Mobile operator T-Mobile has announced the availability of three new Samsung phones—the SGH-t629, SGH-t619, and SGH-t509s—all of which offer support for the company’s new myFaves. The company has also begun outlining plans for new U.S. wireless spectrum is acquired via recent FCC auctions—no surprises, it plans to add 3G data services, now that it is no longer shelling out the big bucks for former spokesperson Catherine Zeta-Jones.
The Samsung t629 is a quad-band slider-style phone with a 1.3 megapixel camera, Bluetooth and USB connectivity, a microSD slot, and a 176 by 220 pixel LCD display. The phone supports video capture, 5 hours of talk time on a single battery charge, and can play MP4 and 3GP movies as well as display images and play MP3 audio—and the phone supports Yahoo, ICQ, AIM, and MSN instant messaging. After rebate, the t629 comes in around $150.
The Samsung t619 brings multimedia capabilities to a quad-band clamshell design, offering the same 1.3 megapixel camera, MP3 player, and video capture and playback features. Also on board: Bluetooth and USB connectivity, “HiFi Ringers” (which we can only assume is a way to annoy even more people with your ringtone), and two LCD displays (96 by 96 pixels on the outside, 176 by 220 on the inside). The suggested retail price on the T619 is $199.99, but T-Mobile is offering an instant discount which currently puts it in the $50 range.
The Samsung t509s is a plum-colored follow-up to the earlier t509: still tri-band, and still just 0.39 inches thick, the T509s offers Bluetooth and USB , a VGA resolution video-capable camera, messaging support (SMS, MMS, and EMS, along with Yahoo, ICQ, AIM, and MSN messaging), speakerphone, and up to 7 MB of user memory. Again, it carries a suggested price of $199.99, but backs down to about $50 with mail-in rebates and instant discounts.
“This diverse Samsung line-up provides a strong selection of new phones for customers who want to use the myFaves service,” said Michael Gallelli, T-Mobile’s director and head of product marketing, in a statement. “Moving beyond a ‘one size fits all’ attitude, customers now can choose the right look of the phone, from the outside to the inside, to personalize their wireless experience.”
All three new Samsung phones support T-Mobile’s new myFaves service, which offers customizable, unlimited nationwide calling to up to five U.S. phone numbers, with five photos or icons on the home screen of myFaves phones enabling users to instantly place calls to their favorites.
T-Mobile has also begun outlining its plans for spectrum acquired via recent FCC auctions: no surprise, it plans to begin rolling out high-speed data services for users. T-Mobile plans to spend about $2.7 billion on network upgrades to bring UMTS service to its presence in top U.S. markets; the new services will start to be enabled in some locations as early as mid-2007, with most of the upgrade completed by 2008. What’s interesting is that T-Mobile doesn’t expect this big infrastructure investment to significantly impact its bottom line; instead the costs will be offset by reduced investment in T-Mobile’s existing networks.