Sometimes there are good technical reasons for why one version of a smartphone runs one chipset, and another version of the very same phone is powered by different silicon. A lot of times, that has to do with wireless connectivity, and especially with the rise of LTE over the past few years, that could mean that LTE-supporting hardware had to be put together with alternate chipsets. You might think that was the same case with the Galaxy S 4 and the Exynos 5 Octa, since the LTE version of the phone, model GT-I9505, runs a Snapdragon 600 SoC. As Samsung has now confirmed, the Exynos 5 Octa has significant LTE support, revealing that other factors are responsible for the decision.
A Twitter conversation has been stretching back a week or so, where users debated over the LTE abilities of the Exynos 5 Octa-based GS4, model GT-I9500. Eventually, the question was posed to the official Samsung Exynos account, which tweeted, “we are checking with the team to confirm this and will get back to you with verified info.”
It took a week to get a firm answer, but today it arrives: “Update: The Exynos 5 Octa supports LTE and all 20 bands.”
That leaves the question of just why we’re not all going to see the E5O in our GS4s. The most likely answer seems to be tied to shortages of the chip, and Samsung wanting to take some of the pressure off its fabrication demands.