Samsung launches Galaxy S4

2013-03-15 05:32
Gallery  |  click on thumbnail to view larger image

Samsung Galaxy S4 launches

The Samsung Galaxy Club launched the new S4 smartphone at SXSW in Austin, Texas on Thursday. See all the pictures.

New York - Samsung Electronics is intensifying its rivalry with Apple with its new Galaxy S4 smartphone, which has a larger, sharper screen than its predecessor, the best-selling SIII.

Samsung trumpeted the much-anticipated phone's arrival on Thursday.

The Galaxy S4, which crams a 12.7cm screen into a body slightly smaller than the SIII's, will go on sale in the US sometime between the end of April and the end of June.

Samsung plans to offer the Galaxy S4 through 327 carriers in 155 countries, giving it a wider reach than Apple's iPhone 5.

Samsung didn't say what the phone will cost, but it can be expected to start at $200 with a two-year contract in the US. That's comparable to the iPhone 5.

JK Shin, the executive in charge of Samsung's mobile communications division, promised the money would be well spent for a "life companion" that will "improve the way most people live every day".

That bold promise set the tone for the kind of flashy presentation associated with the showmanship of Apple, the company that Samsung has been trying to upstage. Apple contends Samsung has been trying to do it by stealing its ideas - an allegation has triggered bitter courtroom battles around the world.

In the last two years, Samsung has emerged as Apple's main competitor in the high-end smartphone market. At the same time, it has sold enough inexpensive low-end phones to edge out Nokia as the world's largest maker of phones.

The Galaxy line has been Samsung's chief weapon in the smartphone fight, and it has succeeded in making it a recognisable brand while competitors like Taiwan's HTC and Korean rival LG have stumbled.

Samsung has sold 100 million Galaxy S phones since they first came out in 2010. That's still well below the 268 million iPhones Apple has sold in the same period, but Samsung's sales rate is catching up.

New standard

Research firm Strategy Analytics said the Galaxy S III overtook Apple's iPhone 4S as the world's best-selling smartphone for the first time in the third quarter of last year, as Apple fans were holding off for the iPhone 5. The iPhone 5 took back the crown in the fourth quarter.

One way Samsung and other makers of Android phones have been challenging Apple is by increasing the screen size. Every successive generation of the Galaxy line has been bigger than the one before. The S4's screen is 56% larger than the iPhone's.

In a Wednesday interview, Apple Phil Schiller declined to discuss whether Apple is considering enlarging the screen on the next model of the iPhone, which is expected to be released later this year.

He said Apple remains confident that the iPhone 5 is the most useful and elegant smartphone available, hailing it as "the most beautiful consumer electronics device ever created".

Samsung believes the S4 will set the new standard.

Apart from the larger screen and upgraded processor, the S4 has a battery that's 20% larger than that of the SIII. Samsung didn't say if that translates into a longer battery life - the added capacity might be gobbled up by the bigger screen or other internal changes.

The S4 comes with a built-in infra-red diode, so it can control an entertainment centre as a universal remote. This is a feature that has showed up in Android tablets before.

The S4 comes with several new technologies intended to help users interact with the phone. For instance, the screen now senses fingers hovering just above the screen, and some applications react.

The Mail application shows the first few lines of an email when a finger hovers above it in the list, and the Gallery application shows an expanded thumbnail.

Users can control some other applications by making gestures in the air above the phone. In the browser, you can command the screen to scroll up by swiping from top to bottom a few inches from the phone.

The Camera application can now use both the front and rear cameras simultaneously, inserting a small picture of the user even as he's capturing the scene in front of him.

Divided

When several S4s are in close proximity, they can link up to play the same music, simultaneously - perfect for headphone dance parties.

The Galaxy S4 also will include a tool that enables users to create a dividing line so part of the phone is devoted exclusively to work while the other part is filled with personal information and photos.

The feature is similar to a function on the latest BlackBerry - an indication that Samsung is going after other smartphone makers besides Apple with its latest model.

The new features illustrate Samsung's drive to make its phones stand out from the crowd of Android smartphones. Jan Dawson, an analyst with Ovum, said they could be seen as "gimmicks rather than game changers".

"At this point, Samsung appears to be trying to kill the competition with sheer volume of new features - there should be something here for everyone, even if most of these new features won't be used by most users," he said.

While the event in New York was going on, Samsung Electronics kicked off its annual meeting in Seoul. CEO, Kwon Oh-Hyun, told the audience that he expects slow growth in the global consumer electronics market, except in smartphones, where sales are still zooming.


- AP

Read more on:    samsung  |  us  |  mobile
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
43 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Monday Montague Gardens - 12:40 PM
    Road name: Montague Drive Northbound
    DELAYS between Bosmansdam Road and Racecourse Road due to roadworks
  • Monday Mitchells Plain - 12:39 PM
    Road name: Wespoort Drive
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Merrydale Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2 TV Series for R250

Get 2 TV Series box sets for R250 and save up to R148! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Nokia Lumia 800

The stunningly social Nokia Lumia 800 features head-turning design, ...

From R2775.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a strong emphasis on relationships. Obsession, emotional disputes, retaliation or competitive actions are highlighted....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.