Samsung Galaxy S 4 (GSM)
Replying to: GSM\CDMA by Blackmitch1
I hope sprint does not take the GSM chip out of the Samsung 4 like the S3.
WiWavelength is correct. That's not quite how it works.
Verizon Wireless clearly has a requirement that most of their high-end phones support world roaming. That's not surprising given that they are half-owned by Vodafone, an international carrier.
That world roaming doesn't require a whole extra chip (at least not a major one.) Most of the support is built right into the main Qualcomm chipset. But it does require some extra circuitry (usually very tiny parts, which may or may not be built into larger parts that would be there anyway.) The big deal is more the antenna tuning, engineering, and testing to make sure it works well at world roaming. Plus the regulatory approval. It's the testing and approval that takes real money and effort, and can lengthen the time to market.
So it's not that Sprint blocks the world roaming feature. It's just that they don't require it the way Verizon does. They'd rather have the phone sooner and slightly cheaper than wait for that capability to be tested and approved.
That's how it works with many Sprint phones. I have no idea what they will do with the S4, though. They may think it's worthwhile to have it this time. Especially if they have large business customers saying it's important to them.
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