By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Bellevue, Wash. – T-Mobile became the first carrier to offer Samsung’s Galaxy Note II smartphone/tablet hybrid, a day before Sprint begins offering the device and almost two weeks before AT&T offers it on Nov. 9.
The Android 4.1 “phablet” is available through all T-Mobile sales channels.
T-Mobile, however, has priced the device higher than the $299 price announced by AT&T and Sprint with two-year contract. The T-Mobile version is priced at $369 with a qualifying T-Mobile Classic voice and data plan and two-year service agreement. With a qualifying T-Mobile Value voice and data plan and two-year service agreement, T-Mobile’s Note II will cost an out-of-pocket down payment of $249 plus 20 payments of $20/month on the carrier’s installment plan, bringing the phone’s total cost to $649.
Value plans are priced lower than T-Mobile’s Classic plans, and “when the Galaxy Note II is paired with our Value plans, T-Mobile customers still earn annual savings — vs. our competitors — because of the low monthly rate our Value plans offer,” a spokesman said.
In its prices, T-Mobile is including the preloaded EA’s Need For Speed Most Wanted game from EA on the phone and is including four free game events. The T-Mobile-exclusive version of the game will be optimized to interact with the Moga Mobile Gaming System to bring “an immersive, console-quality gaming experience” to the phone, the company said.
The $49 Moga system is a battery-powered mobile-gaming accessory for use with Android 2.3+ smartphones. A phone snaps into the accessory for use as a game display, and the accessory offers game-console features such as dual analog sticks, two shoulder buttons, four action buttons and standardized start and select buttons.
The accessory uses Bluetooth to send game commands to the phone’s Moga-Enhanced games, which currently number 45.
The accessory just arrived in 7,000 stores and Amazon.
In a separate announcement, T-Mobile said it will join AT&T and Sprint in offering a cellular-equipped version of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 2 10.1. None of the carriers has yet announced price or availability.
The Android 4.0 tablet features 1.5GHz dual-core processor and 4G HSPA+42 cellular technology for T-Mobile’s network. An LTE version will be available for AT&T and Sprint. A Wi-Fi-only version of the tablet is already available.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.