Samsung did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the reports.
The news that Samsung would be releasing a new flagship for its Galaxy line at the Mobile World Congress in February was surprising, given that the previous phone had only debuted in May. But an unnamed Samsung official reportedly told the Korea Times that the decision to bump up the schedule was intended to take direct aim at Apple’s iPhone 5. The decision, of course, would have also led Samsung to compete with itself — or at least a vaporware version of its next big thing — as it tries to keep up sales of the Galaxy S III.
The company’s main iPhone competitor, the Galaxy S III, sold 20 million units in its first 100 days on the market, and is expected to top sales of 30 million by the end of the year.
The company has continued to announce new products even as it has been embroiled in patent disputes with Apple in recent months.
At the IFA electronics show in Berlin — where the company announced the Galaxy Note 2 and the ATIV S, among other products — Samsung mobile head JK Shin did not directly mention the company’s legal battles, but said that Samsung would make “outstanding, innovative and unique” products, “regardless of any hindrance.”
Samsung lost big in the U.S. when a jury ruled that it had infringed on Apple patents — but that Apple had not improperly used Samsung’s intellectual property. The company has been asked to pay over $1 billion in damages and, as AppleInsider reported, recently lost its appeal to have a ban on its Galaxy Tab 10.1 lifted.
Samsung is Apple’s fiercest smartphone competitor, and leads the Cupertino, Calif. company in worldwide smartphone sales.
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