Samsung’s defining 2012 phone, the Galaxy S III, could be missing its expected Mobile World Congress debut to time it around the US, a pair of sources claimed Wednesday. Although the phone would be ready “before summer,” both BestBoyZ and The Verge understood from contacts that Samsung wanted to wait until the Android phone was closer to its US release to make it public. There would still be “interesting stuff,” such as a possible Galaxy Tab 11.6, but there would be no repeat of the 2010 and 2011 device launches.
The intervals between international announcements, international releases, and the US have been a frequent target of criticism for Samsung and have emblematized the attitudes towards launching products at the Korean company and Apple. Where Apple regularly only unveils iPhones with no more than a few weeks to the launch, guaranteeing high demand and publicity, Samsung’s devices often don’t arrive in major countries for several months. The Galaxy S II was unveiled last February but didn’t even reach South Korea until that April, Europe until May, and the US until early fall. Leaving such a long wait often dampens the enthusiasm and helped Apple’s iPhone 4S outsell the Galaxy S II on every US carrier where both were offered.
A stalled release would show the new importance of the US to Samsung’s bottom line. The firm shipped 35 million smartphones in the fall, which wasn’t enough to beat Apple’s performance but was helped by the all-out US campaign that season.
Rumors have swirled around what the Galaxy S III itself would offer, although a dual-core 2GHz chip, a 720p screen, Android 4.0, and improved cameras are considered the most probable candidates.