Samsung Galaxy S4 Release Date

Samsung Galaxy S4 Release Date

This year has been very busy for the Android enthusiasts and the phone manufacturers, a year packed with lots of interesting smartphone releases. We’ve seen the HTC One X released in April, the Samsung Galaxy S3 debuting in late May, and the Galaxy Note 2 hitting the market a few days ago. The LG Optimus G will arrive soon and the Android fans are also expecting the debut of the next-gen Nexus smartphone.

It’s not an easy task to choose the right Android smartphone for you, that’s why some of you may ask about Samsung Galaxy S4 release date. Others may be forced to wait until 2013 to buy a new Android smartphone because they are tied on a contract with a carrier.

Well, it seems that Samsung Galaxy S4 release date will be in July 2013. No, we don’t have any sources close to Samsung, no insiders at the company’s supply chain, nor “little birdies” giving us anonymous tips. This is just an educated guess based on Samsung’s previous launches and the company’s marketing strategy and approach in the battle against Apple.

We all know that the Cupertino-based company is Samsung’s biggest rival on the phone segment. The South Korea-based company have stolen the crown from Apple and is now world’s biggest smartphone vendor. Even so, the Asians will constantly try to stab deeper into iPhone’s market share and a new flagship is always set to do so. In 2012 Samsung Galaxy S3 has set a new sales record for Samsung and the Android-powered smartphone market. In 2013, Samsung Galaxy S4 is supposed to be even more popular. The smartphone market continues to grow, which basically translates into better sales for the big players of the segment.

Since the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S, each new flagship Android smartphone of the South Koreans was sold better than its predecessor. Samsung Galaxy S was outsold by Galaxy S2, Samsung reporting that 10 million GS2 units were shipped 5 months after the official launch. Galaxy S3 is by far the best selling Android-powered smartphone manufactured by Samsung: 30 million units were shipped in the first 100 days after the launch. Now, everyone expects the Samsung Galaxy S4 to be even more popular than its predecessor.

The analysts are estimating that 660 million smartphones will be shipped by the end of 2012, with a growth of 21.4% forecasted for 2013. Of course, both Apple’s and Samsung’s shipments will grow, but the South Koreans are seeking to bite an even larger chunk of iPhone’s market share, with Samsung Galaxy S4 on song.

You are probably aware of the buzz created around the launch of the new iPhone models, thus the best Samsung can do is introduce its flagship smartphones ahead of Apple, in order to push the customers into signing two year contracts with carriers and stop them from buying the newest iOS smartphones.

The first Galaxy was meant to be a competitor for the iPhone 4. It was released in June close to the debut of iPhone 4, with not enough time left to hurt iPhone 4′s sales. Next year the Samsung Galaxy S2 was made available for purchase in April, while Apple launched the iPhone 4S six months later, in October. By that time the Galaxy S2 sales were going down, as the customers already forgot about the smartphone launched by Samsung.

Statistics have indicated that the popular devices reach the sales peak in the first quarter after the launch, therefore the Samsung Galaxy S3 has hit the market at the right time and its sales were not affected by the iPhone 5 launch. I guess that the South Korean phone maker will have a similar approach for 2013. It will try to give the Samsung Galaxy S4 enough time (three months) to hit at the iPhone 5S, iPhone 6, or whatever the guys at Apple decide to call it.

The next iPhone will probably be released in September or October. Apple will not unveil a new smartphone in less than a year interval since the debut of the previous model, as the new iPhone with badly affect the previous’ sales. So, Samsung will have to set the Samsung Galaxy S4 release date three months earlier, in late June or early July. I would go for the latter option.

There were some rumors saying that Samsung Galaxy S4 will be announced at Mobile World Congress 2013 in February, but, personally, I’m taking them with a pinch of salt. If the terminal is announced in February, then the Samsung Galaxy S4 release date would probably be scheduled for March, and, in my opinion, this would be to early to be able to fight against the next iPhone. I don’t believe Samsung will make the same mistake it did with Samsung Galaxy S2, therefore, the next-gen flagship will be unveiled in a special event, sometime mid-June.

So far, Apple used to introduce its iPhones during the summer. The first four generations of iOS smartphones were all announced in the June – July time frame at the WWDC conferences. The pattern was changed by the iPhone 4S and iPhone 5 which were both unveiled in the fall, October and September, respectively. Meanwhile, Apple centered the WWDC event on presenting new iOS and Mac OS X versions. Since Samsung is one of Apple’s part suppliers the company’s officials are probably aware when Apple’s products are launched, so they ought to be able to schedule the Samsung Galaxy S4 release date to allow the device start a new war against the next iPhone.

With all these being said, my guess is that the Samsung Galaxy S4 release date will be set for early July 2013, a couple of weeks after a Samsung Unpacked event in mid-June.

The Asians have learned that they must make the smartphone available for purchase soon after the official announcement, as otherwise the hype created by the launch event would fade out.

Even though the sale figures don’t reflect it, the last two Apple smartphones, namely iPhone 4S and iPhone 5, have disappointed some of the Apple’s fans. That’s why Samsung must take advantage of Apple’s slight drop in popularity and show the customers that it is the company that is constantly trying to innovate and bring the best products for them.

Samsung Galaxy S4 is bound to bring a new design language and new features in order to be able to withstand iPhone’s huge popularity. The technical specifications are another weapon against the iOS terminals and against other products on the smartphone market, so let’s have a look at some of the technologies that might be used for the next-generation Galaxy flagship.

Design

Many have complained that the iPhone is getting boring, because Apple refuses to ditch the design introduced in 2010 by the iPhone 4, so the Samsung designers must not make the same mistake. The Samsung Galaxy S4 will have to look better than its predecessors and, most important, it will have to bring a new design that looks fresh.

Some said that GS3′s design is bad, while others appreciated it. Controversies like this boost sales and, in my opinion, Samsung’s “inspired by nature” design language was a good move and a good way to start something new. The designers of the South Korean phone maker must continue on the same note but yet bring something new, some new shapes and design ideas. Maybe the design of the next Samsung flagship will get its inspiration from space or plants and we will get colors like Mars Red or Ebony Black, or who knows?

The Samsung Galaxy S4 might be good-looking enough to please the most, but also ugly enough to outrage others, which will try to bash it, creating a controversy around it, ending up providing free advertising for Samsung.

The Samsung Galaxy flagships have grown bigger each year. Slimmer, but bigger. This trend must stop or else the terminals will become uncomfortable when it comes to controlling them with one hand. The Samsung Galaxy S3 is 13.7 cm tall and  7 cm wide and, in my opinion something beyond this size would bother the users, well, unless they have  the hands of a Yeti. So, please guys, don’t make the Samsung Galaxy S4 bigger than the previous model.

On the other hand, I am expecting the Samsung Galaxy S4 to be thinner than its predecessor, its profile dropping below the 8 mm threshold, but still thick enough to accommodate a generous battery capable of supporting all the smartphone’s hardware components.

Before the Galaxy S3 was released it was rumored that Samsung has ditched the two capacitive buttons and the physical Home button in the early prototypes, but then, for some reason, they decided to put them back on. Maybe the officials decided to keep this design idea for the next generation smartphone.

The picture above is the closest I could find to match my view on the design of Samsung Galaxy S4. The smartphone will probably not have the same shape as the one you are seeing above, but it might have an edge-to-edge display and a buttonless front panel. The Galaxy Nexus does just fine without a physical Home button and the two capacitive keys on the bottom end, while the Android experience is cleaner with the three soft keys embedded into the system software.

Display

Samsung is aware that the display is their main advantage over the iPhone. So far, all the Galaxy flagships outmatched their Apple rivals when it came to web browsing, watching videos and gaming experience courtesy of their bigger displays and I am confident that the Samsung Galaxy S4 will make no exception.

So will the Samsung Galaxy S4 come with a bigger display? Probably yes, but certainly not bigger than 5-inches or else it would trespass Galaxy Note’s territory, and some of the company’s customers might choose the S4 over the company’s phablets.

But because the Samsung Galaxy S4 could feature a 5-inch display doesn’t mean the terminal will be bigger. By implementing an edge-to-edge display and a buttonless front panel with three Android-specific soft buttons, the GS4 would provide an experience similar to the one of a 4.8-inch display. The rest is marketing.

Earlier this month Sharp introduced a 5-inch display with full HD resolution developed for mobile devices. The Japanese have opened a road, and if their display catches on, Samsung might also build one of their own, so we might actually get a full HD Super AMOLED display on the next-gen Galaxy flagship. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

As about the flexible displays the South Koreans presented at CES 2011 I don’t think we’ll see them on the Samsung Galaxy S4. I just don’t see Samsung taking such a risk and test the flexible AMOLED display on one of their flagships.

Processor

Well, the Samsung Galaxy S4 will be a challenge for the company’s hardware engineers. We’ve all heard that the dual-core processors based on ARM Cortex A15 technology can outscore the quad-core processors underpinned by ARM Cortex A9. I know that, you know that, the tech savy guys know that, but it would be almost impossible to persuade the public that a dual-core is actually better than a quad-core. It’s like trying to tell them that having two double-cheeseburgers is better than four cheeseburgers, which in fact it is, as you get to eat less bread and enjoy the same amount of tasty meat and cheese.

Even though Samsung officially introduced the new Exynos 5 Dual SoC, based on two Cortex A15 cores clocked at 1.7 GHz, the South Korean company will probably not use it on its next-gen flagship smartphone out of pure marketing reasons. This SoC will be probably licensed to other manufactures or maybe used for one of the company’s mid-range smartphones.

The Galaxy S4 will most likely sport a Samsung proprietary quad-core Cortex A15 processor (probably named Exynos 5 Quad), a response to Qualcomm’s quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro that uses the Krait design, which is yet considered the most powerful CPU on the market, helped by an Adreno 320 GPU which scored an impressive 132 fps in GLBenchmark tests compared to Galaxy S3′s 99 fps. You will find the Snapdragon S4 Pro solution fitted inside high-end smartphones like the LG Optimus G.

The Exynos 5 Dual processor also comes with a quad-core Mali-T604 GPU, but the quad-core version designed for the Samsung Galaxy S4 will probably be helped by a Mali-T628 unit with eight cores which provides up to twice the graphics and GPU compute performance of the Mali-T624, helping the GS4 enter the playground opened by Nexus 7.

Connectivity

The 4G is a major selling point for any high-end smartphone model and even Apple figured it out and integrated an LTE chip inside its iPhone 5. Both Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2, the latest high-end apparitions from Samsung come with 4G support, so the Samsung Galaxy S4 is bound to get it, too.

In my opinion Samsung made a mistake with the Exynos 4 Quad chipset fitted inside the international Galaxy S3 model which, unfortunately doesn’t come with 4G support. Since many of the North American customers want to have LTE on their smartphones, Samsung ditched the Exynos 4 Quad processor and replaced it with a dual-core Snapdragon S4 solution on the US variant that, as consolation, comes with 2 GB of RAM.

The maker of the Galaxy figured where the mistake was really quick and fixed the problem on the 1.6 GHz Exynos 4 Quad that powers the Galaxy Note 2, which is now optimized for the US LTE networks.

Samsung showed they are capable of learning from their mistakes, so I am pretty confident that the processor that will underpin the Samsung Galaxy S4 will be compatible with the US 4G networks.

Of course, Samsung Galaxy S4 will come with WiFi in all standards, WiFi Direct, WiFi Hotspot, Bluetooth, microUSB and 3.5 mm audio jack, and definitely a NFC chip. Maybe the South Koreans will to something funny and interesting with the NFC, as those Tags have some potential.

Memory

Well, nothing out of ordinary will happen here. We will see the same model with three different internal storage options: 16, 32 and 64 GB of storage. Since the first Samsung Galaxy S hit the market the company have provided support for microSD cards, and the Galaxy S4 will certainly have one of those slots inside it.

The Samsung Galaxy S3 comes with 2 GB of RAM in North America, South Korea, Australia and Japan. On the other hand Samsung Galaxy Note 2 will sport 2 GB of RAM on all the markets, including Europe, so you should expect the Samsung Galaxy S4 to come with 2 GB of RAM, as well.

Camera

The Samsung Galaxy S3 comes with an 8 megapixel camera, but so did the SGS2. Of course, even though both devices have an 8 megapixel sensor, the real-life tests have proved that the unit installed on the latest Samsung flagship is way better than the one of the previous generation.

Samsung Galaxy S3 comes with face and smile detection, image stabilization simultaneous HD video and  image recording, full HD video support and a BSI sensor.

Apple also brought an 8 megapixel camera on its iPhone 5. Just like Samsung did, the Americans borrowed the 8 megapixel iSight camera from the previous generation smartphone and made it better. The new camera installed on the iPhone 5 is definitely better than the one installed on the iPhone 4S and some real-life tests have indicated that it outmatches Galaxy S3′s unit, too, when it comes to taking photos in low light conditions. Yes, some users complained about the “Purple Halo” effect of the smartphone’s camera, but we are not here to talk about Apple’s problems.

Anyway, since the iPhone 5′s camera outperforms the Galaxy S3′s, then Samsung will have to bring a new and better camera sensor for the Galaxy S4. As I mentioned before, Samsung’s only weapon against the frenzy created around the Apple product launches is to bring newer and better hardware specifications.

Therefore, we might see a 12 or 13 megapixel camera installed on the Samsung Galaxy S4. Maybe the South Koreans will include some awesome features, too, like the 720p @ 120 fps video recording capabilities of the Samsung Galaxy Camera.

Operating System

Even though I want to believe that Samsung Galaxy S4 will come pre-loaded with Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie, Kiwi Cheesecake, Kheer, or whatever Google decides to name the next version of their mobile operating system, I don’t think we’ll see it installed out of the box on the next-gen Samsung flagship.

Rumor has it that Android 5.0 will debut sometime mid 2013 meaning it will be close to Samsung Galaxy S4 release date. So, the company’s software engineers will not have enough time to mess around with it and optimize it to bring the best experience for the new smartphone.

Moreover, each new Galaxy flagship brought the Android version released a few months ahead of its debut. So far, we’ve had Samsung Galaxy S running on Android 2.2 Froyo, Galaxy S2 powered by Android 2.3 Gingerbread and, now, the Galaxy S3 on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. This pattern indicates that Samsung Galaxy S4 will most likely run Android 4.1 Jelly Bean as it leaves the factory gates.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that the Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie will not come as an update as soon as the South Korean company optimize it for their smartphones.

Everyone expects Samsung Galaxy S4 to come with a new version of the TouchWiz UI, customized with features that are supposed to make the customer’s life easier. Samsung Galaxy S3 introduced features like Direct Call, Smart Alert, Tap to Top, S Voice, Smart Stay, Pop up Play or Palm swipe to capture, while Galaxy Note 2 brought an even more interesting one, dubbed Multi Window. The Multi Window feature allows you to simultaneously open two apps on the same screen being an extension of the already-awesome multitasking system in Jelly Bean.

Therefore I am expecting all these plus many other more coming along with the next-generation Samsung Galaxy flagship smartphone.

Conclusions

So far, especially this year, Samsung have shown us that they have learned how to fight against their biggest rival, Apple. Constantly pushing their limits and attempting to bring the best experience for the users, the South Koreans manged this year to release two awesome smartphones (GS3 and Note 2) and everyone expects the next year’s flagship to be even better.

As I mentioned earlier in this post, I am expecting the Samsung Galaxy S4 release date to be scheduled sometime early July, after the device will be unveiled in a special Samsung Unpacked event mid-June.

Regarding the technical specifications and the design of the Samsung Galaxy S4, we should expect some surprises. All the aforementioned specs are just my view on the next-gen Samsung ubersmartphone, after I looked closely at the South Korean’s previous products and marketing strategies.

Summing up, we might see a Samsung Galaxy S4 with a 5-inch display and a processor based on four Cortex A15 cores arriving in July. Do you think otherwise? Please let us know in the comments section below.

Samsung Galaxy S4 Articles

  • Galaxy S4 by GPA

    I really like your article (I was actually writing one up too because all the “speculation” was killing me!!! And these other articles are full of misleading information…) but I must admit there are some things which we could discuss….

    For starters, I completely agree with you about the use of a Samsung unpacked event solely dedicated to the Galaxy S4 (which was a huge hit for the Galaxy S3 and which I was watching live at work!) in June or May followed by a global release very short after. This would give Samsung a chance to woo people like they did with the S3 and keep ALL eyes on the GS4, no other device.

    Design
    I agree with you on the design of the Galaxy S4. It should not be taller/thicker/or wider (the whole device), I also support the edge to edge display… But I do not support the use of soft keys.. “while the Android experience is cleaner with the three soft keys embedded into the system software.”… Those soft keys take up screen real estate and can make the resolution different. 4 Capacitive buttons with double function support will do way better (these will be hidden like the Galaxy S3 buttons and pop on depending on your settings) on the Galaxy S4. It will also make the device different from the iPhone 5 (which has a middle button) and the Optimus G (which uses the same soft key crap nexus likes to use, which has no settings button btw….) Using 4 hidden double function buttons (press + long press) will separate Samsung from the rest and give them a break from being sued… Also (my idea) the Samsung should be shaped into an earpiece. This would brand all the devices so that they can save space with the Logo and the earpiece, making it one peice. Function, and Style baby! (see my render for the GS4 on my Twitter! lol, made with paint!)

    Processor
    Next, the quad core Cortex A-15 processor you are reffering to is the 5450 which is actually coupled to a Mali T658 GPU!!! Samsung should really consider making this the only option available for the Galaxy S4. Samsung needs to release one phone that will be available worldwide and that will demolish any phone wishing to challenge the Galaxy moniker…see here…
    http://androidandme.com/2012/02/news/samsung-demos-quad-core-exynos-processors-we-drool/

    Connectivity
    As far as connectivity you hit it dead on the nail (we seem to think alike). Even with the fact the phone wasn’t quad core in the US, Samsung STILL sold a SNAPLOAD OF THEM! I will tell you I was very dissapointed in Samsung when I saw that the Galaxy S3 had a middle button, and that the US version wasn’t going to be Quad.
    Even with my dissapointment I gave Samsung a chance, (i pre-ordered two on june 6, and got them as promised by Sprint on the 21st!!) they made me happy with all the features they worked on. The PIP feature, NFC, LTE, 2GB Ram, and all the newest features like S-beam, S-voice, etc….
    They really did better than what I expected in terms of making us happy here with 2GB Ram to help and learned their lesson, as you said, with the 1.6ghz quad/lte note 2…. But if they learnt their lesson this time around, the Galaxy S4 will be one device. That’s it (or two if they need a HSPA version). I promise you Samsung, it will sell like CRAZY.

    MEMORY? NO BIG DEAL HERE??? LIES!
    The memory part will definitely define this new Galaxy S4. Have you not read about the new Samsung 2GB DDR3 (only made by Samsung!!) chips capable of transfering data at 12.8gb/s??? 4 times faster than your GS3 can!!! Have you not read about the newer and faster (Only made by Samsung) 128GB NAND Flash based storage chipss!!? 140MB/s writes!!!! Samsung needs to make sure to use both of these….
    Here, use this link and update this ARTICLE! it will show lots of people the truth about what’s about to come out!!!!
    http://www.engadget.com/2012/09/18/samsung-memory-storage/
    READ UP BUDDY! FASTER RAM, FASTER ONBOARD STORAGE!! YES, that means everything will be able to run faster, INCLUDING ANDROID OS!!!!
    I support what you said about the SD card slot…. BUT the onboard memory specs should now be 32GB/64GB/128GB because networks are getting faster, cameras are taking better and bigger pictures, videos are huge, and PEOPLE ARE SICK OF NOT HAVING ENOUGH SPACE!! I can use my phone as a external hard drive if I wanted to, why not have enough space to carry anything I want, and then SOME!?

    Camera
    13 mp shooter that Samsung has developed…
    http://www.ubergizmo.com/2012/10/alleged-13mp-camera-module-for-the-samsung-galaxy-s4-spotted/
    “This particular module would allow users to capture images at a resolution of 4208×3120 and measures 8.5×8.5×5.9mm in size.”

    OPERATING SYSTEM…
    The Galaxy S4 should come with Android Jelly Bean 4.2 or whatever has been optimized for their device (that hasnt just came out) Samsung will be able to work on the next iteration once it’s out and if it’s been out before the S4, they can optimize… If not, then stick to what’s been out,… Jelly Bean….4.2 Also.. This is something I have been wanting to see happen… Samsung needs to have a closer tie with Google in order to be able to provide bug free phones, when running Android. Samsung should hire developers to work closely in unison with Google to make sure they have a team working every facet of the Android community… This way Samsung can help itself be more stable, by working with ALL developers, companies, carriers, ETC. One huge department for this….

    I totally agree on keeping the same technologies, but also creating new ones. Like the ability to lock the phone into a “admin/guest” only mode which only grants certain permissions and restricts the device to only doing certain functions! (Privacy = good) If Samsung wants any help in creating awesome ideas, I can help but blurting them out here will help noone but Apple. LOL (I have tons of ideas..lol)

    I would like to work closely with you, the author, to provide an even more amazing, in depth article like the one you just wrote. I really appreciate the time you took to get this information together and the care you took in not sounding like “you knew for sure”. I have been trying to write a review and I’m almost sure it would carry the same tone you executed in yours.
    If you don’t know what it feels like to read absolute bs, read the crappiest article concerning the Galaxy S4 here, written by Doug Gross of CNN and shared by WPTV. lol

    http://www.wptv.com/dpp/news/national/samsung-galaxy-s4-release-date-samsung-prepared-to-roll-out-new-version-of-popular-android-phone

    # 1 it says according to korean times… And then there is no mention of Samsungs twitter denial of the Galaxy S4 being READY, lol
    “They are prepared”, he says, LOL. So you mean to tell me you think Samsung built the Galaxy S3, the Galaxy Note 2, the Galaxy 10.1, the Galaxy S3 Mini and the Galaxy S4 all around the same time?? (I guess Samsung does really innovate, dummies) No, Samsung is working on the GS4 now and it’s probably all paper now (except for the chips they have been making that I mentioned) until they get the design and ideal worked out first. If you want to see some of my ideas, and a paint render of what I’d like the S4 to relatively look like… Check out my Twitter page at
    http://www.twitter.com/gperezarguello

  • phoenix19861

    samsung galaxy s4
    - Exynos 5450 2.0 Ghz (28nm)
    - Mali T658
    - LPDDR3 3GB Ram
    - eMMC Pro Classe 1500
    - 16 mp 1080p camera
    - 5″ display ClorOled (358 ppi)
    - battery 3200 mAh
    Lte/Lte advanced

    • Galaxy S4 by GPA

      LOL, there is no need for 3GB ram, especially if it’s DDR3, lol but OK! This is almost exactly what I wanted. But the ClorOled is 5.8 inches right now, so it doesnt fit your 5.0 inch design…..

    • Ratzu

      As nice as this would be, this is most likely not going to happen 3GB, even 2 is overkill, especially over that 2GHz quad core processor, what I am really hoping for is that the international version is not altered by the US carriers. It is extremely annoying.

  • http://www.facebook.com/k.reidar Reidar Kristiansen

    I dont agree that its best for samsung to launch s4 in late june or july. The reason is that they will sell much more if they launch a better phone than apple 5 in february, or march. Then they have 6 to 7 months of the market without worry about apple 6. Anyway, a lot of other producers like LG, Huawei, etc. will launch better and better phones, so both samsung and apple have to do their best to stay in the front.

    • gooey56k

      if s4 is released in Feb. then maybe they will do note 3 in summer ,,, but then what will i buy for christmas? maybe they will do s4 with lesser specs in feb then s5 with best specs to kill iphone5s/6 then note 3 for christmas …….

    • ash

      i agree!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/stefano.iavarone Stefano Iavarone

    How about engineering the first graphene battery for the Samsung Galaxy S4?

  • Andrew Ryan Adriatico Granada

    how come nobody referred to apple as the caucasians?

  • Jayn

    They better put a better design and look to it bcus its the only way it would feel less cheap hands-on! maybe not cheap plastic anymore..

  • Samsung Employ

    S IV comes in middle May, first was to be in March, but because a delay with the new Display, facilities don’t reach the numbers we expect in serial production (problem solved already) the release have now a delay of 2 months in actual Samsung’s calculations but in February we expect more certains about that.