Samsung announced that the Galaxy S3 Android phone will launch on five carriers near-simultaneously, and that the phone will retain its simple branding on all five.

In addition to the big four (AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, and Sprint), Samsung's Galaxy S3 will launch on the nation's fifth-largest carrier, US Cellular.

The Galaxy S3 will run on Verizon, AT&T and US Cellular's 4G LTE networks, it's expected, while Verizon will run it on HSPA+ 42.

The phone will launch this month in the US contract-free, but each carrier will announce a separate release date for the Samsung Galaxy S3 on its own network.

It's expected to cost $199 with a contract, compared to an $800 price tag without one.

No more confusing name changes

Unlike previous Samsung Galaxy phones, the Galaxy S3 will be the Galaxy S3 on all five carriers.

The first Galaxy S was called the Samsung Fascinate, the Captivate, the Epic 4G, and the Vibrant on Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile, respectively.

And Samsung's Galaxy S2 was branded the Skyrocket on AT&T, the Epic 4G Touch on Sprint, and the Titanium on T-Mobile.

To avoid confusion, the Samsung Galaxy S3 will retain its simple branding across AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, and US Cellular.

The move is thought to be a bid from Samsung to follow in Apple's footsteps by wresting branding and advertising control away from carriers and taking the reigns themselves.

However, each carrier will still have its own custom software installed.

The Galaxy S3's US hardware differences

The Samsung Galaxy S3's specs are slightly different than those of the international version of the phone, known as the GT-i9300.

The GT-i9300 packs a quad-core 1.4 GHz Exynos processor, while the US Galaxy S3 is equipped with Qualcomm's Snapdragon S4 1.5 GHz dual-core chip and 2GB of internal RAM (up from the GT-i9300's 1GB).

The Exynos processor is not compatible with US 4G LTE networks, hence the need for the change to the Snapdragon.

The Galaxy S3 will also sport a 4.8-inch display, 8MP camera, and either 16GB or 32Gb of storage.

Via Slashgear, Apple Insider