Sprint has announced that it will be offering the Samsung Instinct s30 on April 19, 2009. The successor to its popular Instinct M800 touchscreen phone, the s30 boasts numerous improvements over its predecessor. One of the biggest complaints of the M800 was its web browser -- it sucked. Sprint is remedying this by including Opera Mini 4.2 with the s30. A new instant messaging client has been included, as well. Naturally, the s30 is slimmer and sleeker than the M800 (although reports out of the CTIAtradeshow claim that it has a plastic-y feel).
The biggest change is that the s30 will be developer friendly, giving the s30 the potential to surpass other handsets in the "feature phone" market (or as I like to call them, dumbphones). According to Sprint:
Sprint plans to extend its open Java to all of its Java-enabled products. While this new openness is a nice feature, I have my doubts about its potential. I'm guessing that officially supported apps will only be offered through the Sprint Store; that place is so tightly controlled that it makes the iPhone App Store look like a hippie commune. Using unsupported apps can wreak havoc with your phone and in all likelihood, voids warranties.
Developers that want to hit a mass market can develop for the iPhone. If they don't like Apple's developer policies, they can create for Google Android orSymbian S60. In all three cases, they'd be making apps for platforms that are used by numerous carriers around the world. Certainly that's more appealing than creating apps for an American CDMA carrier.
While I was largely unimpressed with the M800, the s30 looks like a superior product. It's not a true smartphone, but it's powerful enough for most users. I'm sure it will do well for Sprint, simply because people are going gaga for touchscreen phones. I'm not yet convinced that developers care enough to create apps for it, but I'd love to be wrong here.
Anyone interested in the s30? Think I'm wrong about developer support for this phone?