Verizon Wireless plans to launch a new Samsung 4G LTE smartphone on Thursday under an exclusive U.S. distribution deal. Among other things, the Galaxy Stellar has been designed to protect the security of mobile business professionals while delivering download speeds of 5 to 12 megabits per second (Mbps) and upload speeds of 2 to 5 Mbps on Verizon's 4G LTE network .
Verizon is clearly hoping that the new smartphone running Android 4.0 -- also known as Ice Cream Sandwich -- will appeal to U.S. business professionals working at companies that have adopted "bring your own device" policies. To sweeten the deal, individuals who sign new two-year service agreements with Verizon will receive Samsung's Galaxy Stellar for free after a $50 mail-in rebate.
For Samsung the immediate aim is to attract a significant number of Verizon's subscribers in advance of Apple's expected rollout of a 4G LTE iPhone 5 on Sept. 12. Verizon appears to think that shipping the Galaxy Stellar with a wealth of mobile shopping capabilities is one potential way to help Samsung accomplish its goal.
"A growing number of shoppers are avoiding the crowds and making mobile commerce part of their shopping routine," noted Verizon blogger David Samberg on Tuesday.
Supporting Amazon Apps
Featuring a 4-inch 800x400-pixel display, the Galaxy Stellar includes a 1.2-gigahertz dual-core Snapdragon processor from Qualcomm, a Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n) radio chip, rear 3.2- megapixel and front 1.3-megapixel cameras, and a microSD card slot capable of supporting up to 32 GB of memory storage .
To enhance the device's consumer appeal, the Galaxy Stellar will sport a suite of Amazon apps that make it easy for users to discover and download multimedia content.
According to a recent study from Nielsen, 47 percent of U.S.-based smartphone users used mobile apps to make purchases in June. "Retailers are finding that consumers are willing to use smartphone apps to enhance their shopping experience, and this data shows usage of shopping apps is growing," said Don Kellogg, director of telecom insights at Nielsen. (continued...)