Samsung Galaxy S III Robot Phone Already at 9 Million Preorders

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 smartphone€™s 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 Samsung€™s smartphone factory in South Korea was running at its full capacity€”which, at 5 million units per month, still has some catching up to do.

After months of intense security, on Samsung€™s 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 smartphone€™s two other highly touted, polar opposite attributes: It€™s said to be inspired by nature€”featuring ringtones, wallpapers and textual and auditory cues with calming nature themes€”but it€™s 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.

€œYou speak, it listens. It turns off when you look away. €¦ It€™s resting, waiting for you to wake up,€ said a Samsung executive at the London event, introducing the S III.

€œIt 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 course€”Marble 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 €œCheese!€ 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 call€”intuiting this from the fact that the caller has already sent two emails and a text, say€”and will buzz with according urgency when finally picked up. With the S III€™s Smart Alert feature, said the executive, €œYou 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. It€™s 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.

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