US Cellular has chosen Samsung to help its subscribers connect to its new 4G LTE network, and that support continues today with the availability of the Galaxy S Aviator. This is following weeks after the launch of US Cellular’s first 4G LTE-connected tablet, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 by Samsung. The smartphone is available for purchase now, both online and in stores, but US Cellular is quick to point out that a few lucky individuals out there who are in the right, “select markets” will be able to get the phone cheaper than others.
If you are a US Cellular subscriber, then the Galaxy S Aviator may or may not be the next phone you want to buy. While the display is impressive, the rest of the phone sort of falls flat for what you might expect for a carrier’s first 4G LTE smartphone. We’re looking at a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus display, but a 1GHz Hummingbird processor under the hood. There’s an 8MP rear-facing camera, and on the front you’ll find a 1.3MP shooter. There is 1.4GB of built-in storage, and, obviously, 4G LTE-connectivity. As you can see from the image above, the handset will be running Android 2.3 Gingerbread out of the box, and there’s nothing in the press release that talks about the handset being a candidate for getting upgraded to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.
The cost of the device is $199.99 on a new, two-year contract and after you send in a $100 mail-in rebate. But, as we suggested at above, US Cellular says that some subscribers in some markets covered by their 4G LTE network will be able to snag the handset for only $99 for a limited time. You can check out the full press release below.
U.S. Cellular Launches First 4G Smartphone: Samsung Galaxy S Aviator
Aviator Available Online and In Stores Today
Powered by Android 2.3.6 (Gingerbread), the Galaxy S Aviator has a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED™ Plus touchscreen and front-facing camera for easy video chatting. This sleek and slim smartphone allows you to connect quickly to entertainment and the Internet on-the-go. Users also have access to Google Play, formerly known as the Android™ Market, a one-stop shop for Android users to access nearly half a million apps, millions of songs and books, and thousands of movies.
“We are excited to bring our customers our first 4G LTE smartphone to help them get more done in less time,” said Edward Perez, vice president of sales and marketing operations for U.S. Cellular. “The faster downloading and browse and talk function make it the go-to device for customers who depend on their smartphone to keep up with their busy schedules.”
Android 2.3.6 (Gingerbread)
4.3-inch Super AMOLED™ Plus touchscreen
8 megapixel rear-facing camera
Front facing webcam
The 4G LTE network builds on the 3G data services that U.S. Cellular customers already enjoy on the carrier’s high-quality nationwide network. The Galaxy S Aviator will be available to all U.S. Cellular customers and will run on the 4G LTE network in markets where it is available and on U.S. Cellular’s nationwide 3G network in all other areas.
U.S. Cellular customers enjoy unique benefits, such as new devices faster without resigning contracts, free Overage Protection and free Battery Swap. U.S. Cellular also offers customers the only points-based rewards program in the industry, which rewards customers for simple things, such as paying bills on-time, adding a line or referring friends and family. Points may be used for faster phone upgrades, additional lines, devices, accessories and ringtones. It’s one of the reasons U.S. Cellular has the happiest customers in wireless.
U.S. Cellular, in partnership with King Street Wireless, currently offers 4G LTE service in select cities in Iowa, Maine, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas and Wisconsin. In the second half of this year, 4G LTE coverage will expand to cover select cities in Illinois, Maryland, Missouri, New Hampshire, Oregon, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia. By the end of 2012, 54 percent of U.S. Cellular customers will enjoy faster 4G LTE speeds. For more information about the 4G LTE experience, visit uscellular.com/4G.
The Galaxy S Aviator will be available for $199.99 after a $100 mail-in rebate. For a limited time, the smartphone will be available for $99.99 after a $100 mail-in rebate in select markets covered by the 4G LTE network. Visit uscellular.com for detailed pricing. Purchase of a data plan is required and a new two-year agreement and activation fee may apply for new customers. Additional terms, conditions and/or charges may apply.
1 No. 1 mobile phone provider in the U.S. claim for Samsung Mobile based upon reported shipment data, according to Strategy Analytics Q4 2011 U.S. Market Share Handset Shipments Report.
LTE is a trademark of ETSI.
About King Street Wireless, L.P.
King Street Wireless, L.P. currently holds 700 MHz wireless spectrum in 27 states and is partnering with Chicago-based U.S. Cellular to deliver high-speed 4G LTE service to U.S. Cellular’s customers in several of the carrier’s markets. King Street Wireless is headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia where it is recognized for its involvement in its community both through its economic development and philanthropic efforts. To learn more about King Street Wireless, visit www.kingstreetwireless.com.
About Samsung Telecommunications America
Samsung Telecommunications America, LLC, a Dallas-based subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., researches, develops and markets wireless handsets and telecommunications products throughout North America. For more information, please visit www.samsungwireless.com.
About Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. is a global leader in semiconductor, telecommunication, digital media and digital convergence technologies with 2010 consolidated sales of US$135.8 billion. Employing approximately 190,500 people in 206 offices across 68 countries, the company operates two separate organizations to coordinate its nine independent business units: Digital Media & Communications, comprising Visual Display, Mobile Communications, Telecommunication Systems, Digital Appliances, IT Solutions, and Digital Imaging; and Device Solutions, consisting of Memory, System LSI and LCD. Recognized for its industry-leading performance across a range of economic, environmental and social criteria, Samsung Electronics was named the world’s most sustainable technology company in the 2011 Dow Jones Sustainability Index. For more information, please visit www.samsung.com.
About U.S. Cellular
U.S. Cellular rewards its customers with unmatched benefits and industry-leading innovations designed to elevate the customer experience. The Chicago-based carrier has a strong line-up of cutting-edge devices that are all backed by its high-speed nationwide network that has the highest call quality of any national carrier. Currently, 25 percent of customers have access to 4G LTE speeds and 54 percent will have access by the end of 2012. U.S. Cellular was named a J.D. Power and Associates Customer Service Champion in 2012 for the second year in a row. To learn more about U.S. Cellular, visit one of its retail stores or uscellular.com. To get the latest news, promos and videos, connect with U.S. Cellular on Facebook.com/uscellular, Twitter.com/uscellular and YouTube.com/uscellularcorp