Samsung introduced the Galaxy S Duos smartphone Aug. 20, growing the Galaxy line of products that has helped make it the world's leading smartphone manufacturer.
The S Duos strongly resembles the Galaxy S III-the large, swiftly selling smartphone that made excellent use of the long summer stretch without a new iPhone in sight. Like the S III, the S Duos comes in Marble White and is glossy and rounded where edges might be. But unlike the distinctively large 4.8-inch (1280 by 720) display of the S III, the Duos has been fitted with a more pocket-friendly 4-inch WVGA (480 by 800).
There's also the duo its name points to-the ability to not only support two SIM cards, but to do so simultaneously.
"Its unique 'Dual SIM Always On' feature allows you to receive calls on one SIM number while taking a call from the other, ensuring that you can manage other personal and work commitments without ever missing a call," Samsung said in a statement. "You also have the flexibility of selecting different billing plans for either SIM, switching between them at your convenience."
Dual SIM aside, the S Duos is, at a glance, something of a younger sibling to the S III. It runs Android 4.0, known as Ice Cream Sandwich, and features a 1GHz processor. It measures 121.5 by 63.1 by 10.5mm-petite beside the 136.6 by 70.6 by 8.6 Galaxy S III-and weighs 120 grams.
There's a 5-megapixel camera with LED flash on the back, a 1,500mAh battery (the S III has a 2,100mAh battery), a microUSB 2.0 slot, WiFi b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0, 4GB of internal memory and support for a 32GB card.
The S Duos also comes with ChatOn preloaded. The Samsung messaging service enables users to communicate with contacts in multiple ways and through multiple media, regardless of the mobile platform they're using.
Samsung plans to release the S Duos in Europe in September and to then offer it "across other territories." (The Galaxy S III arrived in the United States after first launching in 28 other countries.) Samsung offered no details about pricing, but given that the S Duos is a scaled-back version of the S III in many ways, a trimmed down price tag wouldn't seem out of line.
Samsung has muscled its way up the industry's charts in recent quarters, knocking Nokia from the market-leading perch it held for 14 years and solidly outselling Apple during the second quarter. While in late 2011, iPhones and Galaxy phones delivered photo finishes-the winner depending on the research firm calling the race-during the second quarter, Samsung made its status clear.
It shipped 90.4 million phones during the quarter, 45.6 million of them smartphones, while Apple-in the final weeks before its once-a-year-refresh-shipped 28.9 million iPhones, according to Gartner.
While Samsung sales were helped by the iPhone's downtime-the iPhone 4S was introduced in Oct. 2011, and the iPhone 5 has for some time been expected in September-some analysts believe Apple shouldn't do it any other way.
Samsung was clever to offer the Galaxy S III during the "dead spot in Apple's release cycle," Endpoint Technologies analyst Roger Kay has told eWEEK.
Applauding Apple's "disciplined and limited product line," Kay explained, "There are lots of good reasons to hold the reins tightly: more focus on individual products, less cannibalism, better differentiation, more efficient resource allocation and sharper brand image."