Codename “Project J”, in reference to the head of Samsung’s mobile division JK Shin, is currently under development and will be marketed as the new Galaxy S IV. This new smartphone will be released as early as April next year, according to tech blogs and analysts.
Samsung is looking for a breakthrough selling point for its new line of smartphones as it battles Apple’s iPhone in a very heavily contested mobile market.
Rumors say that the new Galaxy S IV will have a bigger display and richer screen. It will also run a quad-core processor and will feature a 13-megapixel camera, with a significantly improved 441 pixels per inch (ppi) capability. Apple’s iPhone 5 runs on 326 ppi while the current Galaxy S III runs 306 ppi.
“Looking to the first half of 2013, we see evidence of Samsung likely accelerating the release of the Galaxy S IV – compared with May (this year) for the Galaxy S III,” UBS analyst Nicolas Gaudois said. “We believe preparations for volume manufacturing of unbreakable plastic substrate displays continue. All in all, we could see a strong products push in the high-end in the first half, followed by other releases.”
Samsung did not comment on the rumors.
The South Korean tech giant is a major supporter of organic light-emitting diode (OLED) screen. The company is also a pioneer in developing unbreakable displays, as glass substrate with plastic material can be replaced by OLED panels. It is expected the mobile gadgets’ screens will eventually become flexible and unbreakable.
“Eventually, they’ll have unbreakable and flexible displays. Either the Galaxy S IV or S V will have unbreakable and even possibly flexible and foldable displays by 2014. That’s going to be a game-changer,” Hong Kong-based Stanford Bernstein analyst Mark Newman said.
Newman and Gaudois are considered top authority by Thompson Reuters Starmine research firm when it comes to Samsung.
The breakthrough new display would be a game changer for Samsung as well, as it tries to get away from its reputation as a “fast follower” of other designs and technologies.
Samsung is set to continue its appeal against a court ruling last August convicting the South Korean company of infringing Apple’s patents and therefore should be paying over $1 billion following a verdict from jurors.
Samsung is appealing the case while Apple seeks to further increase the damages as well as total ban in the United States of smartphones involved.
However, the verdict from case seemed not to affect Samsung’s shares as it gained 14 percent to record highs. Apple’s own shares on the other hand plummeted as it encountered a few fiascos of its own including the faulty map app, tougher market competition, and tight supply of its iPhone 5. Apple’s stock has dived by a fifth, writing off $120 billion worth of the company’s value.
By excluding the costs related to the August ruling, Samsung would be reporting a fifth straight record profit this quarter. Profits from the company’s business division has recovered and has helped offset the decreasing margins on mobile phones–drained by costly year-end holiday marketing stunts.
Newman said: “Samsung’s strength extends beyond cool products, they’re also a leader in the technology behind these devices. We see further upside to Samsung’s stock as success in smartphones continues and chips and display profits also rebound. In smartphones, the opportunity is for Samsung to take more share from Apple in the premium segment, where Apple is still dominant.”
UBS says that Samsung is shipping an estimated 22.5 million Galaxy S III and Note II until December, an increase from 20 million in July-September quarter. JK Shin said earlier in November that Samsung’s smartphone flagship, the Galaxy S III, will hit a total of 40 million sales by the end of the month.