Samsung to unveil Galaxy S4 in Feb 2013

[UPDATE] New handset expected to sport 5-inch screen, and will see some "external changes" but retain its rectangle shape with rounded corners concept; to be unveiled at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona next year.
Written by Ellyne Phneah, Contributor

Samsung Electronics plan to unveil the latest in its Galaxy line, S4, at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in February next year, company officials and its local part suppliers told The Korea Times on Sunday. 

A company official who declined to be named, told the daily news site the company is "ready" to unveil the Galaxy S4 in Barcelona next year, and the new device is expected to hit shelves globally a month later at the latest.

The timetable had been released three days after the Korean electronics giant's rival, Apple introduced its iPhone 5, which has received mixed responses from industry experts and consumers for seemingly lacking in revolutionary features.

The official also said since the smartphone is due nine months after May's debut of the Galaxy S3, it will be more than enough to curb Apple's latest iPhone, compatible with long-term evolution (LTE) networks. Sales of the Galaxy S3 had reportedly hit 20 million in just over three months of its launch, according to the company in early September.

The new Galaxy is expected to be the firm's most powerful handset in terms of hardware specifications and software advancement, he said.

Executives from Samsung's local part suppliers also said the company's new phone will "definitely use" LTE networks, and sport its in-house Exynos-branded application processors and quad-core chips. Currently, the S3 is using both Samsung's Exynos and Qualcomm's Snapdragon processors depending on the country.

The screen size of the S4 is expected to hit 5 inches from the current 4.8 inch screen size of its S3, while the phone will use Google's Android software and sport an organic light emitting diode (OLED) displays, the official said.

"Samsung wants to keep its one-year product schedule and the Galaxy S4 will be the first to match that strategy. The S4 will see some external changes but retain its popular rectangular shape with rounded corner concept," an official from one of Samsung’s local partners told The Korea Times. This follows reports last month that the company is currently in talks with major American carriers to apply modified phone designs to avoid violating patents.

When contacted, Samsung told ZDNet Asia it "cannot comment on rumor or speculation".

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