iPhone 5: Samsung Galaxy S3 Cannot Beat Apple Phone in US - Why?

28 April 2012, 5:29 pm EDT By Alexandra Burlacu Mobile & Apps

Samsung has recently confirmed the Samsung Galaxy S3 will sport a quad-core processor, the Exynos 4 Quad. The quad-core chip will make Galaxy S3 a speed demon and it could pose a big threat to iPhone 5, which is expected to pack A6 chip. According to recent reports, however, that may only be true for the global Galaxy S3 version as the U.S.-bound Galaxy S3 may have to settle for a dual-core offering.

"Samsung plans to release its Galaxy S III smartphone according to different specifications and different markets," one Samsung executive told The Korea Times, under condition of anonymity. "For European consumers, it will use 3G and the company's own quad-core mobile APs, while its own solution that combines LTE, 3G and quad-core mobile APs will be used for the Korean version. But only in the United States will Samsung use Qualcomm chips."

Global vs. U.S. Version

The U.S. has seen this sort of settlement before, with the HTC One X. The global version runs Nvidia's Tegra 3 quad-core chip, but America has received a less powerful version - the dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor.

Nothing is official yet, and the reasoning behind Samsung's alleged U.S. downgrade has not been documented. For the HTC One X, the reason was that some of the latest quad-core chips were not compatible with the modems necessary for 4G networks. The same 4G incompatibility issues may apply to the Samsung Galaxy S3 as well, forcing Samsung to use a dual-core chip instead of the global version's quad-core.

Qualcomm Chips Shortage

News of a shortage in Qualcomm S4 chips has recently surfaced, adding more uncertainty to the highly-competitive smartphone market. "Although the manufacturing yields are progressing per expectation, there's a shortage of 28-nanometer capacity," Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs recently announced.

According to Korea Times, however, Samsung officials said the company is "closely monitoring the situation," but Samsung is increasingly using its own solutions for its Galaxy range, therefore the impact of the "Qualcomm tsunami" should be limited. Moreover, Samsung officials reportedly added that Qualcomm should supply its chipsets even under a "heavy chip shortage," as Samsung is a top-tier customer.

However, even if Galaxy S3 hits the U.S. market with dual-core chip, it will still be one of the most powerful Android smartphones to be released in 2012. And, it could send Apple back to the drawing boards. 

Rumored Specs

The much-anticipated Samsung Galaxy S3 is considered to be the next major Android smartphone on the market, especially since Samsung confirmed its new quad-core Exynos chip (even if it may only be available in the global version). Additional reports indicate the Samsung Galaxy S3 will feature a 4.5-/4.8-inch HD screen, 8-/12-megapixel camera, NFC technology and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

However, nothing is certain until officially confirmed. Samsung will unveil its new Galaxy S3 smartphone on May 3 in London, at Earls Court. Unless Samsung decides to make other official announcements ahead of the big launch, which is unlikely, we'll have to wait until the May 3 unveiling to draw a clear line between rumors and reality.

(reported by Alexandra Burlacu, edited by Dave Clark)

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