Verizon managed to gobble up national licenses to a wide swath of the 700MHz Block C spectrum a few years back, and it is this slice of electromagnetism the carrier used to deploy its 4G LTE network. That's not Verizon's only plan of attack, though. It has also been putting together a second spectrum range running on AWS. Well, this space is almost ready, and the Galaxy S4 is going to be the first device to access it.
Since Samsung is prone to have big, glitzy events for their flagship products, we had a feeling that "Premiere 2013" would include a few of their more sedate offerings. According to the the Wall Street Journal, at least one of those will probably be the Galaxy S4 Mini, which we previously saw in a pair of leaks detailing most of the details of the mid-range phone. The Journal reports that a "person with knowledge of the matter" told them the S4 Mini would be one of several new devices revealed at the event.
It's that time again: the software engineers at Samsung are on an open-source bender, and they won't stop until every last Galaxy phone has been served. Today Samsung posted kernel files for some big (as in widely-used) devices, and some not-so-big (but still actually pretty big) devices. Verizon's version of the Galaxy S4, the vanilla Galaxy Tab 3 7.0, the Galaxy Mega 5.8 Duos, and the GSM version of the Galaxy Mega 6.3 all have kernel source code posted at Samsung's open source repository.
If you saw the Aurora Red version of the omnipresent Samsung Galaxy S4 yesterday and decided you just had to have it, AT&T has got you covered. Just let your fingers do the walking to the AT&T web store and get a pre-order in, and it'll be on its way in a little over two weeks. At present the $200 16GB model ($639.99 off-contract) is the only one available in a hue that matches your ruby slippers.
Developer editions of the Galaxy S4 have appeared on Samsung's site, and they have their sights set on AT&T and Verizon customers. Note, this is not the $649 Nexus-like version that Google unveiled at Google I/O. This developer edition is good for tinkerers who still want all of Samsung's software and Verizon customers who really don't have any other option if they want a Galaxy S4 with an unlocked bootloader. Variants for both carriers seem to be only offered in Black Mist color.
When news broke that Verizon's and AT&T's versions of the Galaxy S4 would ship with locked/non-unlockable bootloaders, people were... upset. This sort of action was basically expected from Verizon, but AT&T had historically left its device's bootloaders unlocked, allowing users to do what they wanted with their own handsets. To make matters worse, the Galaxy S4's bootloader signature verification is nearly impossible to crack.
Then, at the first of the month, all-around genius hacker Dan Rosenberg released a teaser for his upcoming tool that would "hack" the AT&T's versions bootloader.
Attention, Verizon-shackled Samsung fans (like me): the Galaxy S4 is available today. Like, right now - you could probably drive down to the Verizon store and it would just be sitting there, waiting for you to fondle its 1080p screen. If you want to take it home, it'll cost you $199.99 with a new or extended two-year contract. Still clinging to that unlimited data like the last slice of pizza in the frat house?
Give the community enough time and almost any device can be cracked open, no matter how determined a carrier or OEM is to keep it locked down. The Verizon Galaxy S4 has proven a tough nut to crack, but a new root method is much less convoluted than previous ones. Just flash a kernel, run some tools, flash again, and you're done! Well, it's a little more involved than that, but not much.
Cricket Wireless wants you to know that they'll have the Samsung Galaxy S4, just like the big boys. They just don't have it yet. In a press release issued today, Cricket revealed its own special version of the Galaxy S4 (which is exactly like all the other LTE Galaxy S4 models), and it will be available to customers in-store, online, and at authorized resellers on June 7th. The cost for Cricket's unsubsidized phone is a wallet-searing $599.99, but those who are short on green can put $54.99 down and pay it off over a couple of years.
In case you hadn't heard, Samsung is making a little extra effort to secure the Galaxy S4 via tougher software kernels, which aren't susceptible to some of the more common root methods from previous Galaxy models. But where there's a will, there's a way, and noted Android developer/modder Chainfire has found a way around the security on the stock kernel for the Galaxy S4 i9505 - that's the Qualcomm Snapdragon-powered LTE variant, and the model sold for AT&T and T-Mobile in the United States.