New models are arriving weekly with more to come by September
Exactly one month ago we reported that Canada was an Android wasteland. The landscape has changed dramatically since then with most cellphone carriers releasing new and hot Android smartphones.
In the United States, one company T Mobile announced it will ship 16 new handsets this year which demonstrates the variety available for customers. All of these are Android and do not include the iPhone.
Bell has released the Samsung Galaxy S Vibrant this week with a sharp 4″ AMOLED screen and 1 GHz processor running Android 2.1. The phones will automatically upgrade to Android 2.2 this fall but this is a weak point for Google with some phones running the more advanced and desirable 2.2 version.
The S Vibrant is $150 with a 3 year contract, $350 with a 2 year contract and $500 with no contract. The HTC Legend, released this spring, is $80 for a 3 year contract. There is a saving of $100 or more when you pick the next-to-latest model smartphone.
Over at Telus, the excitement is over HTC models with the HTC Desire the top rated phone. The Desire is the cousin of Google’s Nexus One with a 3.7″ AMOLED screen. Engadget gives the Desire a high rating. Telus charges $80 on a 3 year term, $350 on a 2-year term and $450 with no contract.
Telus is also carrying the HTC Hero, Motorola Backflip and Milestone. Each phone comes with a different set of features to appeal to different people.
Rogers has announced the new Motorola FlipOut a unique design. The 2.8″ touchscreen is square and sports a flipout keyboard. At $29 on contract it is aimed at the back to school market.
Rogers also announced they will be shipping the Samsung S Captivate which is the cousin of the Galaxy S Vibrant. Often the same phone will be branded with a different name for another carrier. It makes it confusing for consumers and is one area Apple leads – they have one brand with 2 phones – iPhone 3Gs and 4.
Rogers is also carrying two Android phones from LG that are new to the market.
Virgin has the HTC Legend and has announced it will carry the Samsung Galaxy S Vibrant as well.
Wind Mobile is carrying a new phone called the Huawei U1250 at $70. More we do no know.
Some of the hottest Android phones in the US have been the Motorola Droid and Droid X and HTC’s EVO G and Incredible. There is no word if these models will ever be sold in Canada.
Some people are chasing rainbows by purchasing the phones State-side and getting them authorized in Canada. That seems like too much work for us. After all, it’s just a phone, video camera, phone, media player and hand held web surfing computer. How much do we need in features to be contented?
Android on the way up
Google who licences the Android operating system reported last week that 200,000 devices are being authorized each day. Android has grown 886% in the United States and become more popular than Apple’s iPhone.
It was inevitable that Apple would lose it’s early lead in the “touch” smartphone category. Unlike Google who courted multiple phone manufacturers to build a variety of devices that would feature Android OS, Apple has maintained a closed shop with everyone forced to buy from Apple.
The assumption most people have is that a monopoly means higher prices and less choice. When Apple closed the iPhone to the popular Flash video format, it was the tipping point for Apple’s growth. The internet is about openness and shared technology, a game that Apple dislikes.
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