I've been debating posting this all day for the reasons I'll explain below, but based on the feedback from a number of people who claim to be Sprint insiders, the information leaked earlier today in an XDA post by user supercholo may be legitimate. The leak suggests that the Jelly Bean update for Sprint's Galaxy S III may be arriving starting tomorrow, October 25th. Here is the alleged internal memo stating so:

sprintsgsijb

Whether the memo is 100% legitimate or not, and whether Sprint actually follows up tomorrow remains to be seen - it's not the first time the company played tricks on its employees, and it's not the first time a software update was delayed.

Here are a few things that made me doubt the validity of the information:

  • The version number at the bottom starts with IMM76D, which indicates ICS, not Jelly Bean.
  • If, say, that string actually describes the base version you should be updating from, why does the rest say "L710VPALJ7" which is Jelly Bean? No, there is definitely a mistake there - those 2 cannot coexist.
  • The black band at top of the image is curved, which indicates that it is a photo or a scan of a piece of paper, yet the bottom suggests that what we're seeing is an image displayed on a computer screen. Why would someone take a photo of a piece of paper, then load it up on a computer screen only to take a photo of that? Suspicious.
  • There is a typo in "over a few week period."
  • The text instructions users to go to Settings and scroll up instead of down. You flick up, but you scroll down. Apparently, Sprint used such language before, though. At first sight, however, it looked suspicious.
  • Recently, build L710VPBLJ7 was leaked on XDA (in fact, it's in the thread title where this image was posted). The version number in the leak, however, is A, not B: L710VPALJ7. Why the discrepancy and why would Sprint release an update that's older than another build that we know is available? There could be many reasons, but it was yet another inconsistency to add to the pile.
  • Samsung said Jelly Bean was arriving to U.S. variants "in the coming months" only a week ago. Granted, a release after just one week fits the timeline, and it was describing all U.S. carriers after all, but it's odd to see the first update this soon when we were thinking months. I'll go ahead and blame Verizon - who wants to bet it'll be last?

Given all the inconsistencies and oddities, I chose to postpone the post while we collected more feedback. While I wasn't able to get a direct confirmation from our sources at Sprint yet, a number of people came out on XDA and vouched that they had seen exactly the same information on their end. I'm still incredulous, but at this point I'm willing to accept that internal memos are sometimes written hastily by people who don't work in PR and don't care about being 100% correct. After all, the information is not meant for the public.

Let's see what happens tomorrow, shall we? We don't have that long to wait anyway. If Sprint comes through, it'll be the first carrier to bring the S III Android 4.1.1 update to the U.S., once again beating out Verizon (and the rest of the pack).

Thanks, Jason!