AT&T announces a second Samsung 5G smartphone for 2019

Leave it to Samsung to talk up its second 5G smartphone before most companies have tipped their first. A few days after announcing its first 5G handset via Verizon, the company is already on to number two. This one comes via an AT&T press release that qualifies the handset a bit more, calling it “another standards-based 5G device.”

Shortly after Verizon was first with the original Samsung 5G news, both AT&T and Sprint announced that they would be getting the handset, as well. That device is scheduled, broadly, for some time in the first half of the year. This one, meanwhile, will likely be arriving in the second half. “Likely” because of road maps and all of that stuff that’s ultimately subject to change. 

The device will “be able to access both 5G mmWave and sub-6 GHz.” Beyond that, unsurprisingly, there’s about as much detail as we got the first time around. The rest of the release finds the carrier talking up its wireless plans, going forward, and noting that this deal brings it up to three 5G devices, including a mobile hotspot announced in late October.

It’s a bit unlike smartphone makers to tip their hands this far out, but between these handsets and the foldable prototype the company recently showed off, Samsung is clearly making an effort to demonstrate the innovation it’s got in the works. That appears to be, at least in part, due to somewhat lackluster sales in 2018. Wireless carriers, meanwhile, are clearly falling all over themselves to be the first announced partner for these devices.

Given the fairly lengthy lead time, the companies don’t risk cannibalizing holiday sales too much, especially with some deep December discounts on flagship devices.