Samsung Electronics has unveiled a new top-of-the-range Galaxy smartphone in London, updating the most direct rival to Apple’s iPhone with a larger touch screen and more powerful processor.
Samsung is seeking to cement its position as the world’s best-selling mobile phone maker with its latest model. The Galaxy S3 offers face-recognition technology, improved voice-activated controls, and a more powerful processor that lets users watch video and write emails simultaneously.
S Voice, the voice control system, allows users to access anything from weather forecasts and web searches in a feature similar to iPhone’s Siri system. The phone comes awake just by looking at it and will respond to voice requests such as “I want to take a picture” by launching the camera.
The 12.2cm screen is 22% larger than the Galaxy S2, its hugely popular predecessor. Samsung says the phone is not much wider than the S2 due to a smaller frame.
Samsung shipped 44.5m smartphones in the first quarter, exceeding the 35.1m of Apple, according to figures from market researcher Strategy Analytics last week. JK Shin, president of Samsung’s mobile business, said the company aims to sell more than 200m smartphones this year.
It said the Korean firm also overtook Nokia as the biggest maker of all types of mobile phone.
Samsung is pinning its hopes on the S3 to further erode its rivals’ market share before an expected new version of Apple’s iPhone this year.
The new Galaxy model goes on sale in Europe later this month and around the world from June. Analysts said the expected massive marketing campaign and features of the handset — billed as the official smartphone of the London 2012 Olympics — were likely enough to generate strong sales,
Samsung reported a record net profit of $4.44bn in the first quarter, thanks mainly to strong smartphone sales.
But it faces growing competition not just from Apple but also from Chinese makers offering cheaper products such as Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corp.
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