March 27, 2009 | by Andrew Kameka
Confirming what we all suspected, the HTC Magic (Sapphire) has been spotted with T-Mobile branding and approved by the FCC. The second HTC Android phone cleared the hurdles of the FCC approval process, which all but confirms that the Magic/Sapphire is indeed hopping over the Atlantic to American consumers very soon.
According to FCC filings, the Sapphire will have 3G and UMA (WiFi/Hotspot@Home) capabilities through T-Mobile USA. This was expected after a “Magic” spotted with the T-Mobile logo aroused suspicion at the Mobile World Congress in February.
Many believe that T-Mobile will title the Sapphire as the “G2” in U.S. markets; however, don’t be surprised if TMo gets a bit more creative. Calling the Sapphire the G2 might affect public perception and cause people to think it is inherently better or more advanced than the G1. For instance, you’re likely to assume that a PS3 is more advanced than a PS2 because of their names.
Next-gen branding might work for console gaming, but it’s in T-Mobile’s best interest not to let that happen in their phone line-up. The G1 is less than six months old and still has some life left in it, despite the fire sale that has occurred in recent weeks. Differentiating the products may be more sensible than implying replacements with a G-series naming system so soon.