Samsung's Galaxy-Sized Android Bet Paying Off

Samsung, like Motorola and HTC, has hitched its smartphone and mobile device wagon to Google Android, whose growth since 2009 has come in leaps and bounds. Shipments of Android-based smartphones were up 886 percent in the second quarter of 2010 vs. the same quarter a year earlier, according to an early August report from Canalys.

Some of the year's hottest smartphones are Android-based, but the growth of Android isn't limited to phones, appearing on a number of much-buzzed-about mobile devices as well.

Samsung's latest entry into the market has been its Galaxy S line, which is being sold on all four of the major U.S. wireless carriers. Though each is different -- a 4G version of the phone, the Samsung Epic 4G, is available through Sprint and went on sale at Sprint stores Tuesday and Verizon's version, Fascinate, is said to have a Sept. 9 release date -- every model includes a 4-inch AMOLED display and a 1GHz Hummingbird processor.

Samsung has also shown it can use the ever-fickle rumor mill to its advantage. After months of speculation about an Android-based tablet -- and a public statement by Samsung Mobile Communications Division President J.K. Shin that a tablet would be out in the third quarter of 2010 -- a European firmware update from earlier this month revealed what appeared to be much about the tablet's software specifics, including that it will run Android 2.2 at launch.

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Now comes further word that the Galaxy Tab has a U.S. carrier: Verizon. Tech blog Boy Genius Report published what appears to be an image showing that the Galaxy Tab is bound for Verizon. Whether it shakes out as true or just more Android hype, it's hard to deny Samsung has found its place among the Android faithful.