(PINK:SSNLF) controlled nearly 40% of the smartphone market in 2012 with its Android devices according to IDC research. With its enormous sales and its position as market leader, the Korean company seems to share Apple's
(NASDAQ:AAPL) confidence that a revamped device with a largely intact appearance and dimensions may still sell briskly.
Despite following roughly the same design patterns as the previous generation, Samsung Galaxy S4 (SGS4), which was unveiled last night, boasts significant improvements under the hood.
The device has a bigger 5” Super AMOLED Full HD display with Retina-like crispness (441 pixels per inch), 2 GB of onboard memory, and 16 GB to 64 GB of user memory, extendable with microSD cards.
The SGS4 will also support all of the LTE features, including emerging TD-LTE technology, state-of-the-art Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth connectivity. Its 13 Mp and frontal 2 Mp cameras can both work simultaneously for certain video conferencing needs.
Samsung made the device slightly smaller and lighter than the Samsung Galaxy S III.
The company didn't officially announce it during the presentation, but depending on the smartphone user's geographic region, SGS4 could be powered by some of the most powerful mobile processors in the world: Samsung's own eight-core Exynos 5 chip or Qualcomm
(NASDAQ:QCOM) Snapdragon S4 Pro, says The Verge
Additional sensors will also allow for new functionality. One of the freshly arrived components -- the IR sensor – makes gesture recognition possible. Just wave your hand close by the screen to scroll or change the picture in the gallery.
Samsung extended the battery to 2600 mAh and made it easily interchangeable.
Overall, the announced specifications put the SGS4 among the most powerful smartphones in the world.
Its strong hardware is complemented by a long list of software-based innovations. It was no surprise that Samsung stressed those features during the show last night in New York, illustrating the new functions from "real life" scenes played out by actors on stage.
(Also see: Why Apple Surged in the Smartphone Market in India )
The audience was introduced to new S Health app, which will track a user’s physical activity; S Translate, which will help a person communicate in different languages; Group Play, which will assist users in simultaneously sharing media content with other SGS4 owners; Story Album, which will help users create photo albums; and S Voice drive, which will address drivers' needs for in-car voice commands. Finally, the SGS4 will be the first Samsung smartphone to implement a Knox security system. (See Can the Samsung Galaxy 4 Break the Blackberry-Apple Strangehold on the Business Customer Market?
Some users may feel that a fair number of the newly introduced features can be substituted with the apps readily available on the Google
(NASDAQ:GOOG) Play. However, Samsung is striving to make its "S app ecosystem" even stronger and more sought-after by customers looking for a seamless and integrated out-of-the-box experience.
The SGS4 is set to hit the shelves in late April; ultimately it will be available on the networks of 327 carriers in 155 countries. The price is yet to be announced.
Since the first model arrived in 2010, devices in the Galaxy series have been considered standard-setting technology for Android-based smartphones. The series made the headlines earlier this year when Samsung announced it had sold more than 100 million Samsung Galaxy devices worldwide. According to the company, each newer version outsold the previous one, with SGS selling over 25 million units, SGS II selling 40 million units, and SGS III selling more than 41 million units. Now tech investors and smartphone fans will be watching to see if Samsung can continue this pattern with the SGS4.
No positions in stocks mentioned.