Samsung set to show off next Galaxy smartphone

The arrival of the Galaxy S III will heat up the battle with Apple, according to analyst

Samsung Electronics is expected to show the next flagship Galaxy smartphone at an event in London on May 3.

The company has sent out invites to the event that say only "come and meet the next Galaxy," in addition to the time and place. Questions about more details were met with the usual "no comment."

However, there is little doubt the company will present the successor to the Galaxy S II, which was launched about a year ago.

"Samsung decided not to launch of the Galaxy S III at Mobile World Congress in February, so that is probably what we are going to see now," said Francisco Jeronimo, research manager at IDC.

The design of the phone and its hardware specification are still unknown, but the plethora of high-end smartphones launched at Mobile World Congress give some hints. Newcomers like the HTC One X, which has already gone on sale, the Optimus 4X HD and the Huawei Ascend D Quad all have quad-core processors and screens with a 1280-by-720 pixel resolution.

The HTC and the LG phone have a 4.7-inch display while Huawei's device has a 4.5-inch display.

The rumored specifications for the Galaxy S III match those number pretty closely, and include a 4.6-inch and a 1280-by-720 pixel resolution, which Jeronimo expects will be even brighter than the one in the Galaxy S II.

The specifications are also rumored to include a Samsung developed quad-core processor, LTE (Long Term Evolution) connectivity for some parts of the world, a 12-megapixel camera and 2GB of RAM.

The latter two would put the Samsung device ahead of the previously mentioned smartphones, which all have 8-megapixel cameras and 1GB of RAM. When it comes to access to memory, Samsung has the upper hand over its competitors thanks to the fact that it makes it own.

In general, the fact that Samsung makes smartphone components like displays, processors and memory gives the company an advantage over the competition, according to according to Malik Saadi, principal analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media.

Saadi also expects that Samsung will put out a 3G version and at least one LTE version for markets where the technology is available, while the device will likely get slightly thinner, according to Jeronimo.

The smartphone landscape has changed as Apple and Samsung have taken over much of the market in the last year. During the last three months of 2011, they had about 47% of the market, compared to 26% in the same period a year earlier, according to data from Strategy Analytics.

The battle between the two companies will continue, and the Galaxy S III is important because it will be the second phone from Samsung that can really compete with the iPhone, according to Jeronimo.

"The Galaxy S II has done extremely well, and it was the first iPhone challenger, So I am interested to see how this one can continue to challenge the iPhone, because that is what this is all about," said Jeronimo.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

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