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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  • Mike1111 - Monday, June 4, 2012 - link

    If there are really no carrier design variants, this will be a huge win for Samsung. But let's see how far it goes in terms of matching Apple:

    1) No carrier logos on the device
    2) No interference of the carriers in term of Android updates? Directly from Samsung?
    3) No carrier software preinstalled?

    And also, the press release says "beginning in June". That could mean released on just one US carrier in June.
  • aryonoco - Monday, June 4, 2012 - link

    There will be carrier logos, and updates will definitely come from carriers. Even updates for Galaxy Nexus, when offered by carrier, come from them. Only if you buy the Galaxy Nexus from a retailer (i.e., not a carrier) and buy it outright do you get updates straight from Google.

    Still, those are minor issues in the grand scheme of things. For Sammy to convince all US carriers to go for a single design, when just 9 months a go Verizon didn't even pick up the SGSII is a huge win.
  • Impulses - Monday, June 4, 2012 - link

    Let's see if it makes any difference whatsoever when it comes to updates... Samsung has the worst track record when it comes to that (some US SGS phones never even got Gingerbread, most US SGS2 phones are still waiting for ICS).

    They clearly did better in this regard last year with their Euro/world variants, so either their relationships with US carriers are stressed and it impacts the update process or managing all the different variants was more trouble than they cared for.

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