What's going on with the 64GB Samsung Galaxy S3?

Samsung's UK-based retail partner Expansys has reportedly stopped taking orders for the 64GB version of the Galaxy S3 smartphone, leading some to speculate that the Korean tech giant has decided demand is too soft to manufacture and ship the model.

The Galaxy S3 was originally supposed to come in three flavours — with onboard storage clocking in at 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB — but GSM Arena reported Tuesday that Expansys is telling customers that Samsung "has decided not to release the [64GB] unit."

On the other hand, Australian phone seller Mobicity is apparently taking orders for unlocked 64GB versions of the Galaxy S3.

Samsung hadn't responded to a request for comment as of last night.

If the GSM Arena report is accurate, however, it remains more than a bit mysterious as to just how and when Samsung was planning to release the 64GB Galaxy S3 in the first place. The model was supposed to be sold internationally with the exception of the US, according to AnandTech and a few other sources.

The thing about the Android 4.0-based Galaxy S3 is that it's already got up to 64GB of expandable memory courtesy of its microSD slot, meaning that you could stuff a ridiculous 128GB of onboard storage into the ephemeral 64GB version of the handset if you chose to. By comparison, the most expensive iPhone 4S has 64GB and that's it.

Judging by the comments on GSM Arena, a lot of folks think 128GB in a smartphone is more than a bit excessive. Maybe there's a niche market for the 64GB Galaxy S3, but it could be that Samsung is discovering it's pretty small.