Samsung Galaxy S III Rumored ‘Official Device of the 2012 Olympics’

Samsung Galaxy Note

Rumors peg the Samsung Galaxy S III at having a screen that will be about a half-inch smaller than the Galaxy Note, which barely fits in a shirt pocket. Photo: Ariel Zambelich/Wired

Samsung’s yet-to-be-announced Galaxy S III has been at the source of rumors for months, but this speculation is more unusual than most: BGR reported Tuesday that the anticipated flagship phone will be the “official device” of the 2012 Olympic Games.

An Olympic connection for the Galaxy S III makes sense for a few reasons. First, Samsung is already a sponsor of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, and soccer star David Beckham is appearing in ads as a member of “Team Samsung.” Second, on May 3 in London, we expect Samsung will officially unveil the Galaxy S III as one of its new top-of-the-line handsets, sitting alongside the Galaxy Note and Galaxy Nexus.

While an official Olympic tie-in for the Galaxy S III is certainly possible, it’s worth keeping in mind that Samsung’s Taiwanese rival Acer is also sponsoring the summer games, and has announced an Olympic-branded device of its own: the quad-core Iconia Tab A 510 tablet, running on Google’s Android 4.0 operating system, and adorned with the Olympic rings logo on back.

Panasonic too is an Olympic sponsor, but it has yet to announce an Olympic edition for its Toughbook tablets or anything else.

Earlier this month, Samsung officials told the English newspaper The Telegraph that the company would release a phone in time for the Olympics that would be compatible with Visa’s near field communication (NFC) payments platform, which can be used during the London 2012 games.

Samsung officials declined to comment on the BGR report, stating in an email to Wired that “Samsung does not comment on rumors or speculation.”

Considering what BRG and the Telegraph have reported, it’s possible that the Galaxy S II will be an “official phone” of the Olympics rather than an “official device.” However, those marketing terms likely have more to do with money spent on sponsorship than which category of device is wearing a 5-ring Olympic logo.