Samsung’s Galaxy S IV Arrives Next Week: Here’s What to Expect – QUALCOMM, Inc. (QCOM), AT&T Inc. (T)

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Qualcomm, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM)South Korean giant Samsung is set to unveil its latest and greatest smartphone, the Galaxy S IV, on Tuesday at an “Unpacked” event in New York. One of the ways Samsung has successfully replicated Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)‘s success in recent times is that there’s quite a buzz going around about what Samsung may have up its sleeve to follow up its successful Galaxy S III.

The company isn’t mincing words here, either. Make no mistake: the Galaxy S IV is being unveiled.

Source: Samsung.

Samsung has had incredible success with its Galaxy S series of smartphones, announcing in January that it had reached 100 million in unit channel sales. The company was the largest smartphone vendor in the world in 2012 ,and the Galaxy S III was ranked the No. 3 smartphone worldwide in the fourth quarter behind the iPhone.

Galaxy S III. Source: Samsung.

What can we expect on March 14?

Keep on biggering
Samsung has continued to push the envelope with device size and is one of the leaders of the phablet movement. Each generation of the Galaxy S has gotten successively bigger, and the S IV isn’t expected to break this trend.

Model Display Size Display Resolution
Galaxy S 4 inches 800 x 480
Galaxy S II 4.3 inches 800 x 480
Galaxy S III 4.8 inches 1280 x 720
Galaxy S IV 5 inches* 1920 x 1080*

Sources: Samsung and SamMobile.

There’s been some debate over the display. Samsung is one of the biggest proponents of OLED displays, which has been greatly beneficial for OLED specialist Universal Display Corporation (NASDAQ:PANL) over the past few years, as Samsung’s unit shipments have soared. The company was reportedly facing some production challenges with manufacturing AMOLED displays at the full HD resolution it wanted, and as such it may have been considering a different display technology.

However, the most recent rumblings from SamMobile suggest that Samsung is going with a new type of AMOLED display that will be 25% more power-efficient. That’s incrementally beneficial for Universal Display, even if the company is still waiting on OLED TVs to ramp up.

All that and a bag of chips
On the processor front, Samsung had also been reportedly running into power issues with its Exynos 5 Octa processor and was thinking about sticking with a QUALCOMM, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM) Snapdragon chip. The Exynos 5 Octa combines two different quad-core processors and is among the first implementations of ARM Holdings plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:ARMH)big.LITTLE architecture, where high-performance cores sit alongside energy-efficient cores. In this case, Samsung is using four Cortex-A7 cores and four Cortex-A15 cores.

The Exynos 5 Octa technically has eight cores and as such will inevitably marketed as an eight-core processor, although this is slightly misleading, since only four cores can be active at any given time, depending on the task at hand. QUALCOMM, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM) CEO Dr. Paul Jacobs called Samsung out on this point in January, adding that competition should instead be shifting toward better efficiency and optimization instead of simply adding more cores.

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