Friday, March 29, 2013

Galaxy S4 Mini briefly pops up on Samsung website

Galaxy S4 Mini
Like the Galaxy S3 before it, Samsung appears to be preparing a “mini” variant of their latest smartphone to compete in markets dominated by budget phones. Samsung has accidentally hinted at the Galaxy S4 Mini on their website recently, and pulled it down just as quickly.
Perhaps more important than Samsung’s top of the line flagship phone due to be released within the next few weeks is Samsung’s ability to continue the increasingly pervasive Galaxy branding. Even in markets where the Galaxy S4 is expected to be one of the best phones out there, Samsung is able to sell the Galaxy S2 and S3 on prepaid plans or include it for free with new contracts. There are many phones with the Galaxy branding that are active in several markets across the globe, and each of them will continue to be sold for at least the next six months. When those phones finally do reach their “End of Life” status, they will either be replaced by the next phone in the line being bumped down, or they will be replaced with a special version of the Galaxy S4 designed to attract customers who would rather not pay for a top-of-the-line phone. For this year, that phone will be the Galaxy S4 Mini.
The Galaxy S3 Mini looked a lot like a chunky, smaller clone of the original. It was pretty different under the hood, and significantly less impressive. While the Samsung website didn’t list any specs or photos for this Galaxy S4 Mini, it’s reasonable that the same basic logic would apply. Imagine a Galaxy S4 that is about a quarter smaller with a lower resolution screen, camera, and a smaller battery. There are rumors that point to a 1.6GHz dual-core processor with a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED screen running 960×540 resolution, which would set the phone pretty squarely in line with other phones being sold in those same markets. The phone would most likely run the same software, which would make it one of the only budget phones running Android 4.2.2 if it came out within the first half of this year.
Samsung knows they have a winner with the Galaxy brand, and they are going to continue releasing phones that spread the name for as long as they can. It’s been suggested recently that the Galaxy brand has more mindshare than Android itself, which was something that previously only Verizon had with the Droid branding. The Galaxy S4 Mini may not be the flagship everyone is talking about right now, but the name alone will continue to attract users throughout the year.

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