*Update on 26/4/2013 2.55 pm: Following our news yesterday, we sent a query to Samsung Mobile Singapore on this entry. A company spokesperson reiterated that there is currently no plans to bring in the Exynos model. He also confirmed that the GT-I9500 only supports 3G. This means that even if you get the GT-I9500 from other countries, the device is unable to log on to the 4G networks in Singapore.
It's a known fact that the Samsung Galaxy S4 with LTE (GT-I9505) retailing later this weekend in Singapore is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 quad-core 1.9GHz processor. We were told in early April that Samsung Mobile Singapore has no plans to bring in the Exynos variant. However, it seems that the company may be preparing to bring in the Exynos variant.
According to the IDA Equipment Search List, there is another variant of the Galaxy S4 labelled as GT-I9500. This particular model number is known as the Exynos variant. Although @SamsungExynos tweeted on 29 March that the Exynos 5 Octa processor supports LTE and all 20 bands, the GT-I9500 is stated to lack 4G LTE support.
Upon further investigation, we found another tweet by @SamsungExynos informing a follower @LordY971 that even though the Exynos processor supports an LTE modem, it does not currently support 4G standards.
Engadget reported in March that the Exynos 5 Octa processor with LTE support is currently reserved for Korean models of the Galaxy S4 (SHV-E300S, SHV-E300K and SHV-E300L). This led to speculation that Samsung is unable to produce as many Exynos chips as Qualcomm to meet the overwhelming demand for the phone.
A similar scenario emerged last year when Samsung launched the Galaxy S III in Singapore. As the three telcos had not rolled out their 4G LTE networks, the initial batches of Galaxy S III units (GT-I9300) were sold to consumers. Six months later, the company released an LTE variant. However, the Samsung Galaxy Note II that is currently sold in Singapore is the LTE variant (GT-N7105) and the 3G model is never sold here by Samsung or the three telcos.
Is Samsung making plans to bring in the Exynos model without 4G LTE support at a later date? Or is IDA just testing the 3G variant? Well, we leave it up to you to decide.