Samsung executives told a South Korean newspaper that Galaxy S III preorders have already passed 9 million. The smartphone, which offers a 4.8-inch display and sensors that help it intuit its owner’s intentions, is seen a major challenger to the upcoming iPhone 5.
Sales of the Samsung Galaxy S III
may actually measure up to the hype that preceded the smartphones
introduction. Samsung says it has received more than 9 million preorders for
the S III, according to a report from the Korean Economic Daily.
A Samsung official told the paper
that Samsungs smartphone factory in South Korea was running at its full
capacitywhich, at 5 million units per month, still has some catching up to do.
After months of intense security, on
Samsungs part, and weeks of building curiosity and speculation from consumers
and the media, Samsung lifted the veil at a no-holds-barred
event in London May 3, revealing a super-thin, super-light device that, at 4.8
inches, has perhaps the largest display on the smartphone market.
Arguably more notable, however, are
the smartphones two other highly touted, polar opposite attributes: Its said
to be inspired by naturefeaturing ringtones, wallpapers and textual and
auditory cues with calming nature themesbut its the most robot-like,
sci-fi-esque smartphone ever introduced. For example, it uses its 1.9-megapixel
front-facing camera to watch its owner.
You speak, it listens. It turns off
when you look away. ¦ Its resting, waiting for you to wake up, said a Samsung
executive at the London event, introducing the S III.
It knows precisely what we are
doing, and it follows our intentions, he added a few moments later.
The S III will come in two color
options, inspired by nature, of courseMarble White and Pebble Blue. It also
features 4G connectivity and an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera that can snap 20
photos at once and choose the best one, much like the HTC One X can, though it
will also snap a photo when prompted by a Cheese! or email photos to the
friends it recognizes in those photos by matching them with images from
Facebook and elsewhere.
Further, the S III can recognize
things like when a user has missed an important callintuiting this from the
fact that the caller has already sent two emails and a text, sayand will buzz
with according urgency when finally picked up. With the S IIIs Smart Alert
feature, said the executive, You can never be caught off guard.
Samsung will begin selling the
Galaxy S III in Europe May 29, kicking off a 10-city world tour. Its expected
to arrive in the United States sometime this summer.
Samsung has pelted the market with
an array of smartphones, even tweaking devices to offer each U.S. carrier a
version of what would otherwise be a single device. Such tactics have helped
make it the No. 1 seller of Android-running devices. According to a May 16
Gartner report, Samsung phones accounted for 40 percent of the Android
phones sold during the first quarter of this year, while no
competitor did better than grabbing 10 percent of the Android market share.
Gartner analyst Anshul Gupta noted
that differentiation has become a challenge, particularly for Android-running
phone makers. With the Galaxy S III, however, Samsung has, no doubt, managed to
clear that hurdle.
Follow me on Twitter @eWEEK_Michelle.
Michelle Maisto has been covering the enterprise mobility space for a decade, beginning with Knowledge Management, Field Force Automation and eCRM, and most recently as the editor-in-chief of Mobile Enterprise magazine. She earned an MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia University, and in her spare time obsesses about food. Her first book, The Gastronomy of Marriage, if forthcoming from Random House in September 2009.