Sneak peek at Samsung’s Galaxy S III phone set for May 3

Samsung Electronics is expected to show the next flagship Galaxy smartphone at an event in London on May 3.

The company has sent out invites to the event that say only “come andmeet the next Galaxy,” in addition to the time and place. Questionsabout more details were met with the usual “no comment.”

However, there is little doubt the company will present the successorto the Galaxy S II, which was launched about a year ago.

“Samsung decided not to launch of the Galaxy S III at Mobile WorldCongress in February, so that is probably what we are going to seenow,” said Francisco Jeronimo, research manager at IDC.

The design of the phone and its hardware specification are stillunknown, but the plethora of high-end smartphones launched at MobileWorld Congress give some hints. Newcomers like the HTC One X, which hasalready gone on sale, the Optimus 4X HD and the Huawei Ascend D Quadall have quad-core processors and screens with a 1280-by-720 pixelresolution.

The HTC and the LG phone have a 4.7-inch display while Huawei’s devicehas a 4.5-inch display.

The rumored specifications for the Galaxy S III match those numberpretty closely, and include a 4.6-inch and a 1280-by-720 pixelresolution, which Jeronimo expects will be even brighter than the onein the Galaxy S II.

The specifications are also rumored to include a Samsung developedquad-core processor, LTE (Long Term Evolution)connectivity for someparts of the world, a 12-megapixel camera and 2GB of RAM.

The latter two would put the Samsung device ahead of the previouslymentioned smartphones, which all have8-megapixel cameras and 1GB ofRAM. When it comes to access to memory, Samsung has the upper hand overits competitors thanks to the fact that it makes it own.

In general, the fact that Samsung makes smartphone components likedisplays, processors and memory gives the company an advantage over thecompetition, according to according to Malik Saadi, principal analystat Informa Telecoms & Media.

Saadi also expects that Samsung will put out a 3G version and at leastone LTE version for markets where the technology is available, whilethe device will likely get slightly thinner, according to Jeronimo.

The smartphone landscape has changed as Apple and Samsung have takenover much of the market in the last year. During the last three monthsof 2011, they had about 47 percent of the market, compared to 26percent in the same period a year earlier, according to data fromStrategy Analytics.

The battle between the two companies will continue, and the Galaxy SIII is important because it will be the second phone from Samsung thatcan really compete with the iPhone, according to Jeronimo.

“The Galaxy S II has done extremely well, and it was the first iPhonechallenger, So I am interested to see how this one can continue tochallenge the iPhone, because that is what this is all about,” saidJeronimo.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

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