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Mini Delight for AT&T Customers

Zacks Equity Research

After almost a year of its launch, AT&T Inc. (T) is launching Samsung Galaxy SIII mini smartphone for just under a dollar. Priced at 99 cents with a two-year contract, the smartphone brings a high featured phone at a pocket friendly price.

Galaxy SIII mini is the smaller version of Samsung’s previous flagship smartphone Samsung SIII and runs on Google Inc.’s (GOOG) Android 4.2 operating system. It features a 4-inch super AMOLED display and houses a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor,1 GB RAM along with a 5 megapixel camera.

Additionally, SIII mini holds all the popular Galaxy features such as S Beam, S Voice, Group Play and Smart Stay and supports 4G LTE (long-term evolution). The phone will be available from Sep 27, 2013, and pre-orders have already started.

AT&T customers can chose from several voice and data plans and will need to pay an upfront activation fee of $36. For a smartphone, which is retailed with a prices tag of $284, AT&T’s offer seems quite attractive. The low budget phone will be attractive to customers who want a high performance Android smartphone at cheaper price.

Notably, AT&T has the fastest and most reliable 4G LTE network and according to independent third party research data, the premier U.S. carrier has the highest success rate of delivering content across its super-fast network.

AT&T continues with its 4G LTE network expansion and is now available in 400 markets, remaining second to archrival Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ). AT&T is now primarily focused on adding devices that mostly support 4G LTE to its equipment portfolio. We believe the new Android offering will improve smartphone upgrade along with sales.

However, the recent launch of Apple Inc.’s (AAPL) iPhone 5S is expected to provide tough competition to other smartphone developers. Furthermore, the launch of 5C – the economical iPhone version – could be the primary deterrent to Samsung SIII mini sales.

AT&T carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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