June 6, 2012
Samsung’s Galaxy S III Gets Ready To Storm American Shores
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com
After making its UK debut last month, the Samsung Galaxy S III has already proven more than popular in London, as carriers and dealers there have already reported more than 9 million pre-orders for the next Samsung Smartphone.But we can´t let those Londoners have all the fun. Anxious Android Aficionados can stop wringing their HTC One Xs in sweaty anticipation as America´s largest carriers have announced release dates and have started taking pre-orders.
AT&T, along with Verizon, started taking pre-orders today and will offer a 16 GB version of the smartphone for $199 with a 2-year contract. Those craving a larger capacity can find a 32 GB option for $249.99 on every carrier but AT&T. Big Blue is saying their version of the smartphone will ship June 18th, 3 days before the phone is expected to be released for Sprint. Verizon, on the other hand, is being less-than-clear with their release date for the Samsung smartphone, saying pre-orders will ship in the coming weeks, though some who have pre-ordered the phone are saying Verizon is reporting a ship date of July 9, just days away.
Sprint, on the other hand, began their pre-orders yesterday and will be the only carrier–as expected– to offer Google Wallet on the new phones.
T-Mobile is also saying their version of the Galaxy S III will arrive on June 21st, though they have yet to release pricing information.
Samsung, Apple´s number one competitor, is making a big push with this device for this summer, signing on every major US carrier to sell the phone. Despite its processor downgrade–The US version gets a Snapdragon chip rather than Samsung's new, touted Exynos Quad core chip– expectations for the phone remain high. Samsung has been steadily improving their Galaxy S brand over the past few years and are now the second most popular behind iPhone. Samsung is also trying a new move from the Apple playbook, shipping essentially one phone to every carrier. As it stands, any phone you get from a carrier, barring the iPhone, will have the name of said carrier stamped somewhere on the device. Samsung wants to change that with the Galaxy S III, with only the name “Samsung” branded on the back of the phone.
Samsung, who is currently in court for patent and IP infringement against Apple, may only be taking baby steps in the beginning. According to Ina Fried at All Things D, the carriers are, however, allowed to fidget with the software, loading their own bloatware and features that non-Apple customers have always been subjected to.
What´s left to be seen is how carriers will take to another smartphone manufacturer trying to slowly edge their precious brand from the device. After all, carriers have often tried to create their own smartphone brands with phones such as the long-winded Sprint HTC EVO 4G. (Sprint refers to their HTC phones as “EVO,” and, till now, their Samsung devices as “Epic.”)
The smartphone race has quickly turned into a contest between Apple and Samsung more so than a footrace between Android and Apple. While Samsung takes advantage of Android´s operating system, their pushing towards one returning, flagship device smacks distinctively of Apple, who continues to see great success following this plan. If rumors are true, Samsung could have a 3 month lead on Apple, as the next iPhone isn´t expected until October.