When Samsung Electronics likely unveils its latest flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S5, at the Mobile World Congress trade show later this month, it is expected to be a low-key affair, according to a New York Times report. Such an approach would certainly be a change from the extravaganza Samsung held last March at Radio City Music Hall to announce the Galaxy S4.
While the S5 will have design enhancements and other improvements, according to the report, Samsung is likely to focus on a new version of its Knox security software to attract more enterprise customers.
Earlier this week Samsung sent out invitations for its "Unpacked 5" event, on Monday, Feb. 24 in Barcelona, Spain.
"Meaningful innovation is the key," Neil Shah, an analyst at Counterpoint Technology Market Research, told the Times. "Ultimately it will depend on design and the ability to lock in customers with useful features."
According to a December Wall Street Journal report, Knox was hit with delays and programming glitches last year, which has frustrated clients including the U.S. Defense Department.
Knox lets IT managers have control over their employees' Samsung devices, walling off secure company data from applications for personal use on Samsung's smartphones running Google's (NASDAQ:GOOG) Android software. The service also lets IT administrators remotely shut down devices if they have been compromised or lost, and lets them know if it looks like a device's base code has been tampered with. Knox comes free on Samsung's Galaxy devices, but costs enterprises $3.60 a month per user. However, Samsung had never built up a customer-service network to work with enterprise or government customers, and had to do so on the fly as it was rolling out Knox.
The Times report, citing an unnamed source "in the smartphone industry with knowledge of the plans," said the Galaxy S5 will not include an eye-scanner that lets the phone identify its owner or a so-called Quad HD, or WQHD, display. However, the phone is expected to include a better camera and a higher-performance processor. Samsung declined to comment, according to the report.
A TIME roundup of the S5 rumors floating around online predicted the gadget is likely to sport a 5.2-inch, 1080p display, have a 16-megapixel rear camera with improved low-light photography, a 3.2-megapixel front-facing camera, a Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) Snapdragon 805 chip for some variants, and toned down software tweaks in Samsung's TouchWiz UI. The phone will likely debut globally in April and in the U.S. in May.
Samsung is still the world's market leader in terms of smartphone and overall handset shipments by volume. However, the company posted flat profits from its mobile vision in the fourth quarter and a drop in sales from the third quarter. The South Korean conglomerate also said it plans to slash its marketing spending on mobile relative to revenue, though it declined to say by how much.
- see this NYT article
- see this TIME article
- see this Business Insider article
Samsung appears set to unwrap Galaxy S5 at Mobile World Congress
Report: Sprint, DoCoMo and other carriers back away from Samsung's Tizen
Analysts: Samsung, Apple keep smartphone grip, but lower-end rivals are nipping
Samsung reports flat mobile profits in Q4
NPD: Apple, Samsung grab 68% of U.S. smartphone ownership in Q4
Samsung: Don't hold your breath for a Tizen phone in the U.S.