Korean smartphone with LTE-Advanced reportedly doubles the current LTE speeds
Samsung is set to release a version of its best-selling Galaxy S4 smartphone capable of even faster 4G/LTE wireless communication. The upcoming handset will become one of the first to feature LTE-Advanced, which offers up to twice the speed of a conventional 4G connection – which itself can be around five times faster than 3G.
The as-yet unnamed smartphone is expected to go on sale in Samsung’s home country of Korea later this month, reports Reuters.
Samsung has already confirmed it will sell a smaller, 4.3-inch version of the S4 called the Mini, and a waterproof version of the device (no doubt inspired by the success of Sony’s Xperia Z) is due to be delivered just in time for a presumably-sodden British summer.
Speed is of the essence
The new Galaxy S4 version will double the possible 4G speeds, which currently average between 8Mbps and 12Mbps downstream. It will be powered by a Qualcomm processor, and cost a bit more than the original S4.
Co-CEO of Samsung JK Shin called the device a “high-end” offering that could ensure “healthy profit margins” for the company. He said Samsung was offering the new smartphone to several overseas network operators, although he declined to mention names.
4G is a double play for the company – as the sales of data-hungry 4G/LTE smartphones grow, mobile network operators will have to upgrade their equipment and improve capacity. That’s why Samsung has big hopes for the sales of network-side 4G equipment, which have grown at a rate of 30 percent per year since 2010. It has already secured wireless infrastructure deals in the US, Japan and the UK.
Shin also revealed that opening dedicated units inside Best Buy stores in the US has helped Samsung triple tablet sales. Last week, Microsoft announced it will adopt a similar format, opening 500 Windows Stores across the Best Buy network.
The original Galaxy S4 sold 10 million units in less than a month, making it the most successful smartphone ever released by the Korean company. Samsung reported record £5.2 billion profits in the first three months of 2013, with sales of its smartphones and tablets compensating for the overall weakness in the PC market.
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