Phones are constantly being launched in the Android world, a cycle we have all become accustomed to. Of all these launches, there are definitely ones that stand out more than others. But one of the biggest issues is how long it takes for phones to make it to certain markets.
We can take the Galaxy S II as one of the biggest examples. It launched in South Korea on April 29 of 2011. In the US, it hit in early September. That’s a HUGE delay. Manufacturers usually defend situations like this with excuses like “it needs to get carrier approval” and “some of the changes cause more manufacturing delays between models”. Neither are good excuses, as I’m sure they could plan in advance, and pull it off.
How do I know they could pull it off? Because Apple can. I’m not trying to sound like an Apple fanboy in any way, shape, or form, but they pulled off the launch of the iPhone 4S better than any other phone launch I’ve seen in recent history. It launched in North America, Europe and Australia all on the same day. That’s impressive. That doesn’t make the iPhone better than any other handset, but it gets it into the hands of people quicker.
Back to the Galaxy S II. Here in the US, many people decided to pass on the Galaxy S II due to that extra time it took to get here. By the time it hit T-Mobile, the Galaxy Nexus was just announced. It later turned out that the Galaxy Nexus wasn’t made available on T-Mobile, but the rumors still probably stopped a number of T-Mobile customers from buying the Galaxy S II.
As it turns out, most popular Android phones launch in Asia, hit Europe not too long after, then finally make their way to the US. Just today we heard the HTC One X and One V would be initially launching in Taiwan and China, something we aren’t exactly use to. I’m not saying the US deserves phones first, but the delays are preventing customers from buying.
My proposal: simultaneous launch of a single device. Instead of manufacturers making 20 different variants that take forever to hit a single market, how about the make one really good phone, work on getting all the radios and software figured out with carriers, and then launch the phone on the same day. If Apple can do it, so can Samsung and HTC.
Samsung will finally have their shot with the upcoming Galaxy S III, and if they can pull it off, I will buy a Galaxy S III on launch day. But in reverse, if Samsung and the US carriers mess around for 6 months without so much as giving us a release date, they have just lost another sale. What are your thoughts? Should phones be released simultaneously? Let us know in the comments, or tell me @jlehto43 on Twitter!