Samsung Epic 4G smartphone to debut Aug. 31

Sprint says release date is based on need to stockpile inventory due to industry shortage of display screens

The Samsung Epic 4G will debut Aug. 31 for $250 after rebate and with a Sprint Nextel two-year agreement, the carrier announced today.

The Android 2.1 smartphone , with a slideout physical keyboard, can be reserved for later purchase online starting Aug. 13, Sprint said. Those making a reservation then will complete the purchase starting Aug. 31.

Bloggers had predicted an earlier sales date based on comments from unnamed sources, even as early as yesterday, but a Sprint spokesman indicated the carrier was interested in building up a stockpile of the devices in light of a global shortage of display parts that has delayed sales of the HTC Evo 4G by Sprint and other smartphones sold by other U.S. carriers.

"Supply is part of the decision about the launch," the spokesman, Joe Mandacina told Computerworld. "Why launch and have frustrated customers? So we'll wait to build an inventory."

The $250 price for the Epic would be $50 higher than some analysts expected, and is $50 more than the Evo, which has a 4.3-in. touchscreen, compared with Epic's 4-in. screen.

Epic's slideout physical keyboard may appeal to BlackBerry users accustomed to a QWERTY keyboard and who are interested in making a switch to a smartphone with a larger screen and other enhancements, said Matt Carter, president of 4G at Sprint.

Carter said Sprint will sell the Epic to enterprises through its sales channels just as it does its other smartphones. One notable enterprise feature will be the ability to turn the Epic into a Wi-Fi hotspot for five other Wi-Fi devices, he said. The Wi-Fi hotspot capability will cost $30 in addition to the minimum $80 monthly fee for voice and data that Sprint charges for the Epic. (Based on a minimum voice and data plan of $70, plus an added $10 per month premium data plan required for customers to "take advantage of a richer data experience than ever before," Sprint said in its official release.)

With its Super AMOLED touchscreen, users can view movies and other video content with greater clarity and brilliance, Sprint said. Carter said the screen will be useful to workers for wireless videoconferencing. An upgrade to Android 2.2 will be available in "coming months," Sprint said, offering easier IT support and Flash 10x, voice dialing over Bluetooth and storage of applications on external memory.

Sprint said that even with Android 2.1, businesses can use the device with add-on applications for bar code scanning, signature capture, document viewing and streaming and uploading of video for business purposes.

The Epic runs a 1 GHz processor and has two cameras, including one 5 megapixel camera/camcorder. It is 4.9 x 2.54 x 0.56 inches (when closed) and weighs 5.46 ounces.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags telecommunicationMobile and Wirelessconsumer electronicsNetworkingwirelesssmartphonesPhonessprint nextelmobilewireless networking

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Matt Hamblen

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?