The Samsung Galaxy S4 release date might be sooner than expected, thanks in part to the model number of a new Samsung device that surfaced on the company's website. The Samsung Galaxy S4 in question was spotted on the company's Global Download Center. Sammobile.com reports discovering a model GT-I9500X on the site, even though the latest model number for the Galaxy S3 is I9300. Does this mean the Samsung Galaxy S4 release date might come sooner rather than later?
The inclusion of the model number is certainly a sign that Samsung is preparing for a new addition to their product line and, based on the model numbers close relation to the S3, that new product is the Samsung Galaxy S4. According to a highly publicized post on Samsung Lebanon's Facebook page, the Samsung Galaxy S4 release date won't come before May 2013. Samsung Lebanon tried to go into damage control following the revealing post.
"Hello guys," they posted. "What we said is only trivial since all Galaxy S series are released between late April and Early May, yet there's no way for anyone to know the exact release date. We as a page have no news on the release of the Galaxy SIV, the info shared was done by mistake."
Ok, so the new model number doesn't really give us any info about WHEN the Samsung Galaxy S4 will be released, but it does reveal a few things about what might be in store for the S4.
An International Business Times report speculates that the "X" in the model number could be an indication that, unlike previous models, the S4 might come in more than one version. Android Authority ran an interesting report on the model number that speculates that Samsung won't name it GT-I9400 because the number 4 is considered unlucky in many parts of Asia. (this superstition might also be behind the renaming of the PlayStation 4).
Another looming question for the Samsung Galaxy S4 that impacts its release date is the type of operating system it will use. While most people assume the S4 will run on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, there is speculation that the release date for the S4 will be tied to the release of Android Key Lime Pie 5.0, Google's next version of its popular Android operating system. However, Samsung recently said it will start equipping some of its smartphones with Intel's Tizen operating system. Does that mean the Samsung Galaxy S4 won't be using Android Key Lime Pie 5.0? Nothing's set in stone, and until Samsung announces anything official we're left to speculate.
So let's keep on speculating! Here's the purported specs for the Samsung Galaxy S4:
-Android 4.2 Jelly Bean OS (or possibly 5.0 Key Lime Pie)
-Larger, 5-inch screen with 441ppi
-16GB, 32 GB, 64GB and even 128 GB models (massive memory for a massive price?)
-Quad-core processor clocked at 2 GHz
-3GB of RAM
-3200 mAh battery
-13 megapixel HD auto focus main camera
-Skype-ready 1.9 megapixel front-facing camera
-Rumored starting price of $599 with no contract, or $199 with 2 year contract
One more thing to consider about Samsung Galaxy S4 release date coming in May. Rumors are strong that the next generation iPhone (either the iPhone 5S or iPhone 6) will be released in June. Unless you've been an enforcer for the Amish Mafia, you know that Samsung and Apple have a Joe Frazier/Muhammed Ali level rivalry going. So Samsung might want to beat them to the punch by releasing the month before and getting a head start on sales.
Either way, 2013 is going to be a good year for smartphone fans.