Samsung in 2013: expect an even bigger Note III.. but no ‘unbreakable’ Galaxy S IV!

As reported by CNET, a rumor originating from The Korea Times this week claims that Samsung is working on a Galaxy Note III with a whopping 6.3-inch display, some eight-tenths of an inch larger than the already massive Galaxy Note II. While we don’t have any information about a Galaxy Note III specifically, a trusted source recently left us with this: “At some point in the next year, and it could be very late in the year, we might fill in the largest gap in our screen size lineup.” Indeed, at present, Samsung has no devices between 6 and 7 inches in either its phone or tablet lineups.

How, exactly, a normal human would hold a 6.3-inch phone is unclear. Samsung could possibly get to 5.8 inches without increasing the size of the current Galaxy Note II’s body if it were able to eliminate portions of the bezel as Motorola has done with the RAZR M, but that’s about it — in other words, the phone would definitely have to get bigger than it is today in order to accommodate a 6.3-inch screen.


Speaking of screens, various news outlets have reported this week that next year’s inevitable Galaxy S IV will have an “unbreakable” display, a fruit of Samsung’s longtime effort to commercialize flexible AMOLEDs. The rumor appears to originate from Nicolas Gaudois, a UBS analyst quoted by Reuters.

Don’t expect such a screen on a Galaxy S model in 2013, though. “Flexible screens are still a while off,” our source tells us. What you can expect, we hear, is a 1080p display — no surprise now that HTC has set off that arms race with the J Butterfly and Droid DNA.

Our source isn’t yet sure when the S IV will be announced, but it definitely won’t be CES and may not be MWC in late February, either — Samsung set aside its own event for theGalaxy S III this year, after all, and it was just unveiled in May. Considering its specs and popularity, Samsung may elect to wait a full 12 months before pulling the sheets off its successor.

Samsung to unveil Galaxy S4 in Feb 2013!

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Apple’s iPhone 5 launch is being heralded as a huge success (despite some complaints about a predictable launch event) and there’s further fuel to that fire after the first leaked details of Samsung’s next device — the Galaxy S4 — surfaced with an article in The Korea Times.

It’s not unexpected that Samsung is planning a follow-up to the Galaxy S3, which recently passed 20 million sales, since the company sticks to annual product release schedules. However, the timing of the Times article, which leans on anonymous sources, suggests that some folks in the Samsung camp are keen to make noise in response to the unveiling of its arch rival’s latest phone.

Pre-orders for the iPhone 5 quickly sold out across all US carriers in record time, and that led Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris to tell The Loop that the Cupertino-based firm had been “completely blown away” by the “incredible” volume of pre-orders.

Devices are said to have begun shipping to the US today (Monday: Asia time, late Sunday: US time) and, with the release of the phone likely to dominate headlines, it could well be that Samsung has released ‘insider speculation’ of its next flagship device to keep itself in the media.

The Times report explains that Samsung will unveil the Galaxy S4 at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain – which is notable as the Galaxy S3 was announcedbefore this year’s event. From there, the phone is tipped to go on general sale in March.

The article states that this is part of Samsung’s annual cycle, but it is interesting to note that the anticipated launch date for the Galaxy S4 is just nine months after the Galaxy S3 debuted. If correct (and it is still too early to be sure), that time-frame is significant. Apple traditionally launches its devices later in the year, so Samsung’s move to bring its phones to market earlier hints that it wants its newest models to hit the market in the middle of Apple’s launch cycle, to maximise sales opportunities and avoid direct rivalry.

Indeed, to that point Samsung has lowered its sales expectation for the Galaxy S3. Despite selling 20 million devices within three months, it anticipates a further 10 million phones will be sold worldwide during the remainder of 2012. That’s despite the Christmas season on the horizon, and it could be interpreted as an acknowledgement of the huge appeal of the iPhone 5; its chief competitor.

As for the upcoming Samsung device itself, an anonymous official told the Times the features “will be more than enough to curb Apple’s latest iPhone”.

The phone will “definitely use” global LTE networks and it is tipped to give up the Galaxy S3′s Qualcomm Snapdragon processor in exchange for a Samsung Exynos equivalent. The screen is said to be increasing to 5-inches but the device will continue to use Android.

As for the design — which was a key point of the US court verdict that handed downa $1.2 billion fine on Samsung — the new device “will see some external changes but [will] retain its rectangular shape with rounded corner concept”, a source reportedly disclosed.

Further, Samsung is said to be undecided on whether to use flexible display technologies in the phone, due to production issues with its Samsung Display business.

While there is no doubt that this speculation is early, the post-iPhone 5 timing is fascinating. The article should not be entirely dismissed as there are likely to be elements of truth to the speculation at this stage, since it is not uncommon for handset makers and sources to leak details to Korean media.