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No Exynos 5 Octa in the UK Galaxy S4 either, says Samsung

Samsung has confirmed that the UK version of the Galaxy S4 will be using Qualcomm's Snapdragon 600 processor and not its own Exynos 5 Octa. You can't help but wonder which countries will actually see the Exynos chip?
March 20, 2013
Galaxy S4 UK

I’m really starting to wonder which markets will actually see the light of the Exynos 5 Octa powered Galaxy S4. Yesterday we heard that other counties in Europe, Sweden and Denmark just to name a couple, would be receiving the Snapdragon 600 powered handset just like the US, and now it’s official that the UK will use Qualcomm’s chip as well.

In a response to a query about the UK version of the Galaxy S, Samsung replied with the following statement.

“Samsung Galaxy S4 is equipped with a 1.9GHz Quad-core AP or a 1.6GHz Octa-core AP. The selection of AP varies by markets … In the UK, the Galaxy S4 will be available as a 4G device with a 1.9GHz Quad Core Processor.”

So why won’t we be seeing the Exynos 5 Octa in the UK and northern Europe? Well I have two theories.

Firstly, as Samsung stated the Galaxy S4 is to be available on 4G networks. The US and northern parts of Europe have substantial LTE coverage already, and the UK now has EE offering LTE, and other carriers are preparing to roll out their own services in the near future. So the Snapdragon 600 makes perfect sense for these markets, as it has a built in LTE modem, making it highly cost effective.

Then you have to consider the availability of the Exynos 5 chip. It’s likely to be very sparse when the Galaxy S4 launches, as mass production of the chip isn’t scheduled to start until the second quarter of this year.

Countries like the UK, the US, and many places in Europe are going to be huge markets for Samsung’s new handset and they won’t want to be caught in short supply like the Nexus 4. Qualcomm already has the Snapdragon 600 chips churning off the production line for other handsets. Also as it’s the most powerful processor currently available, it makes sense that Samsung would pick this chip to fill the gap in Exynos production.

I suppose then that we’ll be seeing the Exynos 5 Octa handsets ship out to countries without established LTE networks, or where network coverage is poor. Alternatively we could also see Exynos powered Galaxy S4s hit the market at a later point in the year, once mass production has kicked into gear.