May 02, 2012 01:20 PM EDT
The news that the Samsung Galaxy S3 could be coming to the U.S. as a dual-core phone, to support LTE, might be disappointing for buyers of the most-anticipated Android phone of 2012. Why? Because it will help Apple, which is expected to release the sixth generation iPhone, dubbed iPhone 5, get an edge as new iPhone is expected to pack the next-generation A6 quad-core chip.
The news of a dual-core Galaxy S3 came from multiple Samsung executives when speaking to The Korea Times, who claimed that among the three versions of the Galaxy S3 that will be launched, one will be a dual-core Qualcomm-based Galaxy S3. The phone will continue to be quad-core in Europe, where 3G is used instead of LTE for now, and Samsung could release a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon chip-based Galaxy S3 in the U.S. to support AT&T and/or Verizon's LTE network.
A recent user agent profile (UAF) also suggests that a Verizon-bound Galaxy S3 is going to be powered by Qualcomm MSM8960 S4 Snapdragon processor and not Samsung's Exynos 4 Quad chip. Though there's no specific mention of the S3 name, the model number SCH-I535 appears on the UAF.
Apple was expected to debut the quad-core A6 processor in the third generation iPad. But when the new iPad debuted with the A5X chip, focus has turned on the iPhone 5 and Apple watchers are betting that the A6 chip will debut in the new iPhone. Currently, iPhone 4S doesn't support 4G LTE and runs on dual-core chip. So Apple is expected to launch iPhone 5 with quad-core A6 chip with 4G LTE support.
Apple typically releases new chips in the iPad first and then in the iPhone. Going by that logic, even if Apple uses the A5X chip (and not A6) in iPhone 5, it will match the processing power of Galaxy S3 in the U.S, while an A6 chip could bring quad-core power to iPhone owners.
As for Galaxy S3, the latest rumors on specs claim Galaxy S3 will likely feature a 4.5/4.8-inch HD screen - probably Super AMOLED Plus -, NFC, Android 4.0 with the TouchWiz UI and either an 8- or 12-megapixel camera. Samsung is set to unveil the device on Thursday, May 3, at Earls Court in London at 7pm GMT.
(reported by Jonathan Charles, edited by Dave Clark)