The world’s largest mobile handset manufacturer, Samsung, turned to microblogging site Twitter to quash rumors that the company was planning to launch the follow-up to its wildly successful Galaxy S III smartphone, the S4, in March of next year. The post, written in Korean, can be loosely translated (thank you, Google Translate) as denying the report as “a simple rumor that is not true.”
The rumor was first reported in The Korean Times on Sept. 16, though the sources behind the information were not cited. The report claimed the S4 would be unveiled at the Mobile World Congress convention in Barcelona, which is being held at the end of February. The timing of the report coincides with the much-ballyhooed launch of rival Apple’s iPhone 5, one of this year’s most highly anticipated technology events.
The Samsung Galaxy S III is arguably the iPhone’s strongest competitor. The smartphone set a record of selling 20 million units just 100 days after its debut in May 2012, faster than any previous iteration of the Galaxy brand. That milestone followed a report from Canaccord Genuity analysts, which found the Galaxy S III was the top-selling phone at Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile in August, pushing the iPhone 4S from a spot it has occupied since its 2011 arrival.
Featuring a 4.8-inch screen, video calling, speech-to-text and 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network capability, the Galaxy S III runs Google’s Android mobile operating system version 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich, and a multitude of preinstalled applications. The handset has been widely touted as an “iPhone killer,” and its success put great pressure on Apple to deliver an exceptional smartphone in the release of the iPhone 5-something that analysts have been divided over.
As the battle for smartphone market share rages on, a recent report of nearly 900 IT service professionals by OnForce found Apple continues to be the most popular mobile device manufacturer for IT service professionals, owning approximately 35 percent of the market, but Samsung, currently at 20 percent, is gathering speed.
Apple, which recently won a $1 billion patent lawsuit against Samsung, is hoping to blunt adoption speeds by blocking the sale of rival Samsung handsets. The list of smartphones and tablet computers Apple wants banned in this latest proceeding now numbers 21. The bitter rivalry has also resulted in Apple cutting orders from Samsung, which provides several core components of Apple products. In a Reuters report published earlier this month, an unnamed industry source said Apple had dropped Samsung as a supplier of memory chips for the iPhone 5 in favor of Japan’s Toshiba, Elpida Memory and South Korean manufacturer SK Hynix.