It was less than two months ago that the Galaxy S III was first announced to the world at Samsung's super classy special event. Now, the device is available inside the US borders. Though, there are a few catches. For starters, the device is only available on T-Mobile so far, according to a press release from Samsung. You can order it online, or from "select retail stores." This is in line with T-Mobile's previous statements where the company announced it would be splitting the launch in twain.
Back at the announcement of the Galaxy S III, many people were quick to note that Samsung disclaimed the availability of the Exynos quad-core processor powering the beast as contingent on certain issues of geography. And then we learned that, for reals, the US versions of the Galaxy S III would be shipping with Snapdragon S4 dual-cores onboard - the MSM8960 chipset, to be precise.
And that included T-Mobile's version, which many speculated (myself included) might be the only Exynos-packing Galaxy S III to make its way to the US of A.
Samsung is taking advantage of their newfound clout in the Android ecosystem: it's the first Android phone to escape the cellular carriers' meddling changes. Sammy managed to pulled off a unified launch across all the major US carriers - there will be no weird variants, and no names that sound like Street Fighter II sequels.
In a post to its community boards today, Sprint has confirmed that its Galaxy SIII will be delayed. The statement indicates that, due to overwhelming demand (sound familiar?), the device will be available only through Web Sales and Telesales on its June 21st launch date, with all other channels getting the device "next week." Here's the full post:
T-Mobile, in an effort "to ensure customers receive the best possible experience," (a familiar opener to bad news) has decided to split the launch of their variant of Samsung's Galaxy SIII into two phases. The carrier recently announced that "select Retail and Branded locations" in the top 29 markets will get the device on the 21st, with a limited number of devices available online, and further launches anticipated to happen about a week later on the 27th.
Just over two weeks after the official Galaxy SIII announcement, and days before its target launch date, Samsung has released the ICS open source files for AT&T's own Galaxy SIII (otherwise known as SGH-I747M), as well as T-Mobiles variant - the SGH-T999V. These releases are in keeping with Samsung's recent pattern of timely source code drops, which has certainly been encouraging for developers looking to tinker with one of the hottest Android devices available.
CyanogenMod 9 may still be a ways out, lending some credence to the claim that upgrading from Gingerbread to ICS is a very long endeavor. However, if you're willing to live your life on the bleeding edge, and you own an international Galaxy S III variant, then the time is right for you: CM9 nightlies are now available for your device.
This is, of course, still an early build, so expect some bugs along the way.
While the Galaxy S III pre-order frenzy started early last week, we've yet to see the device going for anything less than retail price. Now, however, Amazon Wireless and Target Mobile both have the AT&T variant for $150 with an updgrade. Normally we see the best deals reserved for folks looking to sign a new contract, so this is definitely the exception to that rule.
Wirefly has also joined the game and started accepting pre-order for the Sprint variant of the device, albeit for the slightly higher price of $180 for both new contracts and upgrades.
Anyone who's been keeping up on the Android blogosphere this year will know that Samsung managed to keep a pretty tight lid on the Galaxy S III prior to its release - we didn't really see any credible leaks up until a few weeks before the official announcement. And now, Samsung, in an apparent attempt to let the world know it's practicing Apple-level secrecy, has let us in on the deets of how it hid its flagship from the media's prying eyes.
According to the
always sometimes occasionally reliable FOSS patents, Apple made a conscious decision to allow Samsung to launch the Galaxy S III on time... so that the case could go to trial sooner. Apple had the option of filing a temporary restraining order to potentially stop the shipment of the SGSIII, but doing so would've been a risk for a few reasons.
Because Apple and Samsung are still in litigation over the Galaxy Nexus, Apple could attempt to stop shipment of the GSIII using a temporary restraining order (TRO).