Lee Don-joo, president of Samsung's telecommunications division, unveils the company's latest smartphone — the Galaxy S4 — during a launch event at Samsung's main office in Gangnam, southern Seoul, Thursday. / Yonhap
Firm aims to sell over 100 million phones
By Kim Yoo-chul
Samsung Electronics Thursday unveiled its latest smartphone ― the Galaxy S4 ― in Korea, with high hopes that sales of the latest device will be stronger than its previous models.
The unveiling event came a day before Samsung will roll out the latest version of its flagship smartphone line-up here, Friday. Korea is the first country to have the new Galaxy, which will be followed by 155 countries from April 27.
During the event, Samsung sources and market analysts said it is aiming to sell over 100 million units of the S4 in what they claim is ''highly achievable'' because this latest smartphone has an undisputable leverage in competitive pricing, although the S4 is the most-advanced in terms of hardware specifications.
Samsung has so far sold over 50 million units of the Galaxy S3 since May last year. Samsung said it's been receiving ''explosive orders.''
It said the firm was experiencing difficulties in shipments to international mobile carriers due to a mismatch between high orders and available supply.
''It's true that some major U.S. mobile carriers delayed the launch of the S4 as even Samsung Electronics can't completely meet shipment requests as much as they want,'' said Lee Don-joo, the president of Samsung's telecommunication division in a brief meeting with reporters.
T-Mobile of the United States announced that the S4 will be delayed until April 29 after being hit by supply issues. Another major U.S. carrier Sprint Nextel said it will sell the S4 from April 27 as scheduled.
Lee told reporters that it is still in talks with its partner companies to put the full version of the firm's Knox enterprise security framework on the S4. ''As the Knox is the business-to-business (B2B) product, we should spend more time for various tests before commercial launches,'' Lee said.
The software is a multi-layered security solution for Google Android devices enabling a separate, locked-down environment to work.
Samsung provides its own app-signing process for software it deems to be safe as well as limiting inter-app communication to Knox apps. Knox can also continuously monitor for intrusions, even disabling the kernel and powering down the device if an attack is detected.
The S4 will be much faster for consumers, here, as all local mobile carriers will support LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) networks. ''The S4 is currently not supporting the LTE-A networks. But we are testing and we will introduce S4s that back up LTE-A networks,'' the president told reporters.
Lee admitted Samsung experienced challenges in the sale of its tablet PCs last year. He was however very confident in growing its tablet business by releasing more tech-loaded models with affordable prices.
The S4 features an octa-core application processor, 13-megapixel camera, air-view and much more striking hardware on a 5-inch OLED screen.
The S4 will be introduced in Korea, using 32-gigabyte and the suggested retail price was initially set as 899,000 won without subsidies from carriers.