Last year's Galaxy S II US launch was . . . complicated. In addition to waiting for months after the International launch, US carriers saw fit to vary their devices drastically. No more, though. Today Samsung announced that the five US carriers that would be carrying the Samsung Galaxy S III this June: Sprint, T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon Wireless and US Cellular. And in a departure from prior Galaxy S launches, all five devices will sport the same screen size, SoC and RAM. And if you were looking forward to a quad-core Exynos, you should put your order in for the International variant. 

The US variants will feature LTE and HSPA+ 42Mbps speeds alongside their dual-core Snapdragon S4 SoCs, most likely the MDM8960 that has suddenly found its way into every major Android launch. The Krait cores will be backed up by 2GB of RAM and paired with the 4.8" Super AMOLED HD displays that grace the International Galaxy S III. Even that massive 2100 mAh battery will be showing its face on all variants, and every indication is that the bodies won't vary far from the International version, if at all. Pricing and retail availability will be announced on a per carrier basis, but Samsung commented that the phones would start as low as $199 and launch this month on all five carriers. 

Ultimately, in the US, users are not Samsung's customers, nor any other OEM's, it is the carriers that order the specifications and features they want to offer their subscribers. It is somewhat unprecedented that an Android device launching on 5 US carriers at once should be specced so identically, and makes clear that battery life and features are of more interest to carriers than core counts. If our HTC One X (AT&T) is any indication, these phones shouldn't disappoint. 

UPDATE: And the Coming Soon pages are starting to pop-up. AT&T is first out of the gates, though the rest are soon coming, no doubt. The images seem to confirm that the Galaxy S III variants will share a common design across all carriers. 


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  • deltatux - Monday, June 4, 2012 - link

    It looks exactly like the Canadian version that was announced by Samsung Canada last week. Looks great, especially since Qualcomm's S4 seems to beat almost all Cortex A9 SoCs out there. Now that it has 2 GB of RAM, sounds pretty awesome.

    Though, slightly disappointed that there will not be any Samsung Exynos 4412 love in US/Canada though just for the fact that Samsung makes very good SoCs, my Nexus S runs on one and I absolutely love this phone, I don't really care if it's considered "outdated".
  • dagamer34 - Monday, June 4, 2012 - link

    Considering how large the US is as a market, I don't see how long Samsung can go without making Exynos have an on chip LTE solution. In fact, if it werent for the lack of 4G in widespread Europe, there wouldnt be any major market that would be able to use the Exynos SoC (ok, ok, there's still Asia and Africa).

    Both Samsing and also nVidia need to figure this out before they give all their business to Qualcomm.
  • Impulses - Monday, June 4, 2012 - link

    At least NV isn't their own competitors' customer, and they got a jump start on tablets. They're simply losing out as a design option for some phone OEMs... Samsung relying on someone else's SoC for their own phones isn't exactly a new occurrence either tho, happened last year as well. Both companies will eventually have SoC with built in LTE radios, they have the IP to get it done...

    Qualcomm just beat them to the punch this year in many different ways (integrated LTE, A15 based design, early launch, etc.). Last year Qualcomm was lagging behind with an S3 design caught between A8 & A9, and still carved out a few design wins late in the year by virtue of the fact that they were making the first discrete LTE modems and the other SoC weren't always compatible with it.

    It's not like LTE is some sort of mystery to Samsung and NV tho, SoC design isn't done by the seat of your pants... They made calculated decisions to cede some early LTE phone sales in the US and they're playing it out now.
  • 1ceTr0n - Monday, June 4, 2012 - link

    With now it being nerfed with just a dual core and a RAM upgrade to help appease us retarded americans who don't know any better as greedy consumers, I'll just stick with my beloved Galaxy Note
  • Impulses - Monday, June 4, 2012 - link

    "just" a dual core eh?
  • reuthermonkey1 - Monday, June 4, 2012 - link

    I'd rather have a single device setup for Samsung to work on (and provide software updates for) than having some Exynos devices and some Snapdragon's with LTE.

    The fact of the matter here though is simple: The Exynos does not have direct LTE support (meaning it loses out on Sprint, ATT, and Verizon Wireless) and it does not have 42mbps DC-HSPA+ support (meaning it loses out on T-MobileUSA). For the American market, the Exynos does not allow the carriers to show off their networks. Period.

    Would I rather have the Exynos? Of course. Had Samsung simply made their SGS3 a pentaband device, I would be much happier. But the realities of the market are pretty clear.
  • duffman55 - Monday, June 4, 2012 - link

    Clock-for-clock, those Krait cores are quicker than the Cortex A9s in Exynos. I definitely wouldn't call it nerfed. If anything, the dual-core Qualcomm SoC in the US/Canada version of the Galaxy S III will best the quad-core Exynos in real world performance. Who knows, maybe the rest of the world will be importing the North American version of the Galaxy S III instead of the other way around. Unfortunately, the GPU is another story and won't be as powerful as the Exynos GPU. I have a feeling that very few apps will take advantage of the added GPU horsepower, however. Somewhere down the road that may change.

    On another note, it's hard to believe how much has changed in the smartphone market in just two years. When I was buying my phone nearly two years ago, the only two decent smartphone choices on AT&T were the iPhone and the Captivate (Galaxy S).
  • ViRGE - Monday, June 4, 2012 - link

    "Clock-for-clock, those Krait cores are quicker than the Cortex A9s in Exynos"

    Indeed. I'd rather have Krait any day of the week for precisely that reason. 4 cores is overkill in a phone, and it means giving up something to get there.
  • aryonoco - Monday, June 4, 2012 - link

    This is a coup for Samsung. Other than Apple, this is totally unprecedented in the US market. I have no idea how they managed to pull this off and get US carriers (all with their fetish for "exclusive" devices) to agree to this.

    Now we'll see if other manufacturers (the likes of HTC) can respond to this. Though they have said they want to change and release fewer devices, HTC is unfortunately still trapped in the old game of manufacturing different designs for different carriers, with the result that their top-of-the-line device is only available on one carrier in the US. The argument used to be that Apple is special and no one else can get away with selling the same device to all carriers. But now, surely if Samsung can, so can others.
  • metafor - Monday, June 4, 2012 - link

    I get the feeling that it's a matter of clout. Samsung is a far larger company than HTC....

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