Samsung to Go Back to Basics for Galaxy S5; Launch Expected in April with Gear 2
Samsung fans, start saving money for the Galaxy S5 as it will be announced in less than three months!
According to Bloomberg, Lee Young Hee, the executive vice president of Samsung’s mobile business revealed in an interview on January 6 that the Galaxy S5 will be released by April alongside the next generation Galaxy Gear smart watch.
Bloomberg - "We’ve been announcing our first flagship model in the first half of each year, around March and April, and we are still targeting for release around that time,” Lee said. “When we release our S5 device, you can also expect a Gear successor with more advanced functions, and the bulky design will also be improved.”
Lee also dropped some hints of what to expect in the Galaxy S5 and other mobile devices from the company this year. For example, Samsung is studying the possibility of implementing iris recognition technology in its mobile devices. Lee cannot confirm whether this technology will debut on the Galaxy S5. A report by ZDNet Korea made a similar claim last December.
Bloomberg - “Many people are fanatical about iris recognition technology,” Lee said at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. “We are studying the possibility but can’t really say whether we will have it or not on the S5.”
The Galaxy S5 is seen as an important launch for Samsung due to the stiffening competition this year. Lee admitted that the Galaxy S4 has fallen short of consumers' expectations as the design remained largely unchanged from the Galaxy S III. We also shared the same sentiments when reviewing the Galaxy S4. Lee stated that the design of the Galaxy S5 will be focused on the basics with an emphasis on the display and the feel of the cover.
Bloomberg - “When we moved to S4 from S3, it’s partly true that consumers couldn’t really feel much difference between the two products from the physical perspective, so the market reaction wasn’t as big,” she said. “For the S5, we will go back to the basics. Mostly, it’s about the display and the feel of the cover.”
Is Lee confirming reports that the company is looking into using aluminium for its next generation smartphones? Well, only time will tell. Bloomberg also claims that the next Galaxy Note phablet may use a three-sided display for reading messages from an angle. It is expected to be unveiled in the second half of the year.
Bloomberg - “We are targeting consumers who want more professional use and tend to be willing to pay more for handsets,” Samsung’s Lee said.
Samsung is also setting its sights on wearable devices and tablets this year. Lee said that the company will try to increase sales of its smart watches by adding new features such as tracking calorie intake, monitoring heart rate and measuring stress levels.
Bloomberg - "Health-care related functions will be the most inherently tied functions to future wearables,” she said. “We see a very big potential from there.”
Despite doubling its share of global tablet shipments to 20% in 2013, Lee asserts that Samsung "still have room to improve". It aims to accelerate sales growth of the mobile businesses to minimize the impact of a slowing high-end smartphone market by putting in more resources, focus and marketing.
Reuters reported in November that Samsung is estimated to spend about $14 billion in 2013 on advertising. The budget is apparently larger than Iceland's GDP. The latest revelation is a strong indicator of Samsung's willingness to dig deeper into its pocket to stay ahead of the competition.