Samsung set to release a Galaxy S III ‘mini’?

October 3, 2012

Rumor has it that Samsung is planning to release a smaller version of its latest flagship phone, the Galaxy S III.

The speculation comes out of Germany, where the company has reportedly sent invitations to press that come with the tag­line “That’s how big small can be.”

As TechRadar reported, the line is believed to be a reference to a smaller version of Samsung’s 4.8-inch premium smartphone.

Samsung did not respond to a request for comment on the event.

The rumored phone, the report said, would be a 4-inch version of the Galaxy S III — the same screen size, on the diagonal, as the new display on the iPhone 5. There’s also speculation that it will have a 5 MP camera and be cheaper than Apple’s latest smartphone.

Samsung has said that it’s not letting legal issues with Apple slow down its innovation and is continuing to release a slew of devices headed into the holiday season including the Galaxy Note II, which is due in the coming months.

The Korean smartphone maker is still the top manufacturer in the United States, but is losing some ground to Apple, according to the latest figures from comScore.

Between May and August, Samsung has held a steady piece of the pie with 25.7 percent of the U.S. smartphone market, while Apple has ticked up 2.1 percent. These numbers, it should be noted, sketch a picture of the market as it stood before sales of the iPhone 5.

LG and Motorola saw slight dips — less than one percent — in the market over that period of time, while HTC ticked up around .2 percent.

The analytics company Localytics said that sales of the Galaxy S III have grown by an average of 9 percent since Aug. 1, with two big bumps. Consumers went to grab Samsung's phone the week a jury handed Apple a victory in its patent case against Samsung in late August and the week of the iPhone 5 launch. The firm speculates that all the additional coverage of the company’s products in those weeks led to the sales increase.

According to CNET, Localytics is a software company that sells its products to app developers, which allowed the company to collect information on new devices.

Samsung is also continuing to fight against Apple in court, after being told it owes more than $1 billion in damages due to patent infringement. According to a court filing, the company is challenging the decision reached by a jury in August because, the company says, jury foreman Velvin Hogan did not disclose he had filed for bankruptcy in 1993 and had been involved in a lawsuit with his former employer, Seagate.

Hogan's Seagate case, the report said, was filed by a lawyer married to one of the lawyers representing Samsung. For his part, Hogan told Bloomberg that he was only asked to disclose suits in the past 10 years, and would have mentioned the bankruptcy and suit if the question had been “more open-ended.”

Related stories:

As Apple and Samsung dominate, Japan’s tech giants are in a free fall

Apple’s mini iPad production ramping up, report says

Rumors of new iPad swirl as iPhone 5 owners air their gripes

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.
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