Samsung might be working on a new version of the Galaxy S4. This time, one powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 chipset, and one meant for international markets (read: outside of South Korea).
The Snapdragon 800 is Qualcomm’s premier mobile solution for this year. However, it wasn’t available back when the Samsung Galaxy S4 launched. So the Korean company went with a dual chipset strategy. The Galaxy S4 is available in some markets sporting Samsung’s own ‘octa-core’ Exynos processor, while in most places it’s powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 600. This was the highest-performing chip out of Qualcomm at the time the Galaxy S4 got official.
But time flies in the mobile world, and Samsung’s spring launch for the S4 may become a disadvantage. That’s because both LG and Sony are prepping flagship devices that they’ll launch later this year and which will be sporting the newer Snapdragon 800 silicon. Samsung will probably use it too in the Galaxy Note III, but that’s a more niche flagship compared to the Galaxy S4.
What to do, then? Well, in its home market of South Korea Samsung has already launched the Galaxy S4 LTE-A, which features LTE-Advanced support and the Snapdragon 800 processor.
And at the risk of annoying a lot of early adopters who are in love with specsheets, Samsung is set to release a re-done version of the international Galaxy S4 that has the Snapdragon 800 chipset.
This has been leaked via a benchmark. It has the model number GT-i9506. The currently sold Snapdragon 600-powered Galaxy S4 is known internationally as the GT-i9505 so there’s little doubt here that this is going to be a Galaxy S4 variation, and one that’s meant for markets other than Korea and the US.
Samsung is said to hold a press conference in Berlin on September 3 ahead of IFA, which is where we expect to see this device announced alongside the Galaxy Note III. The move may irritate some Samsung customers, but this is a company known for how quickly it reacts to market trends. In 2012 it unveiled the Galaxy Note 10.1 at the start of the year, only to change up its specs after the fact – as it thought the tablet wouldn’t be competitive enough in its initial form. So hate it if you must, but Samsung’s known to be a fast mover, and if the market demands a Snapdragon 800 inside every flagship smartphone for the latter part of 2013, then Samsung will deliver just that.