The tech world is still buzzing over Samsung's Galaxy S3, but a new rumor suggests that its successor, the Galaxy S4, will have a February 2013 release date. The next-generation flagship smartphone is said to be unveiled at a European technology expo this winter, company officials and local parts suppliers said to the Korea Times.
Rumors about this alleged launch window for the Galaxy S4 had begun to surface just days after Apple unveiled its iPhone 5.
"Samsung is ready to unveil the next Galaxy smartphone-the Galaxy S4-at early next year's Mobile World Congress (MWC) in the Spanish city of Barcelona," a Samsung official who wished to remain unnamed said to the Korean news source.
The Galaxy S4 is expected to be available in retail stores around the world by March, Korea Times has learned. This new device is expected to be Samsung's "most powerful" smartphone yet, with enhanced hardware specifications and advanced software that will allow the Korea-based company to keep its edge in the global mobile market share.
If these rumors are deemed accurate, the Samsung Galaxy S4 would come less than a year after its widely popular Galaxy S3, which debuted in May and has sold 20 million in just over three months. The Galaxy S3 is projected to hit the 30 million mark by the end of 2012.
Executives from Samsung's local parts suppliers provided some insight as to which features will be included in the handset, saying that it will "definitely use" LTE networks. Rumors have also indicated that Exynos-branded application processors and quad-core chips will power the Galaxy S4. One executive told the Korea Times that the Galaxy S4's launch will provide Samsung with more of an advantage when it comes to competing with Apple.
"Samsung is asking Apple to pay more to use its mobile application processors produced at its plant in Austin, Texas," the source said. "The release of the S4 means more market share for Samsung as it is the only firm that can guarantee on-time delivery, output commitment and better pricing for mobile application processors."
The electronics firm is known for branding its handsets with large displays, and the Galaxy S4 will get even more of a boost in this area. The Galaxy S3 successor is rumored to feature a 5-inch OLED display, which adds .2 inches to the 4.8-inch current generation screen. However, Samsung has yet to confirm whether or not it will deploy its flexible screen technology on the new device, and officials from the company have declined to comment to the Korea Times.
"Samsung wants to keep its one-year product schedule and the Galaxy S4 will be the first to match that strategy," an official from a Samsung partner said. "The S4 will see some external changes but will retain its popular rectangular shape with rounded corner concept."
The Galaxy S4 is allegedly five months away from being unveiled, but that doesn't mean users aren't pondering which features will make it to the device. Whenever rumors begin to surface alluding to a sequel to a popular smartphone or other mobile device, a natural inclination is to hope it includes all the features that the current generation doesn't.
So which Galaxy S3 complaints are we hoping to see addressed in the Galaxy S4? One of the most widespread complaints concerns the device's battery life. This power issue was said to be affecting the international variant of the device, and the problem is a result of the Galaxy S3's standby feature. The file on the device that contains the drain value was wrongly set when the S3 initially shipped.
Galaxy S3 owners who wish to read more about this issue and how to fix it can click here to read our full report. Other reported issues included overheating, faulty Wi-Fi connectivity, and problems with the phone's microphone.
Lisa Eadicicco is a reporter covering mobile technology and video games for The International Business Times. Lisa joined the editorial team at IBT in January 2012, and has...