T-Mobile’s Galaxy S III May Not Get A Facelift Before It Launches In The U.S.

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When the Galaxy S and the Galaxy S II made their respective journeys to the United States, they lost a little something that international customers have enjoyed since the beginning: the physical home button.

According to some new images obtained by The Verge though, that era may be drawing to a close, as T-Mobile’s GSIII variant may sport that home button after all.

It may seem like a minor thing to get worked up over (because it is), but it’s a considerable shift from the four-capacitive-button days of yore. Those design changes were mandated by carriers, and if true, these new images may mean that Samsung is flexing their muscle as the most prolific smartphone manufacturer in the world. That could also mean that the models meant for other carriers will sport a similarly untouched design, and I get the feeling it won’t be long before they start popping up in the wild.

Though the device’s looks may not have changed, you can bet the internals are at least slightly different from the international model. Samsung Mobile chief J.K. Shin noted at the company’s London launch event that the North American variants would be 4G-capable, but that raises another question about T-Mobile’s version — will it have an LTE radio?

T-Mobile’s made it clear recently that they’re working on getting their own LTE network up and running, but it isn’t expected to go live until some time next year. Meanwhile, Verizon, AT&T, and even Sprint have either already lit up their LTE networks or are right on the verge of making it happen. T-Mobile could certainly try and pull a Sprint by releasing LTE-capable hardware ahead of the network actually going live, but I somehow don’t think they’re that bold.

It wouldn’t be the first time a T-Mobile Galaxy device would have its insides changed — when the three domestic GSII flavors were revealed last year, the T-Mobile version remained awfully mum about the device and went as far as locking their demo unit up in an acrylic cage so as not to be manhandled. While the AT&T and Sprint models both sported Samsung’s own Exynos processor, T-Mobile’s was later revealed to be running on a Qualcomm chipset that allowed it to take advantage of the carrier’s HSPA+ 42 coverage.

All that geekery aside, there’s still no official launch date on the books this little looker, but with a Canadian release slated for June 20 we can’t be too far behind. Here’s hoping Samsung has ironed those issues with their hyperglaze finish though, because the last thing they need is to launch some peculiar looking hardware.