SEOUL, March 15 (Xinhua) -- Samsung Electronics, the world's No. 1 smartphone maker, unveiled its new flagship smartphone Galaxy S4 in New York, with its archrival Apple having no plan to launch a new model in the near future.
Samsung launched the fourth generation of Galaxy S series at Radio City Music Hall in New York on Thursday (New York time), according to an e-mailed statement.
The flagship model was equipped with most high-quality features. It had the 5-inch full HD AMOLED display with a resolution of 1920 by 1080. The model had a pixel density of 441 pixel per inch (ppi).
A "dual camera" function, which had a 13 megapixel rear camera and a 2 megapixel front camera, would allow users to select eight different ways to combine the two photos taken by both cameras.
It came with 1.9 GHz quad-core processor and 1.6 GHz Octa-core processor depending on regions, supporting 3G network as well as the 4G LTE. Especially, the hexa-band LTE version can support as much as six different band sets, which means a function in most LTE coverage areas.
"There was neither Wow factor nor big innovation in the Galaxy S4," said Kwon Sung-ryul, an analyst at Dongbu Securities in Seoul. "Hardware features were as expected, but the new model will sell well because it focused on UI improvement and there will be no specific rival in April when it comes out in the market."
The Galaxy S4 showed numerous UI improvements. The "Smart Pause " function would enable users to control the screen by where they look. When users are watching a video, the video pauses when they look away then it starts right up again where they are back.
The "Smart Scroll" function would allow users to scroll the browser or emails up and down without touching the screen. It recognizes users' face looking at the screen and movement of their wrist and then scroll the pages up or down accordingly.
Samsung planned to roll out the new model through 327 mobile operators in 150 countries starting possibly late-April, surpassing its predecessor Galaxy S3 that was launched via 296 wireless carriers in 145 nations.
Global sales of the Galaxy S3 reached around 38 million units since its launch in May 2012, according to the estimation made by Woori Investment & Securities' analyst Sophia Kim. The Galaxy S4 was expected to exceed its predecessor, with its sales touching 65 million units by year-end.
"With the success of Galaxy S3, consumer royalty to the Galaxy brand became stronger," said Sophia Kim at Woori. "Amid sluggish sales of Apple's iPhone5, there will be no follow-up models from Samsung's rivals in the second quarter."
Samsung still lagged behind Apple in the United States, which is the second-largest smartphone market following China, and accounts for the large portion in the high-end models. The gap in the U.S. market share between Samsung and Apple was 12.2 percentage points in 2012, while sales of iPhone series were 1.8 times more than Samsung's Galaxy S smartphones last year.
Samsung was expected to narrow the gap with its marketing efforts. According to the U.S. market intelligence company Kantar Media, Samsung's smartphone ad spending was 401 million U.S. dollars in 2012, outdoing Apple's 333 million dollars.
"The global smartphone market will ultimately come down to marketing," said James Song, an analyst at KDB Daewoo Securities in Seoul. "Samsung's emotional marketing strategy will better connect with consumers and help it achieve quarterly Galaxy S4 sales of over 30 million units."