The Galaxy Note 2 isn’t the only Samsung smartphone fans can look forward to this holiday season. The Korea-based company has just announced that it will launch another version of its widely successful Galaxy S3.
JK Shin, head of Samsung Mobile Communications, confirmed on Wednesday that a four-inch edition of the firm’s flagship device will debut on Oct. 11 in Germany. This confirmation comes after the company sent out invitiations to a launch event set to take place on Oct. 11. When loosely translated from German, the text read: "Something small will be really big," and "get ready for a little sensation."
Shin did not disclose any further details about the smaller-sized smartphone, but did say that the mini Galaxy S3 is an answer to increasing demand for smaller devices overseas. Although Samsung will be shrinking the size of its 4.8-inch Galaxy S3, the quality of the handset will remain the same. Shin told reporters that it will feature a “full form factor,” according to The Verge.
“We’ll be launching a 4-inch Galaxy S III on the 11th in Germany,” Shin told a Korean news source. “There’s a lot of demand for a 4-inch screen device in Europe. Some call it an entry-level device, but we call it ‘mini.’”
Prior to Shin’s confirmation, German tech site Mobile Geeks had posted an image of what is believed to be the Galaxy S3 Mini along with a purported spec sheet. The reportedly-leaked specifications indicated that the device would have the model number GT-i8190 and run Android 4.1 Jelly Bean right out of the box. Perhaps this means the original Galaxy S3 will be seeing more Jelly Bean updates in the near future.
The four-inch display will be Super AMOLED, and a ST-Ericsson U8420 1GHz dual-core processor is expected to power the device, according to the purpoted spec sheet. Users can expect the Galaxy S3 mini to come equipped with 1GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, a microSD slot, a 5-megapixel front-facing camera, Near Field Communication and a 1,500mAh battery. No information on pricing has been revealed at this time, but Samsung is expected to make more announcements at its event in Germany on Thursday.
Although Samsung had managed to roll out its Galaxy S3 Mini somewhat quietly, European retailer Net Shop began listing the device on its website on Tuesday. Much of the information listed on its product page matches the reported spec sheet found on Mobile Geeks, but Net Shop provided some additional information. The online electronics retailer is offering the Galaxy S3 Mini in blue and white, and users will have the option of purchasing a device with or without NFC capability. Net Shop has these two models listed at $540 and $560, respectively.
As Apple has boosted the screen space of its smartphone to 4-inches on the iPhone 5, Samsung is shrinking its flagship handset. This could be a move by Samsung to claim dominance in the mobile arms race and reach a wider audience, although sales of the Galaxy S3 have not faltered since the iPhone 5’s release. S3 sales had climbed by 15 percent between Sept. 11 and Sept. 17, the same week Apple announced its current generation device, according to data from Localytics. T-Mobile announced on Monday via Twitter that the Galaxy S3 is its “all-time best-selling device.”
It’s also worth noting that the Galaxy S3 Mini will be one of the few of its kind in the Android family. Larger devices are much more common when it comes to handsets powered by Google’s mobile software, such as HTC’s EVO 4G LTE and One X which both feature screen sizes between 4.5 and 5 inches.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 sold 20 million units within 100 days following its release date, doubling five months’ worth of Galaxy S2 sales.