We'd heard rumors but now it's actually been confirmed: The Galaxy S III is going to be the official phone of the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games. We first heard that this was the case weeks before the phone even launched. Around mid-April Boy Genius Report got some inside information on the device along with word that the phone would be the official handset of the Olympics. Despite the launch and unveiling of the device taking place in London, we didn't hear anything about this when Samsung took the wraps off this device on May 3.
Today Samsung confirmed the phone's status as the Olympic phone and revealed that a limited edition version would be available to select athletes competing this coming summer. It's actually part of a collaboration with Visa that will see the Galaxy S III equipped with the credit card company's payWave mobile payment application. Samsung and Visa sponsored athletes and trialists will be provided with the phones which can be used to buy merchandise at thousands of retail locations around London.
“Mobile payment services enabled by NFC technology are gaining momentum around the world," said DJ Lee, Executive Vice President and Head of Sales and Marketing team of Samsung’s Mobile Communications Business. "The Samsung GALAXY S III has been created with our human needs and capabilities in mind and is the ideal device to showcase the ease and convenience of Visa’s mobile payment application at the London 2012 Olympic Games."
Samsung says that by the time the Olympics kick off, there will be 140,000 mobile pay terminals in the UK. Users of Visa's app will just wave their phone for contactless payments on small purchases (less than £20), but bigger purchases will require the user to enter a pin. So far there's no word on whether or not this Olympic handset will go on general sale, but we'll keep you posted.