Apr 25 AT 12:54 PM Taylor Wimberly 25 Comments

Android Rumors Report: Photon Q, Samsung Jasper, pre-paid WiMAX, Snapdragon powered Galaxy S III, Galaxy Journal


Welcome back to our 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.

Pre-paid customers gain access to 4G WiMAX network

Rumor: Tammy Parker of Fierce Wireless reports that Sprint will offer WiMax service on their pre-paid Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile brands.

Our thoughts: This rumor was posted earlier in the week and Sprint just confirmed it in their quarterly earnings call. Device details were not disclosed, but both Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile will gain access to WiMAX sometime in the second quarter. Sprint is already moving on to LTE, but they already paid Clearwire $926 million for unlimited access to its WiMAX network in 2012 and 2013.

Probability: 100% confirmed

Verizon passed on the Samsung Galaxy S III?

Rumor: Stephen Schenck of PocketNow reports that Verizon will launch a device codenamed Samsung Jasper (SCH-i200), that features a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor.

Our thoughts: It’s really interesting to see that Verizon could be launching a new Samsung phone with a Snapdragon S4 processor. We don’t believe this Jasper device is the Galaxy S III, so it raises the question if Verizon will carry Samsung’s flagship smartphone.

Most carriers only have room for two hero products. At Verizion that is the iPhone and their Droid brand. We saw Verizon pass on the Galaxy S II and the HTC One X, so it’s not unbelievable to think they could skip the Galaxy S III. My gut thinks that Verizon wanted to turn the Galaxy S III into one of their Droid phones, and Samsung balked at the request.

As a current Verizon customer, I really hope that they carry the Samsung Galaxy S III. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see them skip it and launch another Samsung Droid phone (like the Jasper) instead.

Probability: 40%

Sprint to bring back the Motorola Photon series?

Rumor: Evan Blass of PocketNow reports that Sprint will launch a sequel to the Motorola Photon 4G, codenamed the Photon Q.

Our thoughts: I wasn’t sure how successful the original Photon 4G was on Sprint, but it makes sense that Sprint would partner with Motorola again and try to build up the brand. This device should become Motorola’s first LTE device on Sprint, and we believe they will go with the Snapdragon S4 processor. Look for this device to feature very similar specs as the RAZR HD (aka Fighter).

Since this rumor comes from king leaker Evan Blass, I believe it to be true. Look for Sprint and Motorola to unveil this device at the upcoming CTIA Wireless show in May.

Probability: 90%

Galaxy Tab with 2 GHz CPU unveiled next month?

Rumor: Aloysius Low of CNET Asia reports that Samsung could unveil a new Galaxy Tab at their London event on May 3rd.

Our thoughts: We have believed for quite some time that Samsung would unveil a Galaxy Tab with their 2 GHz Exynos 5250 processor. I thought it would be unveiled at MWC in March after I saw a prototype device at CES in January, but I was wrong. At this point, we think it’s a matter of when, instead of if.

Looking back at past Samsung Unpacked events, there is a strong chance we could see a new Galaxy Tab. At the Unpacked event in 2011, Samsung introduced both the Galaxy S II and Galaxy Tab 10.1. We haven’t seen many leaks lately about a new Samsung tablet since everyone is focused on the Galaxy S III, but don’t be surprised if Samsung shows one off on May 3rd.

Probability: 75%

HTC plans to develop its own mobile processors

Rumor: Wu Xiaowen of the China Times reports that HTC has partnered with ST-Ericsson to produce their own application processors for low-end smartphones.

Our thoughts: In today’s competitive mobile industry, you need custom silicon to differentiate your products. Apple and Samsung do it, and HTC needs to do more of it if they want to keep up. We already saw HTC take a step in this direction with their ImageSense chip found in the One series, and having a custom system-on-a-chip (SoC) is the next logical step for them.

Probability: 95%

Galaxy Note still coming to Sprint and Verizon

Rumor: The Samsung Galaxy Note will come to T-Mobile in May, and a launch on Sprint and Verizon will follow in the coming months.

Our thoughts: Rumors from back in January suggested the Galaxy Note would be coming to Sprint and Verizon, possibly as the Galaxy Journal. Now that we have seen the T-Mobile Galaxy Note in the wild, it appears that AT&T’s exclusive launch period is coming to and end. I have no proof that Sprint or Verizon picked up this device, but it is a truly unique product that has seen higher than expected demand. Verizon has a pretty crowded lineup, but I could picture the Note with LTE coming to Sprint this summer.

Probability: 60% for Sprint, 30% for Verizon

Snapdragon powered Galaxy S III in the United States

Rumor: Kim Yoo-chul of Korea Times reports the U.S. version of the next Galaxy could feature a Snapdragon processor from Qualcomm.

Our thoughts: Qualcomm is facing a shortage of their 28nm Snapdragon S4 chips, but Samsung is a top-tier customer, meaning Qualcomm should supply its chipsets even under a “heavy chip shortage,” according to unnamed Samsung officials.

The Korea Times report says, “Samsung plans to release its Galaxy S III smartphone according to different specifications and different markets. For European consumers, it will use 3G and the company’s own quad-core mobile APs, while its own solution that combines LTE, 3G and quad-core mobile APs will be used for the Korean version. But only in the United States, will Samsung use Qualcomm chips.”

I know that the majority of LTE phones launching in the first half of 2012 are using the Snapdragon S4 chip, but I find it really difficult to believe that Samsung would go this route. Samsung produces their own Exynos application processors and their own LTE modems, so it makes little sense for them to go with the Snapdragon S4 in the next Galaxy.

Why would Samsung use the same chip as HTC and LG if they are trying so hard to differentiate the Galaxy S III? I could be wrong, but I just don’t see it happening.

Probability: 25%

Got any juicy rumors?

Find any hot Android-related rumors that we failed to cover? Just contact Taylor or leave a comment below and we will evaluate them next week.

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • redraider133

    I hope verizon does pick up the sgs3 but after not picking the sgs2 up last year to pick up the nexus I could see them doing the same again this time around sadly.

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      I’m pretty sad Verizon didn’t get the One X.

      • redraider133

        Me too. I just wish verizon would pick up one phone when it comes out right away and not wait months later to get it. Yeah they are getting the incredible 4g but the one x seems like a great phone and what better way to show off the network than to have some truly “super” phones on it.

  • Orion78

    I really hope the U.S. versions of the GS3 have Exynos and not Snapdragon. I’m not saying theres anything wrong with Snapdragon but Exynos is way better.

  • John

    Something for those who are interested in the business side of the telecom industry, rather than the feel-good stuff: Verizon got behind Android in a big way because they wanted a counterweight to the iphone – this isn’t because of some kind of altruism, but rather, the shareholders and Verizon execs have never liked the enormous subsidies they pay out for the iphone. True, they recover it on the 2-yr contract, but it takes longer than other phones; this is the reason why Verizon is getting behind Windows 8 phones; they want more competition for the iphone, which eats up more profits than other phones.

    I’d be surprised if VZW passed on the S3, which is a great chance to push people towards non-iphones, as well as push them onto the more lucrative data plans

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      I agree with carriers hating the iPhone subsidies.

      If VZW is going to make a big bet on Windows Phone 8, maybe that’s the reason they would pass on SGS3.

      • John

        Still doesn’t make sense; VZW is a company focused on profits. Their big hope is to 1) drive people into data plans and away from feature phones, and 2) develop competition for the iphone. Windows 8 has the potential to be big, bit right now, it’s like Android was a few years ago, just a niche competitor, a curiosity. I don’t see the business sense is passing on one of the most anticipated phones of the year

    • redraider133

      I still think that even if they are getting behind a third platform they are first and foremost a company looking to make profits. What better and easier way to make profits then have the best phones on your network. It doesn’t make sense to skip it because most who buy android phones would not buy a windows phone anyway so how is that helping them make money if those wanting an android device have limited choices or not the latest and greatest which lots of people like and want?

    • Chris Lewis

      I hope you are right. If vz passes on the SIII They will loose my business. And yes, I will switch carriers for the Galaxy SIII.

      That should be a poll! Will you switch carriers for the SIII???

  • Nate B.

    They said that same lame rumor last hear about the S II having Snapdragon but we or majority got Exynos.

  • Ps3y3Ops

    I’m a fan of the S4, but the GSIII without Exynos seems like it would be the GSIII lite.

  • Dennis Petrospour

    I think the GS3 is not gonna have quad core I have a gut feeling

  • spazby

    I would be surprised if exynos is not part of gs3 in US

  • Nathan D.

    I don’t want the S3 tho have the krait processor like T-Mobile did to its galaxy S3 I would rather have third own processor in their phone.

  • squiddy20

    Haha Richard’s probably going to be fuming at the thought of a 30% chance of the Note coming to Verizon after all his assertions that it indeed would. Here’s to hoping he’s wrong yet again!

  • Fineous Tweed

    I think the chance of Samsung using the S4 is closer to 0.01%. If this happens it has pretty much no advantage at all over the HTC One XL in the US. Why would they have held out releasing it for so long if this was the case? Seems like a rumor that no one should even give the respect of acknowledging.

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      T-Mobile used Snapdragon in Galaxy S II. AT&T used Snapdragon in Galaxy S II Skyrocket. Average consumer doesn’t care what processor is inside their phone, so I still think it’s possible.

    • Samk123

      Well the advantage would be that Amoled screen. Some people prefer that screen more than anything else. And if it comes with Super Amoled Plus its going to differentiate itself from the HTC One XL.

  • Nate B.

    Not to kill a buzz about the S III, but there are leaked Kies screen shots of the S III and the specs don’t seem to blow anything out of the water. It’s nothing to much different then what’s out now. I’m sure it’ll be posted on here in another article but this kind of blows me. I hope that was for an earlier model or something. Because all this hype from Sammy would hurt my feelings.

  • aranea

    I hope the new Galaxy tab is also revealed on May 3rd and becomes available quickly afterwards. I need to buy a tablet for my parents and have been holding out for the new tab.

  • Chris Lewis

    I really enjoy reading these rumor reports, but I have to ask.

    Where are you getting the data for your statistical analysis i.e. your probability ratings? Is it based simply on your opinion, or actual numbers?

  • san_8616

    samsung will try to solve problems from S2 and new change of Nokia lumia series


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  • Fracent

    Samsung will be Solve this