The provider will also release the Robin, or Samsung’s Galaxy 7.0 Plus Tab, and the RIM Dumoline, also known as the BlackBerry Torch 9810, before Christmas.
T-Mobile has a huge selection of phones coming out, but the carrier may have to rely on devices other than Samsung’s if it hopes to attract holiday shoppers.
The carrier may, however, have some difficulty convincing buyers its new devices compare to the new iPhone 4S, particularly if the popular Samsung Galaxy items are banned. The combination of a possible ban on Samsung phones and the iPhone 4S could mean a difficult start for 2012 for a company that struggled this year.