There are high-end smartphones, and there are more high-end smartphones. And then there are Samsung’s Galaxy S smartphones, with the fourth edition due for an announcement this year. Before we get into the details surrounding the latest scoop on Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S4, let’s rewind a bit and take a quick look at the Galaxy S lineup as a whole, leading to the S4, which will add some perspective to why this particular lineup from Samsung generates the kind of pre-launch hype, which evolves into solid sales numbers post launch.
The original Galaxy S smartphone – the GT-I9000 was announced way back in 2010, and became instantly popular upon release. This was Samsung’s high-end flagship device of 2010, and single-handedly gave birth to a whole new lineup which Samsung would go on to capitalize on, and successfully so, over the forthcoming years since then.
The successor to the Galaxy S had super-large expectations to meet. By this time, in 2011, the Galaxy brand was already being perceived as high-quality, bleeding edge technology, and rock solid reliability. And Samsung did not disappoint, in fact, exceeded expectations with the Galaxy S2, a phone which was regarded by many, as the best smartphone ever, for its times.
Come 2012, the Galaxy S brand had reached iconic status, thanks to the Galaxy S2, and Samsung had to do one better. Enter the Galaxy S3, the third edition in the Galaxy lineage. While the Galaxy S3 was and still is an exceptional smartphone, better than most of its peers and predecessor in almost every aspect, Samsung’s use of polycarbonate and plastic in the body was criticized by many as having a cheap, plasticky feel. Under the hood though, this is a beast of a device. All things considered, the Galaxy S3 continues to outsell the competition and holds the Galaxy S pedigree right up there.
Fast forward to 2013, present day. 2013 opened up with a new trend shaping up – 5-inch 1080p displays, that would define what the modern day high-end phone is going to be like. Sony announced the Xperia Z, and HTC has announced the HTC One. Over the few weeks that have transpired in this year, it would appear that every manufacturer worth its salt was prepping a device with a 1080p display and top of the line horsepower under the hood. But the interesting part is that there has not been a peep from Samsung all this time.
Sure, everyone was aware that the fourth iteration of the Galaxy lineup was due for an unveiling, and rumors suggested time frames which went as far down as May and June. As far as specs go, and again these are also rumored/leaked and not officially confirmed, the Galaxy S4 (logically, that’s what we think it will be called, although Samsung hasn’t said so themselves) is expected to come with a 4.99″ 1080p SuperAMOLED display, possibly the Samsung Exynos 5450 Octa SoC (although there are unconfirmed whispers that Samsung may go with Qualcomm’s new processors this time), 2GB of RAM and a 13MP camera.
Now for the main course. The latest news is that though MWC is coming up in a week, Samsung may have other plans for its 2013 flagship. Word out of Sammobile, the unofficially official source for everything Samsung, as well as Eldar Murtazin, who has been known for his deadly accurate leaks ahead of device launches, is that Sammy will be unveiling the Samsung Galaxy S4 on March 14th! And that’s not all, the exciting part is that Samsung will be showcasing the S4 at a yet undisclosed location in New York City. This won’t be the first time Samsung would be announcing a pure Galaxy S handset at a private event, and it sure as hell wont be the last. Unfortunately, there are no other details available on the March 14th event at this point, but it’s just a few more weeks away. Coming from sources like Eldar Murtazin, we would be inclined to believe that this is going to happen.
The release of the Sony Xperia Z later this week, and the announcement of the HTC One earlier could also be probable cause for Samsung to push up its launch schedule for the S4. While we have absolutely no doubts that the S4 is going to be an absolute cracker of a handset, it would be foolish to ignore the fact that the market is becoming increasingly competitive. With cutting edge devices like the Xperia Z & HTC One, and more on the way from OEMs like LG, Huawei, ZTE, and the Google-Motorola X Phone, Samsung is going to have to hold on real hard to that market dominance they have enjoyed over the years. And the only way that can happen is by doing something they’ve always excelled at – blowing the competition away through its cutting edge products. March 14th, if this turns out to be true, is going to be an interesting day after all.