The latest spec list of reported new GS4 features includes: wireless charging; a 5-in. display (up from 4.8-in. in the GSIII); Android 4.2; screen resolution of 1080 x 1920 with 440 pixels per inch; a quad-core processor at 1.7 GHz or faster; NFC (already in the GSIII) with new mobile payment software; a bigger battery than the 2100 mAh battery in the GSIII; a 13 megapixel rear camera; and 802.11 ac, a faster Wi-Fi spec.
Carolina Milanesi, an analyst at Gartner, warned that a heavy focus on software improvements by Samsung may not sell as well as would hardware and network upgrades.
But Ramon Llamas, an analyst at IDC, said that Samsung "keeps its hand on the pulse of the consumer," that makes Samsung the biggest vendor of Android, now running in more than 70% of all smartphones globally. As such, the GS4 can be a solid competitor for whatever Apple announces as the successor to the iPhone 5 this summer, he and other analysts said.
"I expect this phone to put a bigger dent in Apple's lead," said Scott Snyder, president of Mobiquity, a creator of mobile apps and systems.
For his money, Snyder said the most exciting new feature predicted for the GS4 has little to do with software or the interface and is in fact about wireless connectivity, namely 802.11 ac, an emerging Wi-Fi spec that supports up to 1 Gbps connections--about 10 times faster than current capabilities.
"That could enable some really cool use cases that cannot even be supported on LTE, like multiplayer gaming, rich augmented reality and more," he said.
Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen, or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed . His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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