Samsung 4G chip shortages threaten US Galaxy S3
With the anticipation of the US version of the Galaxy S3, it appears that delays may happen due to 4G chip shortages as revealed by Samsung this past week. The US version of the phone will need to support the 4G LTE wireless networks of AT&T, Verizon and Sprint which are using a different processor than the International version which is quad core processor. The US version is a dual core processor which is running a dual core processor which has the 4G LTE chip embedded into the processor, but there are other chips involved here. The chip shortage situation has been known for a while, but there are several things coming together which may make things more difficult for Samsung and the coming Galaxy S3.
It seems that the 4G LTE chip which Samsung is using in the Galaxy S3 may have inventory problems as they attempt to assemble the coming smart phone. In addition to that, Samsung has contractual agreements to supply chips to Apple for the iPhone which will be ramping up here very soon as they prepare for a fall arrival of the iPhone 5 version. It is expected that the iPhone 5 will be using the same 4G chips in the US as the Galaxy S3 in the US. That presents challenges in Samsung’s ability to provide chips for both. This is being reported by Engadget and it is estimated the situation will last until the 4th quarter.
Given the contractual agreements with Apple, Samsung may be forced to use other supplier’s chips in the Galaxy S3 until such time as the 4G chip shortage has been resolved. Until that time, we expect the possibility of an inventory shortage of the Galaxy S3 phones in the US. At the moment, T-Mobile does not have this concern with their version of the Galaxy S3 as it will not come with 4G LTE included. They are a few years off before they start to roll out their LTE wireless network here in the US.
In other news regarding Apple and Samsung, their court mandated mediation begins on Monday in a Northern California courtroom. Whether they can resolve the cross filed lawsuits on patent infringements will remain to be seen as they have been fiercely attacking each other. We should know the outcome of those talks some time this week. Hopefully, they can resolve their differences.