We are only a few weeks away from the official announcement of Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+, but that’s not stopping the news and rumors from continuing to pour in. The latest comes courtesy of the FCC where a recent filing indicates Samsung will sell unlocked versions of both the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ with support for all U.S. carriers.
Join us after the break for the details.
Samsung has in the past offered unlocked versions of their phones, such as last year with the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge, however customers often had to wait for months for this to happen. The benefit of purchasing an unlocked smartphone is that you can not only use it on whichever carrier you want, but the device will come without any of the carrier branding or the preinstalled apps we fondly call “bloatware.” Unlocked phones also allow a variety of other retailers such as Best Buy, Amazon, Target, etc. to sell retail versions of the devices without partnering up with carrier plans or contracts.
This particular FCC filing references two devices rumored to be the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ with the model numbers SM-G950U and SM-G955U, respectively. The “U” in the model numbers denotes that the device is unlocked and as you can see in the chart above, support for both GSM and CDMA is present as well as the LTE bands that all major U.S. carriers use.
What’s especially interesting is that we are seeing this filing before Samsung has even announced the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+, which may suggest that unlocked versions of both phones could be available immediately, or at least soon after the initial release. Of course, we are only guessing at the timing and it’s always possible that Samsung could end up waiting a few months to release the unlocked versions.
We will keep an eye out for any new information about this and with Samsung Unpacked on March 29 in NYC it won’t be much longer until all (or most) of these rumors will be made official.