Samsung is launching on Tuesday the new Samsung Galaxy S3, which its predecessor, the S2 has already sold about 20 million in the year of producing.
Next Tuesday the most important mobile phone of the year will go on sale. Nine million pre-orders have already been placed for the Samsung Galaxy S3, and its predecessor, the S2, has sold 20m so far in the year it has been on sale.
While Apple may get the lion’s share of the publicity, Samsung is already the world’s largest manufacturer of mobile phones, and of much more lucrative smartphones as well. The iPhone has sold more than 90m globally since the 4S launched in October, but Samsung’s combined sales make it a far larger concern.
On Tuesday, however, the company’s challenge will be to match the excitement that Apple generates. The S3 has new features that mean the screen knows if you’re looking at it and automatically stays on, while it also offers a 4.8in screen that is the best and brightest on the market. Plus there is voice assistant software that is like Apple’s popular Siri personal assistant.
Samsung adverts overtly mock Apple fans, and the Korean manufacturer is setting up special pop-up shops in various London locations. It will need to make the launch, of what Carphone Warehouse calls the year’s fastest-selling phone, feel like an event. It is unlikely, however, to have fans queuing round the block quite as they do for iPhones or iPads.
Yet analysts and critics have been enthusiastic about the S3 already: “Samsung has built its reputation on producing the ‘must-have’ Android smartphone and in the process has become the poster child for the Android platform,” said Adam Leach of Ovum, the analysts.