Australian Samsung Galaxy In September, Android Omnia Inevitable?


samsung-galaxy-australiaI was utterly surprised that the first Android Phone in Australia was (supposedly) a bust:

Mark Novosel, telecommunications analyst at IDC, would not reveal exact sales numbers for the Dream but said “it would be fair to say that it performed below expectations”.

The HTC Dream went Down Under in February, followed by the HTC Magic this month but if neither of those Androids were your cup of tea you won’t have TOO wait to long… the Samsung Galaxy will launch in Australia this September.

The Galaxy joins 3 other handsets in a range of phones Samsung is calling “Icon” – the others are non-Android phones called the “HD”, “Preston” and “Omnia”. Wasn’t Android Omnia supposed to launch? Judging by the tone of the Samsung rep, I wouldn’t rule it out:

Tyler McGee, Samsung Australia’s VP of mobiles, said he believed Android would be “one of the key platforms that we’ll continue to develop”.

“People are becoming far more aware of Android and more importantly the Android Market,” he said.

I told you this Android thing would catch on! But what about how poorly the HTC Dream performed in Australia? The analysts who made this claim also accounted for the less than Android’s less than amazing Australian results to date:

Novosel said he believed the Android platform would gain more of a foothold with Samsung’s entry into the market as he believed consumers were waiting for more Google phone options.

“People are still waiting for the bugs to be ironed out on the platform … because it’s not just a new device, it’s a whole new platform we’re talking about,” he said.

He also said that Optus made the price of the HTC Dream prohibitively expensive. Any Australians want to weigh in on the Dream/Magic pricing down there?

So what about this Android Omnia? In addition to the rumor claiming exactly that from the MSMobiles it just simply makes sense. Especially considering Samsung has recently announced the Omnia Pro, Omnia LITE and Omnia 2… why WOULDN’T they look towards an Omnia Droid?

[Via Sydney Morning Herald – Thanks Jono!]

Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. I think an Android-based Omnia would be a MAJOR hit! The form factor is great, so all it needs is to have Android running on it.

  2. The HTC Dream is stupidly expensive in Oz. It’s available on an $89 / month for 24 month plan from Optus. The iphone meanwhile is available on a $20 / month plan. Which would you get?

    The Dream is over $1000 AUD outright from Optus. It has also hardly been marketed. I went to 3-4 Optus shops before they had one and it wasn’t on show but one of the staff had one.

    A Google developer phone is about 540 AUD. It’s actually the cheapest Google phone in Australia.

    There is a lively trade on ebay for android phones.

  3. Sherbo is spot on the money. I went to an Optus store, and all they had was the shell of a G1 (which had been broken by somebody). I then bought my G1 from eBay and slapped a prepaid SIM card in saving about 50% of the cost. I also know that about 5% of all players of my Android online game come from Australia. So, as Sherbo said, Aussies do have Android phones, they just didn’t get them from the Telcos.

  4. I agree with Sherbo & Craig. I also went to an Optus store in the first few weeks the HTC Dream had been released but they couldn’t show me a demo as it hadn’t been charged for four days – so they showed me how the keyboard slid out – impressive not :) Then around the same time rumour was that the HTC Magic was on the horizon, so who would bother with the clunky Dream when a sleeker model was close. I’m flat out keen to get one of these Android phones, but the pricing is just nuts – and there is just no way I’d get an iPhone as its not open like the Android platform! I’d also rather buy a phone outright rather than on some expensive plan! So I’ll patiently wait a few months until the price comes down.

  5. Optus don’t promote the Android phone here at all.

    Also, they are not looking after their current Android customers, so I imagine the word of mouth is not great. We still don’t have paid apps (even though they have been enabled in Australia) and no ota updates yet. Calls to Optus support reveal they have no training at all on the HTC Dream or Android.

  6. Forgot to mention. Vodafone sell the Magic in Australia, however, their contacts are so complicated, I have no clue what you actually end up paying for the phone over the life of the contract: http://store.vodafone.com.au/handset-htc-magic.aspx

  7. the pricing for the magic doesn’t look too flash for new zealand, but about the same as the iphone so not all bad.

    vodaphone nz hasn’t officially released it here yet (theres a release party on the 24th), theres a few promos for it but theres a web page up with the prices:


  8. Omnia HD with Android in Australia equals Buying Time…

  9. (and most importantly not a resistive screen!!!)

  10. The HTC Dream is fantastic and the market is definately available in Australia but I agree with the others here. The problem was never the phone, the OS or the concept, the problem was the Network.

    Optus will never have my services ever again!

    Good to see some more great Android products becoming available.

  11. I picked up a Dream from Optus a few months ago. Yes, it is way too expensive compared to iPhone plans. I didn’t like signing up for a 2 year contract either. The process to sign up and get the phone required me to stand around in the Optus shop for over two hours. Then there is no paid apps in the market, no technical support as such, no word on when the cupcake update is coming down the wire. It feels like they launched the phone and then cut it adrift.

  12. HTC Dream is available in Australia on Vodafone for free on a $69/month cap plan over 24 months. I consider this a decent price point and could contest with iPhone 3Gs if the networks bothered promoting it…

  13. correction: HTC Magic not Dream is on Vodafone in Oz…

  14. @Spencer
    $69 x 24 months = $1656! And if you look at the detail on this plan they give you $400/month however, the call rate is 80c/min!!! My current call rate is 1/10 of that (8c/min).

    To put that in perspective, you get about 8 hours of calls per month. If you went over your allowance by just 1 hour, you’d double the cost of the phone.

    …and the cost of SMS/MMS/Data is even more terrifying!

    (Sorry for the rant. I’ve just seen too many people not read the fine print on these contracts!)

  15. best-looking android so far not to mention awesome specs – 8G mem, 3.5mm jack – perfect except for that 3rd nipple, err 5th/menu button. we’ve seen this anomaly with the magic prototype and i said it before and i’m gonna shout it out this time – MULTIPLEX that thing with the home button!

  16. @Craig

    Your comments are fair, however, the only other option for getting this phone is to purchase out right, which I cannot afford currently.

    It beats optus’ plan for the G1 though @ $99/month…

  17. Warning: HTC magic on vodafone is a no go. I’ve had this underpowered POS for a month now, and its horrible! 192 Mb RAM means there’s only 30-35 Mb to run programs after the Is loads. Its slow, crashes constantly and multitasking? As good as the iphone. I would have loved this phone if vodafone hadn’t castrated it. Buy the 288 Mb version outright from an online specialist store or ebay. I truly am angry at vodafone for making me hate my android phone. Want to sell it and buy anything at all else instead.

    @Craig: 8c per min? In Australia? You sure this is the same continent I’m on? The vodafone deal would have been ok (if the phone was) since its their standard plan and comparable to call/data plans for other providers – even taking the call cost vs included spending. Of course, if i could get 8c/min plus good data rates on a reliable telco, I’d be there so fast that spacetime would distort in my passing. But somehow I’m not sure you’re this side of the pac osh. If you are in oz, pls – where do I get that rate?

  18. If Samsung doesn’t release and an official Omnia with Android (a.k.a. Andromnia), people are working on porting it over http://www.androidomnia.com/

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