It appears that Samsung has once again joined a growing list of companies that have decided not to release their flagship devices at Mobile World Congress. Reuters reports that the South Korean electronics giant said it will launch its new Galaxy S smartphone on March 14 in New York after requests from U.S. carriers. We’ve emailed Samsung for confirmation.
One likely reason why Samsung chose New York for its launch is because, as Reuters notes, it is “Apple’s turf” and rivalry between the two is becoming increasingly intense. Launching in New York instead of at this week’s Mobile World Congress also has the added benefit of ensuring that the latest Galaxy S debut will not be lost amid a sea of noise from competitors.
The Galaxy S series has been a cash cow for Samsung, so it’s no surprise that they would want to save it for special events instead of tagging it onto MWC. Last year, Samsung released the Galaxy S III in London. While the Galaxy S II made its debut at the 2011 MWC, the first Galaxy S launched at the CTIA mobile trade show in the U.S. in 2010.
Samsung may have chosen New York for this year’s launch to give it a boost of good publicity in the U.S. after the lose of a $1 billion patent infringement lawsuit to Apple last summer. Furthermore, Samsung has yet to dominate the U.S. market even though it was top in both worldwide smartphone sales and overall mobile phone sales in 2012. In the U.S., Samsung smartphones continue to lag behind the Apple iPhone in terms of sales.
Though Samsung may plan to release its flagship smartphone elsewhere, it did launch its Galaxy Note 8.0 at MWC, which it is planning to rollout globally in Q2 2013. Samsung did not say how much the tablet would cost, but representatives have said that the price would be “affordable.” Indeed, many mobile makers have made their low-end device launches at MWC, saving premium lines for their own separate events later on. For example, Nokia is expected to unveil its lower-priced Lumia smartphone at the event, while Chinese company ZTE will debut the Grand Memo, one of the world’s first Firefox OS phones (Firefox OS is being heavily targeted at emerging markets).
On the other hand, LG (and Samsung’s main domestic rival) will likely show off its top-of-the-line Optimus G Pro at MWC this week.