We were meant to get a glimpse of Samsung's first Android handset way back in February at the Mobile World Congress but some unexplained 'delays' saw the announcement held up until now...
With today's unveiling of the 'I7500' however the months look to have been worth the wait as Samsung - notorious for great hardware and dodgy touchscreen UIs - finally gets to work to its strengths and what strengths they are.
The I7500 is a technical tour-de-force with 7.2Mbit HSDPA, WiFi, GPS, a 3.2in 320 x 480 AMOLED display, 5MP camera, 3.5mm headphone jack, 8GB of internal memory and an expansion slot supporting 32GB micro SDHC cards (a 40GB potential maximum). On top of this is a hefty 1500mAh battery (up on the 1200mAh we see in the T-Mobile G1 and at just 11.9mm thick it is on a par with the much less powerful HTC Magic and main rival: the iPhone 3G.
"Samsung is among the earliest members of the Open Handset Alliance and has been actively moving forward to introduce the most innovative Android mobile phone," said Executive VP and Mobile Division head JK Shin. "With Samsung's accumulated technology leadership in mobile phone industry and our consistent strategy to support every existing operating system, I believe that Samsung provides the better choices and benefits to our consumers."
Shin may just be right though we remain anxious about one major omission: is the touchscreen capacitive or resistive? If Samsung has been daft enough to go for the latter - a decision which continues to cripple its current touchscreen offerings - then the I7500 will be another lame duck. Capacitive on the other hand and we could well have the new must have handset of 2009.
Expect more soon as the Samsung I7500 is launching in June and yes, we're very excited...
In related news Samsung has also turned in its Q1 financial results to rather less acclaim with net income down to $459m, down 72 per cent on the same period last year. The company's chip business and flat panel display division also slipped though the handset unit did best reporting a 36 per cent jump in revenue to $697m. Overall Samsung remains in the black though and don't expect it to fret too much about the abhorrent greed of mortgage lenders.