Samsung is reportedly planning to unveil its fourth-generation Galaxy S smartphone in February, a move that could widen the Korean giant's smartphone lead over Apple and unleash the most serious contender to the new iPhone 5.
Samsung "company officials" have confirmed that the new Galaxy S IV smartphone will be launched at next year's Mobile World Congress event, taking place February 25-28 in Barcelona, according to the Korea Times.
"Samsung is ready to unveil the next Galaxy smartphone -- the Galaxy S4 -- at early next year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) in the Spanish city of Barcelona,’’ a Samsung spokesperson told the Korea Times.
The new smartphone, which is slated to go to market no later than March, will be the predecessor to the Galaxy S III smartphone Samsung launched in May. Sources told the Korea Times the new Galaxy S IV will have a 5-inch display, arming users with more screen real estate compared to the 4.8-inch design of the Galaxy S III.
Like all mobile devices in Samsung's Galaxy line, the Galaxy S IV is projected to run Google's Android OS and Samsung's homegrown Exynos processor.
What's more, the new phone is expected to support long-term evolution (LTE) wireless networks.
If the Galaxy S IV proves as successful as its predecessor, Samsung stands to widen the gap between itself and Apple in the two tech giants' race toward mobile phone dominance. Recent data from Gartner suggest that Samsung currently holds about 21.6 percent of the global handset market, whereas Apple holds a comparatively small 6.9 percent.
Much of Samsung's growth has been attributed to strong sales of the Galaxy S III. Samsung told the Yonhap News Agency this month that it has sold 20 million units of the phone to-date, and that it expects to hit the 30-million mark by the end of the year.
The competition heated up this month with the launch of the iPhone 5, Apple's fifth-generation smartphone that sold out within the first hour it became available for pre-order last week.
Meanwhile, as an extension of its on-going legal crusade against Samsung, Apple earlier this month filed a claim with the District Court of Northern California seeking a ban on all U.S. sales of the Galaxy S III, alleging the smartphone infringed on design patents used to make the iPhone.
Samsung did not immediately respond to a request for comment.