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Samsung reigns supreme, Galaxy Tab 10.1 comes to Verizon

by Kristen Nicole

Samsung has done a fine job with the Galaxy series, from smartphones to tablet devices. Often the only Android manufacturer to come close to matching Apple’s (AAPL) mobile design and level of usability, Samsung has proven worthy of its record-breaking sales. The Galaxy family of mobile devices has helped carriers bring new users to Android, even as AT&T (T) pushes out Gingerbread updates for its entire 2011 Android device lineup. The trifecta of Android’s operating system, manufacturers and carriers has been highly successful for all parties involved, even as many, Samsung included, face lawsuits from competitors.

Samsung Galaxy S II -upcoming on multiple carriers

Samsung reported record sales numbers for the Galaxy S II smartphone, with more than five million handsets sold in its first three months. That figure accounts for only a quarter of Samsung’s total smartphone sales during the same time period. The manufacturer is claiming that they shipped 19 million smartphones in the second quarter, and many of those were Android handsets. Things are only looking up, as Samsung prepares to launch the Galaxy S II in the U.S. sometime in August. So far, the smartphone has been available in South Korea, parts of southeast Asia and a few European countries. With a solid feature set including a dual-core processor, this phone is sure to wow consumers.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 - Verizon

Samsung should see another boost once the Galaxy Tab 10.1 hits stores. The highly anticipated tablet has been dubbed an iPad rival and with availability on Verizon’s (VZ) 4G LTE network, it’s certain to turn some heads. Verizon announced the release date for the Galaxy Tab 10.1, which will drop July 28th. Equipped with a 10.1-inch 1280 x 800 resolution screen, a dual-core Nvidia Tegra 2 processor, a 3-megapixel camera on the back and a 2-megapixel camera on the front for video chat, this tablet is no sleeper. For the LTE-capable version you’ll have to cough up $529.99 for the 16GB model, and $629.99 for 32GB. And yes, those are the prices that come with two-year agreements, which will tack on another $30-$80 per month for data.

Android Gingerbread update on AT&T Devices

Though Gingerbread 2.3 was released late last year, many devices from 2011 didn’t ship with the latest version of Android. AT&T’s been especially slow to roll out the update to its Android users, and the wait is finally over. AT&T pledges that all its phones released for the rest of the year will include Android 2.3 Gingerbread, which includes the LG Phoenix, Motorola Atrix 4G, Samsung Infuse 4G, Samsung Captivate, HTC Inspire and the Pantech Crossover. It’s an effort to keep consumers happy, given the competitive nature of smartphones across OS’s and carriers. Hopefully it will be enough to keep customers happy, as Android Gingerbread has already received another update since then, bumping up to version 2.3.4.

HTC Wildfire S - T-Mobile

T-Mobile announced official plans for the HTC Wildfire S, a mid-range smartphone aimed at the lower-tier Android market. It’s a palm-sized device that hits stores August 3, costing just under $80 with a mail-in rebate (don’t forget the two-year contract). Running Android Gingerbread 2.3, the 3.2-inch capacitive touchscreen is neat and compact. The Wildfire S comes with a 600MHz Qualcomm processor, with 512MB of RAM. There’s a 5-megapixel camera (rear-facing only) with an LED flash, and the Wildfire S supports WiFi, Bluetooth, WCDMA and EDGE. It’s an improvement from the previous Wildfire model and does most the things you need a smartphone to do.