GS4 quad-core or 8-core? Samsung chief says it doesn't matter

J.K. Shin, co-CEO of Samsung Electronics and head of the company's mobile business, tells CNET that the company uses multiple sources for chips to make sure it has enough supply.

Shara Tibken Former managing editor
Shara Tibken was a managing editor at CNET News, overseeing a team covering tech policy, EU tech, mobile and the digital divide. She previously covered mobile as a senior reporter at CNET and also wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. Shara is a native Midwesterner who still prefers "pop" over "soda."
Shara Tibken
2 min read
Samsung Electronics co-CEO JK Shin talks about the company's minishops during an event today at a Best Buy store in New York. Sarah Tew/CNET
U.S. customers won't be getting their hands on a Galaxy S4 powered by an eight-core processor, but the head of Samsung Electronics says it shouldn't matter to buyers.

Some models of Samsung's flagship smartphone, available globally in the coming weeks, will feature a quad-core processor from Qualcomm while others will feature Samsung's Exynos 5 chip with eight cores. The U.S. version will use the 1.9GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 series chip.

Some in the tech press have criticized the lack of an eight-core chip in the U.S., but J.K. Shin, co-CEO of Samsung and head of the company's mobile business, told CNET after an event Wednesday in New York that the general public won't really notice or care. He noted that the company chose processors that could provide a similar consumer experience.

Samsung is using different chips, Shin said, to make sure it has multiple sources for products, not because of LTE compatibility or other potential factors.

"We use multiple different sources," Shin said. "It's a sourcing issue."

Many electronics makers buy components from various vendors. Such a strategy is designed to mitigate shortages or other issues that could pop up with one particular processor.

However, there have been some concerns of late about GS4 shortages ahead of the device's imminent launch. T-Mobile delayed online orders for the GS4 by a week because of inventory issues. Sprint Nextel will still offer the phone via its Web site and telesales on April 27, but gave no word on when it would actually have the phone in stores. AT&T, meanwhile, earlier this week said its customers who preordered the GS4 could have the hotly anticipated smartphone as soon as Thursday.

Shin didn't provide information about potential supply shortages of the GS4, but a Samsung representative later acknowledged that initial supply would be limited because of "overwhelming global demand."

"We expect to fulfill inventory to meet demands in the coming weeks," the representative said.

Meet the stunning Samsung Galaxy S4 (pictures)

See all photos

Updated at 12:30 p.m. PT with additional details about the GS4 shortage.