Samsung Head Promises Yet Another Galaxy S4 With Advanced LTE


Will Samsung ever learn that you can release too many smartphones? It has already launched four different variants of the Galaxy S4 in a three-month period, and now it’s promising another with a faster processor and advanced LTE.

Samsung Co-CEO JK Shin confirmed the move today, and said that the new device will transmit data at twice the speed of the original Galaxy S4, and that it will go on sale in South Korea as early as this month.

Samsung is also in talks with several overseas carriers over the new device, Shin told Reuters during an interview at Samsung’s headquarters in Suwon, south of Seoul. He wouldn’t say which carriers they were, but if Samsung’s previous handsets are anything to go by, you can expect most of the major ones to be offering the device eventually.

“We’ll be the first with the commercial launch of the advanced 4G version of the smartphone,” Shin said.

The new Galaxy S4 will use “LTE-Advanced” 4G technology, which is up to twice as fast as existing LTE technology. It will also be powered by the latest Snapdragon 800 processor — a step up from the original Galaxy S4’s Snapdragon 600 chip — which will make it even faster at other tasks, too.

But is the handset really necessary now? Consumers are lapping up the Galaxy S4 as it is, so does Samsung really need to release a faster variant already?

“S4 sales remain strong,” Shin told Reuters. “It’s selling far stronger than the (Galaxy) S III… and the new LTE-Advanced (4G) phone will be another addition to our high-end segment offerings that ensure healthy profit margins.”

I’m struggling to understand how this could be a healthy move for the Korean electronics giant, whose shares have already lost $20 million since June 7 because analysts are concerned that it is releasing too many phones. You see, there are concerns that the cheaper Galaxy S4 Mini — and indeed Samsung’s other Galaxy S4 variants — will steal sales from the original Galaxy S4.

And the new model is likely to have an even bigger impact. If consumers know that a faster model is on the way, why would they go out and buy the existing one? This news could simply persuade them to forget about existing model and await the next one — no matter how long it takes to reach them.

I certainly wouldn’t spend money on a smartphone if I knew a new model with better technology was on its way soon. Would you?

Samsung is clearly confident the move will pay off, but we’ll see how it goes.