x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Samsung’s new S5 smartphone to have bigger screen, sharper display

The new Galaxy smartphone, with an improved battery and camera, will be released about the same time as an upgraded Galaxy Gear smartwatch.

Samsung's has sold 63.5 million of the Galaxy S4, above, since its release in April last year. Don Emmert / AFP
Samsung's has sold 63.5 million of the Galaxy S4, above, since its release in April last year. Don Emmert / AFP

Samsung’s new high- end smartphone will have a larger 5.2-inch screen and a sharper display than the current Galaxy S4, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter.

The new phone, with an improved battery and camera, will be released about the same time as an upgraded Galaxy Gear smartwatch, the person said, asking not to be identified because the specifications are not public. Samsung may start selling the new phone for less than previous models in the S series after encouragement by at least one wireless carrier, said a second person familiar with the matter.

Samsung is adding features to the latest version of its most-popular device as it tries to counter slowing demand for premium smartphones, new models from Apple and a plethora of Chinese competitors selling devices for as little as US$100. The world’s biggest smartphone maker is releasing its new phone, which may be called the S5, after sales of the predecessor S4 unveiled last year fell short of analyst estimates.

Asia’s biggest technology company will debut the new device at the Mobile World Congress starting next week in Barcelona.

Sul Jung In, a Seoul-based spokesman for Samsung, declined to comment on specifications of the new device.

Samsung studied the possibility of using eye-scanner technology in the new phone for the first time, Lee Young Hee, executive vice president of the mobile business, said in a January 6 interview. Sales of the company’s marquee S4 slowed after the September release of Apple’s iPhone 5s, which includes a fingerprint-identity sensor.

The Suwon, South Korea-based company will focus its advertising for the new phone on improved security features, an upgraded camera and integration with wearable devices like the Galaxy Gear, one of the people said. Samsung wants to position the phone on the high end of the market against competitors including HTC with its One series, the person said.

Samsung has not given carriers a selling price yet amid a debate about whether the new phone should be cheaper than previous S models. A Galaxy S4 device with 16 gigabytes of memory sells for $199.99 at Verizon Wireless with a two-year contract, according to the carrier’s website.

Vodafone in the UK offers the S4 from £99, depending on the service plan. A version of the S4 is available in Hong Kong through China Mobile for a subscription price of HK$4,580, according to its website.

Samsung, which sells about one of every four mobile phones globally, saw its shipments and market share fall in the fourth quarter of 2013 from a year earlier, according to International Data Corp data released January 27. Samsung shipped 112 million mobile phones in the quarter, down from 113.6m units a year earlier.

Its shipment market share declined to 22.9 per cent in the fourth quarter from 23.5 per cent a year earlier.

Since its release in April, Samsung has sold 63.5m units of the S4, which features a 5-inch screen and 13-megapixel camera, according to the median estimate of three analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News. That compares with 65.6m for the predecessor S3, according to the analyst survey. Samsung does not disclose shipment data for individual devices.

Apple sold 51 million iPhones in the December quarter after new versions went on sale in September. Last month, the Cupertino, California-based company started selling phones through China Mobile, the world’s largest carrier with 767m subscribers.