Unless you count any of the past months' fake renders and fan-made mock-ups (like the one above), Samsung's done a great job of keeping the
Galaxy S III next Galaxy under wraps. So much so that a sort of online news vacuum has developed, which, in the absence of any actual news, draws in unsubstantiated rumors and speculation. As the phone's May 3 unveiling draws near, we're seeing even more reports of what "might" be coming in Samsung's next flagship product.
Firstly, let's look at what we do know. Yesterday's press invite references the "next Galaxy" smartphone, and in an interview with BNN.ca, Samsung Canada's VP of Mobile Communications, Paul Brannen, says that it'll be a "flagship" phone, and the next evolution of the Galaxy line. Neither mentioned any specific branding, and Brannen in particular seemed to go out of his way to avoid doing so (for obvious reasons.)
Today's latest set of rumors comes from CNET's Crave blog, sources for which suggest that the "Galaxy S III" will be more of an incremental upgrade than a revolutionary product -- "like the iPhone 4S was to the 4." The problem with that is Samsung already has plenty of incremental updates to the Galaxy S II. In 4G LTE markets, there's the Galaxy S II LTE (aka Skyrocket), and in Asia, there's the Galaxy S II HD LTE. And then there's the Galaxy Note, which already offers a larger screen in addition to both LTE connectivity and an HD display.
Due in part to the lack of reliable leaked info, consumers' expectations are sky-high for Samsung's next flagship -- comment threads and forum discussions speculate on ridiculous features, like a 2GHz quad-core chip, 2GB of RAM and a 1080p display. With this in mind, it's possible that Samsung's merely trying to manage expectations going into a major product launch -- the old adage "under-promise and over-deliver" applies here.
CNET's source also suggested Samsung may do away with its current naming convention, saying "don't expect it to be called the S3." We'd be surprised if Samsung completely abandoned its Galaxy S branding, though. The manufacturer's sold 20 million Galaxy S II's worldwide, and in its native South Korea, more than 10% of the entire population owns one. With such a popular device, it'd make sense to have a clearly identified successor. In a world of Samsung Galaxy S II Epic 4G Touches and HTC EVO 4G LTE's, the "Galaxy S III" name is clear and succinct enough to do just that.
Spec-wise, reports have been circulating for months suggesting a quad-core phone with a 720p display. That's highly likely, but not even remotely surprising. The likes of HTC, LG and Huawei have already set the bar at this level for their 2012 flagships.
So the bottom line is we still have no idea what to expect on May 3. And that makes the event all the more exciting, considering how rare it is to go into a major smartphone announcement knowing absolutely nothing. Whatever form it ends up taking, we'll be on the ground in London on the day to bring you full coverage of Samsung's next flagship.