Verizon adds LTE-capable Samsung Stratosphere to lineup

Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) is adding to its lineup of LTE-capable smartphones with the launch of the mid-range Samsung Stratosphere, its first LTE phone with a Qwerty keyboard.

Samsung Stratosphere

Verizon said the device will be available Oct. 13 for $149.99 with a two-year contract and after a $50 mail-in rebate. The Stratosphere, Verizon's second LTE phone from Samsung after the high-end Droid Charge, runs on version 2.3 of Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android platform and sports a 1 GHz Samsung Hummingbird processor. The device also has a Super AMOLED screen, 5-megapixel camera and 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera, mobile hotspot capability and Samsung's Media Hub.

Interestingly, the device comes after Verizon said in a September court filing that Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) decision to file an injunction to block the sale of Samsung devices in the U.S.  for violating Apple patents will harm its LTE network and U.S. consumers.

Meanwhile, LG, which is trying to catch up to Samsung in the smartphone race, introduced a new high-end LTE smartphone to compete with Samsung and its flagship Galaxy S II with LTE. The Optimus LTE, which will go on sale later this year, runs on Android 2.3, and sports a 1.5 GHz dual-core Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) processor, 4.5-inch screen, 8-megapixel camera and 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera. Those specifications essentially match up with Samsung's Galaxy S II with LTE.

"With this product alone, LG won't be able to dramatically improve earnings, but it showed LG has narrowed the gap with Samsung in terms of both hardware and software capability, and it does have capacity to make compelling products," Woo Chang-hee, an analyst at LIG Investment & Securities, told Reuters.

For more:
- see this release
- see this Reuters article

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