This morning Samsung (005930:KS) sent out invites for what looks to be the big reveal of its Galaxy S5 phone. The ‘Unpacked 5’ event will be on February 24, which is the opening day of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
As seen on the Samsung blog (via The Next Web), the Korean titan doesn’t specify what it’ll be unveiling on the day, but the ‘5’ is a clear reference to the much-anticipated successor to its Galaxy S4. However, The Next Web cautions that the “episode one” written on the invitation could mean that the Galaxy S5 will be revealed at a later show. That would annoy a lot of people. It’s also worth remembering that it likely won’t hit stores until March or April.
Samsung CEO JK Shin said in October that the Galaxy S4 had seen 40 million sales about halfway through its product cycle. The company is aiming at hitting 100 million sales for the S4, but that looks unlikely after the iPhone 5s got such a strongly positive response when hit stores in September and October.
The Galaxy S4 saw the start of a backlash against Samsung’s plasticky hardware and its bloated Touchwiz UI, which is the company’s Android skin. 16GB Galaxy S4 models often come with as little as 8.5GB of free storage space due to the size of Touchwiz coupled with apps loaded on by telcos.
Clearly it’s time for Samsung to rethink both its hardware and software for the flagship Galaxy phones or else face losing the lead in key smartphone markets like China and India where local phone brands are snapping at Samsung’s heels and eating away at its profits.
(Editing by Josh Horwitz)