updated 10:00 am EDT, Mon March 19, 2012
Galaxy S III may be first LTE-on-CPU phone
Samsung's long-in-development Galaxy S III may be the first smartphone with LTE-based 4G built into the processor. Apparent leaks from an executive to the Korea Times had a quad-core Exynos processor shipping with both LTE 4G and HSPA 3G inside. The move would supposedly be to reduce the "huge amounts" Samsung has to pay to Qualcomm to get 4G, the anonymous insider said.
The electronics giant thought Qualcomm was "gradually losing its edge," the executive claimed. Samsung, meanwhile, had already implemented its own cellular chips in the Galaxy Nexus and had been making "significant progress" in consolidating hardware.
Publicly, Samsung hadn't confirmed or denied the strategy. It has ruled out near-term launches and has given clues that it will only unveil the Galaxy S III closer to its actual, likely US-focused release sometime mid-year.
Having built-in LTE could give Samsung a major advantage over Apple and other smartphone providers. Separate cellular chipsets normally consume extra power even when relatively efficient. An all-in-one design could give Samsung's LTE phones long-lasting batteries as well as help it keep its devices thin.
Qualcomm is readying next-generation cellular chipsets that reduce the power draw and which might show in future phones from Apple and many providers, although it has yet to make an all-in-one processor and 4G combination.