Galaxy S4: is Samsung’s new phone due in February?
SAMSUNG has revealed the dates for its annual Forum and promised "major announcements", sparking speculation that it could launch the Samsung Galaxy S4 phone in February in Monaco.
Although the current model, the Samsung Galaxy S3, launched only in late May this year, rumours of a successor have been circulating for months already. Samsung was previously forced to deny that it would debut the S4 at CES in Las Vegas in January.
The Samsung Forum event, taking place in Monaco from 4-6 February, replaces last year’s European Forum with a global event where sources say “major announcements” are expected.
Specifications for the S4 have yet to be revealed, although a Samsung executive confirmed the name. While Samsung has shown flexible displays, the ‘bendy-phone’ technology is not yet thought to be ready for mass production. An HD display and a 13MP camera is widely expected, as are wireless charging and mobile payment options.
Flexible mobile phones are not expected to be on sale until next year
Although an announcement of the S4 remains a possibility, it is still unlikely to ship until the second quarter of 2013. Samsung is likely, however, to want to announce its phone before Mobile World Congress in Barcelona at the end of February, despite some rumours still suggesting it will wait until April so that it can assess competitor products.
At CES, Samsung will focus on televisions rather than on its burgeoning mobile business. Last year, at the European Forum in Prague, the company focused on Smart TV and connected devices. It subsequently held a dedicated event for the S3 in Earls Court in London, which has now sold more than 30million units and topped a series of 'most searched' lists for 2012.
With Apple’s new iPhone 5 already due when Samsung launched the S3, analysts have long been expecting a quick update to follow.
Samsung's S3 has already been used for mobiler wallet trials by Visa
At the 2012 event Samsung also announced its 7” tablet, the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0. The device failed to do as well as many had expected, although subsequent small tablets such as the Google Nexus 7 and the Apple iPad Mini, have set a new trend for smaller devices than the dominant original iPad.
In 2011, Samsung Electronics claimed record sales of $143 billion, and said it had achieved top market share in 10 product categories. For the first time it was also the single most preferred consumer electronics brand across European key markets.
Samsung’s Forum reflects a growing trend for major manufacturers to abandon conferences and trade shows that are attended by their rivals and hold solo events instead. Apple no longer makes announcements at MacWorld, Microsoft has stopped attending CES and BlackBerry, Panasonic and Samsung now all hold their own events.
In Prague last year, Samsung also emphasised that its smart TV were upgradeable and interactive, as well as stressing its first major WiFi smart camera and smart home appliances such as internet-connected fridges.
Matt Warman, Telegraph.co.uk