Several months ago it looked like Samsung would unveil their 2012 flagship products at Mobile World Congress, but then the Korean company decided to hold off. Now Samsung has said they will announce the successor to the Galaxy S II (and maybe the rumored Galaxy Tab 11.6) sometime in the first half of the year, closer to commercial availability of the products.
For what it’s worth, I agree with Samsung’s new strategy. By avoiding the Mobile World Congress circus, consumers are still talking about the rumored Galaxy S III more than any other device that recently got announced. Using our buyer’s guides as evidence, Samsung still offers the best Android phone on every major US carrier and there is no need to rush out new devices.
When the time finally comes for the rumored Galaxy S III and Galaxy Tab 11.6, Samsung is poised to offer best in class processing and graphics performance. With their new Exynos 5250 system-on-a-chip, Samsung should be the first to utilize ARM’s new Cortex-A15 CPU core and Mali-T604 GPU. The chip goes into mass production next quarter and the CPU+GPU combination is expected to trounce anything else available at the time.
Samsung’s biggest competitor is Apple, so they are eagerly waiting on the big iPad 3 (or iPad HD?) announcement tomorrow to see how they will respond. Last year Samsung re-designed the Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the span of one month to be thinner than the iPad 2, and I assume they will be trying to top Apple again.
Apple’s latest tablet is expected to feature a 9.7 inch retina display with 2048 x 1536 resolution, but Samsung also has their own next-gen display with 2560 × 1600 resolution (WXQGA).
There are all kinds of rumors about Apple’s next processor, possibly called the A6 or A5x. Speculation suggest it will either be a quad-core Cortex-A9 part, or maybe even a dual-core Cortex-A15 part. Apple has always been a leader in graphics performance using technology from Imagination Technologies’ PowerVR series, and that is expected to continue.
However, Samsung seems pretty confident in sticking with ARM-designed GPUs. In an interview with ARM blogger Katie Morgan, Samsung boasted about their upcoming Exynos processors. Massimiliano Villani, Senior Manager Mobile Marketing for Samsung, said “We benchmarked several GPUs and we found that the overall architecture of the Mali family provided by ARM is nowadays the best in class for GPU performance.”
Villani didn’t specify which ARM GPU would be used in the Exynos 5250, but we already reported from CES that Samsung is going with the Mali-T604. This GPU delivers up to 5x performance improvement over previous Mali graphics processors and is scalable up to 4 cores.
Hopefully, we will learn more details about Samsung’s upcoming products soon. Samsung just revealed some kind of special announcement for March 9th, but we think that is too soon to talk about any new flagship products.
I know I’ll be following Apple’s big event tomorrow to see what gets announced. Do you think it’s important for Samsung to try and beat Apple in GPU performance, or should they focus their efforts in other areas?