Galaxy S3 unveiled in 28 countries
By Kim Yoo-chul
Samsung Electronics launched the Galaxy S3 in 28 countries Tuesday, which the electronics giant believes will further cement its top position in the global smartphone market. The new model will be introduced into the domestic market in mid-June.
The launch comes a few days after Samsung and Apple failed in their attempt to find a compromise in their dispute over patents when Samsung CEO Choi Gee-sung and Apple CEO Tim Cook met. The next stop is the courtroom.
``In businesses, timing is everything. Samsung is planning to squeeze Apple further by aggressively promoting the Galaxy S3. Samsung doesn’t have any plan to drop its so-called two-track strategy,’’ said a high-ranking Samsung source.
The Korean firm is still being asked to sooth investor worries of its U.S. customers over the ongoing shortage of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 dual-core processor, while it should produce the most-powerful smartphones possible for faster and more effective delivery.
But Samsung spokeswoman Lim Yoon-jeong said the effect of such challenging factors could be ``short-lived.’’ Rather, she reiterated that the new Galaxy smartphone will be ``the most successful model’’ in the company’s phone-manufacturing history.
On Tuesday, Samsung said it began selling the Galaxy S3 in 15 European and 13 Middle Eastern countries. The United Kingdom, France, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are on the company’s top-tier list for the device.
``New models will be released in 28 countries and 296 mobile carriers in 145 countries will release the Galaxy by the end of July,’’ Lim said.
The Galaxy S2 was introduced by 210 carriers in 135 countries, while the original Galaxy was launched by 175 carriers, the spokeswoman said.
Samsung will hold the ``Galaxy S3 World Tour’’ in nine cities including those in the United States, China, Japan and Korea from Sydney, Australia and New Delhi in India on May 31st.
The release comes as the firm, now the world’s biggest mobile phone maker, boasted a 30.6 percent share of market sales in the first quarter of this year.
Although Lim declined to confirm numbers, Samsung officials say it has received 10 million pre-orders, far higher than the 3 million for the Galaxy S2.
``Samsung’s phone-manufacturing lines in the provincial city of Gumi are working at full capacity to effectively meet solid demand and are producing seven million S3s,’’ said a company executive, directly involved with the matter who asked not to be identified.
The pre-order frenzy is enough to strike a blow against Apple, which is expected to report a poor third quarter profit due to low expectations about the new iPhone, specifically as the S3 is expected to pose the biggest challenge to the U.S. firm, according to Samsung officials.
As The Korea Times reported earlier, the Galaxy S3 is available with different specifications depending on the country. Consumers in the United States will see Qualcomm’s S4 dual-core processor-embedded phones, while those in Europe and South Korea will experience faster quad-core processor-equipped handsets, the Korean firm confirmed.
New features for the S3, that uses Google’s Android operating system, include a 4.8-inch high-resolution OLED screen. Samsung’s distinctive Siri S-Voice is also on the list of specifications.
As expected, the new phone comes ahead of Apple’s next iPhone, which may or may not be the iPhone 5. Steve Park, an Apple spokesman in Korea, declined to comment on issues related to the new iPhone.
``The S3 will extend Samsung’s lead in the smartphone market before the release of Apple’s new iPhone. We expect the S3 will sell over 50 million by the end of this year,’’ said Kim Sung-in, a senior analyst at Kium Securities.