Samsung Galaxy S III Coming to U.S. Cellular July 11

U.S. Cellular will offer the Samsung Galaxy S III smartphone, which features Android 4.0, starting July 11. Verizon is also releasing its version this week.

U.S. Cellular, the nation's sixth-largest carrier, will begin selling the Samsung Galaxy S III online on July 11 and in its stores by the end of this week.

The carrier made the announcement July 10 on its Twitter page.

On June 4, the carrier announced that it would begin presales on June 12 and that the phone would be available in July. U.S. Cellular will offer a 16GB version in Marble White and Pebble Blue for $199 with a two-year contract after a $100 rebate. A 32GB version in Marble White costs $249.99 after a $100 rebate.

The 4.69-ounce phone runs a dual-core chip and the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich build. The latest Galaxy S phone also incorporates a 4.8-inch HD Super AMOLED (active-matrix organic LED) display.

The Galaxy S III also includes an 8-megapixel camera with a front-facing Webcam. Another highlight is a feature called S Beam, which allows users to sync data on devices by touching Galaxy S III phones together.

In addition, the S Voice tool allows the handset to respond to user's commands, such as to take a photo, answer a call or send a text message.

The Samsung Galaxy S III also comes equipped with TecTiles, which are NFC-equipped stickers that can be attached to different areas of a workspace or home so that the phone can carry out tasks automatically, like sending a tweet or setting the phone to airplane mode. eWEEK examined features such as TecTiles in a June 20 hands-on look.

U.S. Cellular is eager to get the Galaxy S III up and running on its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network, Edward Perez, vice president of sales and marketing operations for U.S. Cellular, said in a statement.

The smartphone connects to 4G LTE in limited areas. U.S. Cellular began rolling out the network in March in a handful of markets. Areas in Iowa, Maine, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas and Wisconsin have the carrier's 4G LTE service. By the end of 2012, 54 percent of U.S. Cellular customers will be able to connect at 4G LTE speeds, according to the company. Additional states will include Illinois, Maryland, Missouri, New Hampshire, Oregon, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia.

Demand has been high for the new Samsung phone, which was introduced at a London event on May 3. Sales of the Galaxy S III are expected to exceed 10 million units in July, according to Samsung.

AT&T began offering the phone on July 6, and Sprint was scheduled to offer the handsets beginning July 1.

Meanwhile, T-Mobile began offering it on June 21, but Verizon slightly delayed the release of the Galaxy S III on its network by two days to July 12.

The Galaxy S III may end up in the enterprise with the help of Samsung Approved for Enterprise, or SAFE, announced on June 18. The technology will defragment multiple versions of Android across various U.S. carriers. It will support 338 IT policies, according to Samsung.

The Samsung Galaxy Note was the first device to feature SAFE.