The rumor mill also seems fairly certain that Samsung will stick with the plastic body it has used on previous versions of the Galaxy smartphone line, rather than opt for an iPhone-like aluminum body for a more premium feel. Reviewers have long said that the plastic panels on the Galaxy S4 are one of its weakest features, since it can make the phone feel cheap.
There also has been speculation that Samsung may put an eight-core processor in the new phone but, Bloomberg reports, that may only come in versions of the phone outside of the United States.
There’s also the long-shot rumor that Samsung will put the flexible screen technology it showed off at the Consumer Electronics Show in January into the new phone — though even the most optimistic analysts admit it’s an outside chance at best.
Software rumors are fuzzier: Bloomberg also noted that one of the biggest software features rumored to be in the new phone, eye-scrolling software reported by The New York Times, may not come in the launch versions of the phone. Instead, the report said, those features may show up in later versions of the phone. Some eye-tracking software is expected, however, such as the ability to pause videos when users look away from the screen, the report said.
Major marketing campaign: Samsung has been going all out on this gadget launch, commissioning everything from traditional TV commercials to a flash mob in Times Square. The company is clearly setting up the phone to be a serious competitor to the iPhone — not just the Android phone you buy because you don’t like Apple for some reason.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Samsung spent $401 million in U.S. advertising on its phones compared to Apple’s $333 million, citing research from Kantar Media. The company has been quick to act on doubts investors have had that Apple will continue to deliver innovative products and put itself forward as “The Next Big Thing” while also poking fun at Apple’s products and its fans.
Apple speaks up: In a sign that the Galaxy launch may have its biggest competitor, Apple, a bit hot under the collar, Apple’s chief marketing executive Phil Schiller made a rare public comment on the launch in interviews with Reuters and the Wall Street Journal Wednesday, saying that “fragmentation” — the fancy way to say that a lot of phones are using different versions of Google’s operating system out there — is an obvious Android weakness.
“[We] are hearing this week that the Samsung Galaxy S4 is being rumored to ship with an OS that is nearly a year old," he told Reuters. "Customers will have to wait to get an update."