updated 05:51 am EDT, Tue May 29, 2012
Samsung Galaxy S III now on sale in 26 countries
Samsung's eagerly anticipated Galaxy S III has been launched globally in 28 countries. Users in European countries including Germany and Britain can now purchase the jumbo-sized handsets, joining users in Middle East countries as well. Samsung says that it plans to roll out the Galaxy S III to users in 145 countries across 296 carriers by July, with North America rumored for a June 20 launch.
However the launch of Galaxy S III has not quite gone off without a hitch - the Pebble Blue version demonstrated at the phone's debut has been delayed due to manufacturing issues with the back panel. The most plentiful model in the supply chain is said to be the Marble White 16GB versions, although it is also available in 32GB and 64GB variants.
The international version of the Galaxy S III is powered by Samsung's own Exynos 4412 quad-core processor, which is based on the ARMv7 architecture. The chip is the first produced by Samsung on its new 32nm fabrication process, and has been shown to be the current performance leader in most benchmarks. However, the North American version is expected to pick up a dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 'Krait' model, which is compatible with 4G chipsets.
The device centers on an over-size 4.8-inch Super AMOLED HD PenTile display and runs Android 4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich) infused with the latest iteration of Samsung's TouchWiz UI. It incorporates an eight-megapixel camera on the rear and a 1.9 megapixel front-facing camera. The Galaxy S III also takes advantage of its enormous frame, fitting in a larger than typical 2100mAh battery, which should give it solid battery life overall given that its processor is said to use half the power of previous models. One of its signature features is S-Voice, a voice assistant app similar in appearance and function to the iPhone 4S' Siri.
The Galaxy S III will get several months head start on Apple's sixth-generation iPhone, which is not expected to show until the fall. Samsung recently retook the number one position as the leading smartphone vendor from Apple courtesy of strong ongoing demand for its Galaxy S II. Whether the much larger Galaxy S III will equal the sales success remains to be seen, although Samsung claims to have received over 9 million pre-orders for the device from carriers ahead of its launch.