Samsung doesn’t plan to let anyone get ahead in the mobile industry, so now the Koreans are pushing to be the first ones on the market with a phone that has both a quad-core (Exynos) chip and LTE support. This version of the Galaxy S3 will arrive first in South Korea, and Samsung says it will “include a quad-Core Exynos application processor and an LTE modem chip separately”, which could explain why the version is 0.4 mm thicker than the regular models.
Because the Koreans don’t have yet a SoC that is integrated with an LTE modem, like Qualcomm has done with their Snapdragon S4 chip, Samsung is forced to sell the Galaxy S3 with Qualcomm’s S4 chip in the LTE markets. The problem is that the S4 is already in short supply, a problem that doesn’t play well with the “overwhelming demand” for the Galaxy S3. This has already caused launch delays in Canada and the US.
This is why Samsung is in a hurry to pair their Exynos 4 Quad processor with an external LTE modem as soon as possible. Since the quad-core/LTE version will come out in South Korea as soon as next month, it’s possible that we will see it in the US later this year, perhaps coupled with other improvements. Among the upgrades that Samsung might make to this version, we can think of a non-Pentile display (could be just wishful thinking, though) and Android 4.1 Jellybean right out of the box.
Next year, the issues that manufacturers currently face with LTE modem integration should be a thing of the past, because both Samsung and Nvidia will sell their own processors with integrated LTE radios. Samsung should have it right out of the gate with the Exynos 5250 chip and Nvidia with Tegra 4 (although there will be some intermediary Tegra 3 chips paired with external Icera LTE modems, too).