For the past several weeks, we’ve been looking at signs here and there of Samsung developing new Galaxy S 4 hardware for release. After all, that LTE-A model for South Korea with the Snapdragon 800 made it clear that the GS4 lineup could still have a few tricks left in it, and we spotted a couple Samsung model numbers that sure felt like they could be similar models for other markets. What we lacked was much in the way of proof. There’s still a lot we don’t know, but today word arrives that Samsung is indeed releasing new GS4s, though with a focus we weren’t quite expecting.
Samsung plans to release both new GS4 hardware, as well as a new GS4 mini, to enhance cross-network support. Specifically, these new phones would be able to work on regular FDD-LTE in addition to the TDD-LTE variant that’s used in China, for a new breed of global-roaming-capable smartphones. These new models should start arriving sometime this quarter.
Could this be the excuse to bring the Snapdragon 800 to an international audience? Even if LTE-A isn’t available in many markets, a universal LTE phone (with non-LTE-A speeds) could be a worthwhile upgrade on its own, and might be just the vehicle to deliver a new SoC. We clearly need more details, but this could be the answer to many of our questions about Samsung’s GS4 plans.