We are witnessing quite an interesting development in the North American smartphone market. Wireless carriers the are ones deciding what mobile chip goes into what part (without any customer input). Naturally, with "4G" screaming from all telecom commercials (Thank You Sprint for the consumer misleading ads claiming that now-dead WiMAX "is a 4G Network"), you simply have to offer a 4G phone, regardless of it using the HSPA+ or LTE.

Samsung moves into the LTE market with its own baseband chip named CMC221The only real provider of 4G LTE chips is Qualcomm and when Samsung launched its Galaxy SIII phone, the global version was powered by Exynos 4412 quad-core SoC. For the U.S. market, you’ve guessed it right – Samsung had to ?pull a One X? and swapped its quad-core for a Qualcomm dual-core Snapdragon S4 chip with built-in LTE capability.

While the difference in performance between a quad-core and a dual-core processor may not be as evident now, bear in mind that in most cases – you?ll be stuck with that phone for two years. A lot of things WILL happen in two years (Android 4 – 4.1 – 4.2 – 5.0, maybe even 5.1). In order to change that, Samsung launched a Galaxy SIII phone with a quad-core Exynos 4412 with Samsung?s own LTE baseband chip, called CMC221 (pictured right). 

This initial run is expected to result in about 10 million quad-core LTE phones solely targeting the Korean market, while other LTE markets will have to wait for the winter. Also, bear in mind that in the fall, we will get the first Tegra 3+ phones with Icera LTE baseband as well, just don?t expect great battery life due to dual-chip combination.

Still, the market is moving, and this can only be good for the consumer. Naturally, consumer that didn?t end up being forced to buy a dual-core Galaxy SIII or HTC One X etc.