When Samsung’s new flagship Android phone, the Galaxy S III, launches in the U.S. in a few weeks, it’ll be available on all four major carriers.But that’s not the best news.
This year, the Galaxy S III hardware will be the practically the same across all carriers. Before, Samsung’s Galaxy phones were very different from carrier to carrier. Some had larger screens. Some had faster data speeds. Some even had different names. (Sprint was the biggest offender, calling last year’s model this tongue twister: “Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touch.” Sheesh.)
This year, you’ll only be able to buy one Galaxy phone. The Galaxy S III. The screen size will be the same. The processor and other guts will be the same. The colour options (blue or white) will be the same.
It’s a strategy that sound very, Apple-y. And that’s a good thing. The Android platform has enough problems with software fragmentation. It did Samsung no good to go out of its way to fragment the hardware too.
Now the entire Galaxy S III experience will be uniform, no matter what carrier you use.
A few caveats: You can bet AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, and T-Mobile will load up a bunch of their own apps and services (crapware!) on the Galaxy S III. Also, you’ll only be able to get the fastest data (LTE) on Verizon and AT&T at first. Sprint’s LTE network won’t go live until later this year. T-Mobile doesn’t even have an LTE network, so its Galaxy S III will run on the carrier’s slightly slower HSPA+ 4G network.
At the end of the day, this is a huge step in the right direction for Samsung and Android. HTC and the rest of the big Android manufacturers should take note. It’s refreshing to see Samsung lead the way.