Welcome to another new weekly column where we round up all the Android-related rumors and discuss the validity of each one. Everyone seems to love our original rumor reports, but we thought it would be fun to examine the rumors from around the web and share our thoughts on the possibility of them coming true. Read on for this week’s latest Android rumors.
Galaxy Nexus coming to Sprint on April 15th
Rumor: Robert Herron of S4Gru reports that Sprint has set April 15th as the target launch date for their Samsung Galaxy Nexus. The device will arrive before Sprint’s LTE network goes live, so it will have LTE disabled when it ships.
Our thoughts: Earlier this month I speculated the Sprint Galaxy Nexus could launch around April 16th, based on details from a contest. I don’t know Robert Herron and I’ve never read anything else he wrote, so I’m not sure of his track record. We think it sounds reasonable, but we all know how feeble target launch dates have become.
Galaxy Nexus coming to more US carriers
Rumor: Jerry Hildenbrand of Android Central reports the Galaxy Nexus is coming to regional carrier I Wireless on March 21st. Other unsourced rumors have suggested the Galaxy Nexus will be sold unlocked to US customers.
Our thoughts: I have met Jerry Hildenbrand and I think he’s a respectable guy, so I believe him when he says he has proof of the Galaxy Nexus coming to I Wireless. We have thought that Verizon had some kind of limited exclusive on the Galaxy Nexus launch in the US, so this I Wireless phone could signal the end of that deal. I wouldn’t be surprised if Google started selling the unlocked GSM version of Galaxy Nexus on their site soon.
Android 4.0.5 to arrive in April
Rumor: Verizon insider @black_man_x tweets that Android 4.0.5 is in testing and coming to the Verizon Galaxy Nexus in early April.
Our thoughts: Last month, Mobile Syrup reported that Android 4.0.5 was coming to the Galaxy Nexus in March, but that has yet to happen. I don’t know the “Mobile Panda”, but many other bloggers seem to trust the guy. He has close ties to Verizon, so I’ll take his word that Android 4.0.5 is currently being tested. However, we are talking about Verizon pushing out a software update on time, and that could change at any moment.
Google has been taking a lot of heat for slow Nexus updates, so hopefully they are making sure this gets done on time. Check out the report on the leaked build of Android 4.0.4 for a list of possible fixes coming with the next update.
HTC One V coming to Virgin Mobile US for under $200
Our thoughts: If you don’t know by now, Evan Blass is the ultimate HTC insider. He even has his own tag on our site. I’ve recently become friends with the guy and I trust everything he reports. Virgin Mobile is one of the leading pre-paid brands and the HTC One V was made to be sold around $200, so I believe this report to be true.
HTC One X coming to Sprint on June 10th
Rumor: Andrew J. Shepherd of S4Gru reports that Sprint will launch their version of the HTC One X on June 10th, two years after the original HTC EVO 4G went on sale.
Our thoughts: Again, we don’t know these S4Gru guys, but they seem to have a good inside source to be making such bold claims. We already reported on rumors that the One X was coming to Sprint, and we still believe them to be true. The only question remains the final product name (something with EVO) and the exact launch date. Sprint and HTC are holding a press event on April 4th, so we should learn more details soon. June 10th is still a couple months away and product launches change all the time, so I wouldn’t circle that date on my calendar just yet.
Sony chooses Tegra 3 for future tablets
Rumor: Laura Benedetti of Notebook Italia reports that Sony could be working on a direct successor to the Sony Tablet S that is powered by the quad-core Tegra 3 processor.
Our thoughts: There was a leaked NenaMark benchmark score (now removed) that showed a mysterious Sony device with the model number V150. The device featured a 1.4 GHz Tegra 3 processor, display with resolution 1280 x 752, and Android 4.0.3. Sony has released several tablets with Tegra 2 (Sony Tablet S and Tablet P), so it’s logical they could be working on another device. However, there are not enough details present to really make a call on this device. It could be the next PlayStation certified phone for all we know.
All the Samsung Galaxy S III rumors
Quad-core processor: The Korea Times reports the Galaxy S III will feature a quad-core processor.
Our thoughts: This rumor goes way back and is nothing new. The way we see it, Samsung has two choices for the Galaxy S III. They either go with the Exynos 4412 (quad-core Cortex-A9) or the Exynos 5250 (dual-core Cortex-A15). Previously I wrote that if I were Samsung, I’d push back the product launch and go with the much faster Exynos 5250. Most people thought the new iPad would be quad-core CPU and they were wrong, and I think this CPU choice could also surprise people.
Integrated LTE: The Korea Times and other blogs report the Galaxy S III will feature a processor with an integrated LTE modem.
Our thoughts: Samsung does not integrate modems with their system-on-a-chip (SoC) like Qualcomm does. We have no doubt the Galaxy S III will be LTE-capable and use a Samsung LTE modem (just like the Verizon Galaxy Nexus), but it will not be integrated into the SoC. Maybe the Exynos 6 series will have integrated LTE, but you will not find it on Exynos 4 chips or Exynos 5250.
March 22nd announcement: South African site phonerpt is reporting that Samsung will unveil the Galaxy S III this week.
Our thoughts: Really?
Samsung Unpacked on May 22nd: A leaked image from an anonymous source suggested that Samsung is holding an Unpacked event on May 22nd to announce the Galaxy S III.
Our thoughts: Out of all the leaked dates surrounding the Galaxy S III, this one sounds the most believable. It comes from an anonymous source, so it’s hard to put a lot of weight behind it, but it was so random that a small part of me wonders if it could be true.
Some people said the Olympic torch relay starts on May 22nd, and Samsung is a major sponsor of the summer Olympic games in London. However, the relay actually starts on May 19th. At least this rumor makes more sense that most, but it’s still a stretch.
June release: Numerous blogs are speculating the Galaxy S III will launch in June.
Our thoughts: Previous reports said the Galaxy S III would launch in April, then May, and now the latest guess is June. Samsung previously said the successor to the Galaxy S II would be unveiled at “separate Samsung-hosted event in the first half of the year, closer to commercial availability of the product.” We have no idea when it is coming, but I would go with the later dates. If the above May 22nd rumor is true, then I would start to believe a June release.
Wireless charging from 1-2 meters away: Korean site DDaily reports the Galaxy S III will feature wireless charging that works with a dock from 1-2 meters away.
Our thoughts: Several current phones already feature wireless charging, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see it inside the Galaxy S III. I find it really hard to believe it would work from 1-2 meters (3-6ft!) away though. The current inductive charging standard Qi only works when the charging receptacle is almost touching the device.
Qualcomm was working on a propriety technology called WiPower that increased the distance between the transmitter and receiver coils by a couple of inches, but the charge had to be transferred though another material like plastic or wood. They previewed this technology at CES 2011, but it never came to market. I heard reports from the Qi group that there were concerns of electro-magnetic radiation when the transmitter and receiver coils are not close together.
I’d be surprised if Samsung solved this radiation problem when Qualcomm couldn’t, and I still don’t know how I feel about a device charging 3-6 feet away from the charging station. It would be awesome if they discovered a safe way to do this, but I don’t see it happening this soon.
Got any juicy rumors?
Find any hot rumors that we failed to cover? Just contact Taylor or leave a comment and we will evaluate them next week.