At a time when less than 10 percent of all Android devices have got the taste of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, Google introduced the next version of the mobile operating system, the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, Wednesday.
As evident from the .1 increase in the version number, Jelly Bean is not a revolutionary update that Ice Cream Sandwich was, but the new version does bring some exciting new features and major tweaks, including Google Now, a Siri-like voice assistant, improved Home screen and improved camera app among others.
Google said during Wednesday's announcement that Over The Air (OTA) updates of Jelly Bean would be released in mid-July for Nexus S, Galaxy Nexus and Xoom. If you are wondering what about the latest Android smartphone in the market, the Samsung Galaxy S3, the device could possibly be well-equipped to run on the upcoming Android version.
The Verge reported, citing a trusted source, that Samsung Galaxy S3 variants for some markets got a last-minute spec adjustment to accommodate whatever it was that Jelly Bean would demand.
The source told the publication that the South Korean tech giant's intention was to design the Galaxy S3 as a future-proof device. According to the source, Samsung probably didn't want to be left flat-footed at a time when a new Android version was expected to be released just days after the Galaxy S3's U.S. launches.
Since Samsung's engineers were not 100 percent sure of what Jelly Bean would demand for its hardware requirements, they added 1GB more to the smartphone's internal RAM, making it 2GB, The Verge reported.
Our source isn't aware of Samsung's specific plans for upgrading any version of the Galaxy S III to Jelly Bean yet, but by all appearances, the hardware is more than ready to accept it (let's not forget that the nearly two-year-old Nexus S is already signed up for an update), the report added.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 in the U.S. features Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor, while the international models come with the Quad-core Exynos 4 chipset including the Korea-bound version, which features the 4G LTE support.
Other key features of the U.S. variants of the Galaxy S3 include a 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED display, surrounded by an ultra-thin bezel to maximize the viewing area of the handset; Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, 4G LTE connectivity, 2GB of RAM, an 8MP Rear-facing camera, a 1.9MP Front-facing camera and a 2100 mAh battery.
From the connectivity part, the Galaxy S3 comes with NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, DLNA, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n and MHL Video Out. It weighs 4.7 ounces (133.24 grams) and is 8.6 millimeters thin.
The Galaxy S3's other features include AllShare Play, Group Cast and Share Shot functions allowing users to share photos with others. Another feature, the S-Beam, allows easy transfer of large files from Galaxy S3 to another device by touching the backs of the two devices.
The much-talked about feature of the Galaxy S3 is S Voice, a language recognition technology allowing customers to control applications and services with words instead of touch. The handset also includes camera features like Best Shot to choose the best image from a series when taking a photo.
It's worth mentioning here that T-Mobile's Galaxy S3 is the most expensive variant costing $279.99 with a two-year agreement for the 16GB Galaxy S3, while other carriers are selling the same model at $199.99 with contract agreements.
Samsung believes that sales of the Galaxy S3 would touch 10 million units by the end of July. The handset is planned to be shipped to 302 wireless carriers in 147 different countries worldwide by the end of next month.
We're doing fairly well in emerging-economy markets ... I think our second-quarter earnings will be better than the first quarter's, despite the difficult economic situation in Europe, said Shin Jong-kyun, president and head of Samsung's mobile communications business.
Beyond the Galaxy S3 sales target for July, Samsung also expects to sell as many 200 million smartphones by the end of this year to maintain its position as the leading handset manufacturer in the world.
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