It was just yesterday that both Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ appeared at the FCC with model numbers SM-G950U and SM-G955U.
If you are a keen follower of Samsung Galaxy phones, you’ll be quick to note that these model numbers represent the U.S. unlocked variants of the Galaxy S8 and S8+. What this means is that these models will be specific to the U.S. market, thus can work with any local carrier, be it Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, U.S. Cellular or T-Mobile, among others.
The fact that the unlocked Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ have already been cleared by the FCC has a lot of weight. For starters, it is a confirmation that the phones will be sold in North America. However, there’s more to this, especially when it comes to the timing of their appearance at the commission. Last year, carrier-based Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge were released in the U.S. in early March, with the unlocked variants following up months later on the final day of June.
While the appearance of the unlocked Galaxy S8 and S8+ at the FCC at this point in time could mean the variants will be released alongside the carrier-based versions, the story could also be different. The unlocked versions of the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge visited the FCC in February 2016, only to start selling in June/July. As a result, don’t be shocked if this repeats and given that the S8 and S8+ will be released in late April, the wait could even be longer, probably well into August.
The FCC has also certified another set of Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ units and this time it’s the European versions or rather the international variants. This one carries model number SM-G950F for the S8 while the S8+ has model number SM-G955F.
Last year’s Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge European variants had model numbers SM-G930F and SM-G935F. Since those in the U.S. had to wait for months before the unlocked variant entered the country, they had the option to ship one from Europe as an unlocked variant. Well, as it appears, the FCC has also certified this variant (international) for use in the U.S., something that could also suggest it might take a while before the U.S’ unlocked model hits the shelves.
Despite all these uncertainties, we should be able to know every detail in a little over two weeks’ time when both Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ are unveiled on March 29.