March 16, 2012 11:42
Apple and Samsung Electronics are both poised for the release of their new smartphones, the iPhone 5 and Galaxy S3, in the middle of the year. It is expected to be another occasion for the two archrivals, which dwarf all other handset makers, to clash head-on, but with starkly contrasting strategies. The hype is already building up and is likely to reach its apex in May and June, when the gadgets hit the market.
Industry insiders expect Samsung to unveil the Galaxy S5 in May and Apple to release the iPhone 5 in June. Apple has unveiled new iPhones in June since 2008, with the exception of last year's iPhone 4S, which was really an upgrade of the iPhone 4 and came out in October.
In venue bookings of the Moscone Center in San Francisco, where Apple has released new iPhones every year, June 11 to 15 are booked for a "corporate meeting." Given that all other bookings are described in more detail, sleuths in the global press conclude that this must be the Apple junket.
Samsung is likely to try and get a head start on Apple, which seems to have worked in the past. The firm has traditionally unveiled new models at big international IT fairs, so there are predictions that it will pick the CTIA 2012 in the U.S. in May.
Samsung Electronics has released new smartphones before Apple since 2010. In 2010, it unveiled the Galaxy at the International CTIA WIRELESS show in March, and in 2011, it launched Galaxy S2 at the Mobile World Congress in Europe in February.
Their strategies are likely to differ widely, with Apple betting on clever software and Samsung on hardware. There are rumors of an iWallet function that enables users to make payments with phones in the new iPhone. On the other hand, the Galaxy S3 will likely be equipped with a hard-core processor.
The two companies differ most in their attitude to new products. Apple launches only one smartphone and tablet PC a year, while Samsung Electronics pours out any number of different models, some of which sink and some swim. Shin Jong-kyun, the head of Samsung's mobile communications business said, "Some people prefer phones with bigger screens, and some like compact models. We will make various different models to cater to the taste of different customers."
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