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Will Samsung's Blitz Push Galaxy to Critical Mass?

Will Samsung's Blitz Push Galaxy to Critical Mass?

May 3 will be a big day for Samsung's Galaxy line. The company has planned an event that many expect will herald the coming of the next Galaxy handset, the Galaxy S III -- if that is indeed its real name. "The Galaxy line of devices in its many flavors has become the poster child for high-end Android devices," said ABI's Michael Morgan.

By Richard Adhikari
04/17/12 2:30 PM PT

Samsung appears to be lining up a major publicity blitz for the much-anticipated launch of the next product in its Galaxy smartphone line -- the Galaxy S III.

It has tweeted and blogged about an event to be held in London on May 3, where the device will be introduced.

Samsung will launch the new device simultaneously in several countries with a multiplicity of wireless carriers.

Further,"There will be Olympic content that will be available through the Galaxy S III as a tie-in to the launch," Michael Morgan, a senior analyst at ABI Research, told the E-Commerce Times. "This is a great opportunity for Samsung to get global recognition of the device launch, and could prove very effective."

Samsung's preannouncement "is a page out of the Apple playbook -- announce the device in advance and let the momentum build up," Ramon Llamas, a senior analyst at IDC, remarked.

Samsung did not respond to our request for comment for this story.

Nibbling at Apple

"The Galaxy line has already gained traction in the market," Maribel Lopez, principal analyst at Lopez Research, told the E-Commerce Times. "It has a wider range of products [than Apple], and Samsung seems to be the brand that's making the biggest push against Apple."

Globally, Apple and Samsung "were extremely close [in smartphone sales] towards the end of calendar year 2011," IDC's Llamas told the E-Commerce Times. "Everyone's looking at Samsung and saying they've just got the Galaxy S," he continued."You have the Galaxy I, II, Y, the Galaxy Note, and then other devices called by other names such as the 'Skyrocket' on AT&T's network that's really a Galaxy."

"The Galaxy line of devices has proven very successful and continues to be a line that can be considered a worthy competitor to the iPhone," ABI's Morgan stated. However, the iPhone still leads in terms of its content ecosystem.

The One Big Sign

In February, Samsung announced that channel sales of the Galaxy S II hit the 20 million mark worldwide.

"When you have a great flagship device, it broadcasts a wonderful halo effect on other devices with your brand name," Llamas said. "Samsung has a broad, deep portfolio, a good price point, a continuous cycle of product refreshes and a flagship product that's well-known the world over."

Samsung posted record quarterly profits of more than $5 billion on strong sales of its Galaxy smartphone line and its Galaxy Note, a combination mini-tablet and phone, Reuters reported.

King of the Android Smartphone Hill?

Whether Samsung's Galaxy line rules the Android device world is open to question.

"The Galaxy line of devices in its many flavors has become the poster child for high-end Android devices, and as a sub-brand, is starting to coalesce into a product family that can be compared to Apple's offerings," ABI's Morgan suggested."Other handset OEMs ... have not clearly differentiated themselves as Samsung has as the premier Android device OEM."

However, "I wouldn't count HTC out yet," Lopez Research's Lopez said."They have good design."

"There are a whole lot of devices that could be the flagship for Android; it's just a question of taste," IDC's Llamas said. In addition to HTC, the Sony Experia S, which has yet to debut in the United States, is "a very strong contender, and so are the LG Spectrum and LG Lucid."

The S III's Possible Specs

There's much speculation about what the Galaxy S III deliver, but Crave reports that the device will be a relatively minor update from the S II.

It will incorporate a faster processor and have eye-tracking technology built into the front-facing camera, Crave reported. Further, it may not be called the "S III" at all.

The Galaxy S III will have a 1.5 GHz quad-core chip, 1 GB of RAM, and a 4.7-inch screen, Crave's unnamed source suggested.


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