Samsung Galaxy S2's beefed-up 4G LTE version, which first reared its head in Korea, is back in the limelight, as pictures of the phone were released by Japanese site Amelbo.
The Galaxy S2 look-alike is called the Celox. And though it boasts a similar design to the Galaxy S2, Celox is much more than that.
The 4G LTE compatible Celox sports a super-sized 4.5-inch Super AMOLED display with 800x480 screen resolution. It is expected to be powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon APQ8060 processor.
It is also surmised that the phone will have an 8MP rear-facing camera and a 2MP front-facing camera. The phone will come pre-installed with Android Gingerbread.
The phone, though, is a tad bit heavier compared to the Galaxy S2. Celox weighs 4.5 oz. and is 0.36-inch thick. It is also due to be fitted with a 1750 Li-ion battery. The phone is expected to be released on the SK Telecom network in Korea.
Celox offers 800MHz LTE support, and thus it will possibly be targeted at Europe as both Verizon and AT&T support 700MHz LTE. However, a different version of Celox could be launched in the United States. Samsung Celox's features are similar to rumored features of Samsung's Hercules, which is expected to arrive on the T-Mobile network.
However, the arrival of such a piece from Samsung -- even though it is released in Korea -- is a cause of concern for Apple, which is yet to release its iPhone 5. Until now, the iPhone 4 was a generation behind Android superphones like the Galaxy S2 and HTC Sensation, but the appearance of Celox reveals that Apple has a new breed of bigger and faster Android phones to counter.
Rumors state that iPhone 5 will be powered by the A5 dual-core processor, which currently powers its iPad 2. While the A5 dual-core chipset can challenge the Galaxy S2 and other NVIDIA Tegra 2 chip-based Android phones, it cannot match the power of dual-core 1.5GHz chipsets.
An earlier report had cited Taiwan SemiConductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) had started trial production of the Apple A6 line of processors. It is reported that the TSMC manufactured A6 chipset will incorporate 3D IC technology. It has also been reported that TSMC is in production with 3D IC technology and is in a race with Intel to manufacture a 3D IC chip. EETimes reported that TSMC could deliver processors with 3-D interconnet by end of 2011.
If that report is true, then Apple could further delay the iPhone 5 launch as it places a faster A6 chipset in the upcoming iPhone. Recently, Computerworld reported that certain Taiwanese suppliers of Apple claim they are starting the production of 25 million iPhone 5 units that would be delivered in the second half of this year, essentially confirming a December release.
Hence, Apple would rather delay an iPhone 5 than release a phone with an A5 processor to tackle the mighty Androids with 1.5GHz dual-core chipsets.
It is also reported that Apple will marginally increase its screen-size from the current 3.5 inches to 3.7 inches. However, it will be an edge-to-edge display and will occupy the whole face of the phone.
Joshua Topolsky of Engadget stated that Apple will not opt for a 4-inch display as increasing the screen size would result in a drop in ppi. He states that anything over 300ppi is considered as retina display. A 3.7-inch screen can have a pixel density of 312, but thats a drop of 13 ppi from the 326 on the current iPhone 4.
As the size increases the ppi will reduce, something which Apple will be unwilling to forego. And even though most of the Android phones feature 4.3-inch displays and Celox is due to feature a 4.5-inch display, Apple will be conservative in terms of increasing the screen size but would rather optimize screen with minimum increase.
Rumors suggest that iPhone 5 will feature an 8MP camera with dual-LED flash. Apple has already ordered 90 percent of its 8MP camera sensors from OmniVision. However, the Qualcomm Snapdragon APQ8060 processor has the capability to support a 16MP camera and the ability to capture and display 1080p stereoscopic 3D video or 8 megapixel stereoscopic still images. Thus, there is greater room for optimization in Samsung Celox.
Most of all, it is surmised that Apple will not launch a 4G LTE compatible iPhone that will give a straight run to Celox if it winds its way to the U.S. Jefferies & Co. analyst Peter Misek in May forecast that Apple will forego LTE functionality in the upcoming iPhone 5, rumored to be due in September. The reason cited for non-inclusion of LTE is due to the Qualcomm LTE chipset that was supposed to go into the iPhone limitation, which failed to achieve sufficient yields.
Apple's delay has been Android's gain, as it has given phone makers sufficient time to upgrade their wares to challenge the upcoming iPhone5 -- and compelling Apple to further delay the phone's release.