Samsung has revealed that its Galaxy S III smartphone will launch in China this weekend — June 8 — becoming available on all three carriers: China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom.
At the launch event in Beijing yesterday, the Korean phone maker revealed that the Android-powered phone would cost $785 (4,999 yuan) off contract, as MIC Gadget reports. It remains to be seen if the three carriers will discount the device for long term contracts, as China Telecom and China Unicom have begun doing with the iPhone.
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The triple carrier push means Samsung will sell TD-SCDMA, CDMA and GSM versions of Galaxy S III in the world’s most populous country.
Samsung has already launched the device in 26 markets across Europe and the Middle East, and revealed that the phone is coming to the US, via five carriers, this month. The firm is aiming to have the device available in 145 countries worldwide by July.
Samsung is China’s leading smartphone maker, with a recent Woori report pegging its market share at 28 percent. Android remains the dominant platform for smartphones in China, having accounted for two thirds of smartphone industry sales during the final quarter of 2011, according to Analysys.
Launching with the trio will give the Samsung phone full access to China’s 1 billion plus mobile device market — which remains dominated by feature phones — and gives it a three carrier advantage that Apple is yet to enjoy.
Apple remains in ongoing talks with China Mobile over agreeing a deal that will give it the support of all three of China’s carriers. Catering for its TD-SCDMA network has proven to be a stumbling block for Apple, though it hasn’t stopped Samsung.