updated 07:35 am EST, Wed February 1, 2012
Samsung delays Galaxy S III past annual event
Samsung on Wednesday confirmed rumors that its flagship phone for the year, unofficially known as the Galaxy S III, will miss Mobile World Congress. Stopping a relatively brief tradition of launching its flagship smartphone at the Barcelona event, the company told TechRadar it would replace the Galaxy S II at a "separate Samsung-hosted event" closer to when the hardware would actually ship. There would be new devices at Mobile World Congress, the Korean firm said, but not its halo device for the year.
Little is known about the phone itself, although it's likely to use the 2GHz Exynos 5250 processor inside and run Android 4.0.
The absence would curtail initial buzz for Samsung, which showed the original Galaxy S and the S II at the February event. It would nonetheless reflect an attempt to close a gap between unveiling and release that Samsung has regularly had with many of its most important products. The Galaxy S II was unveiled in mid-February last year but didn't ship to Samsung's native South Korea until late April, to Europe until May, and to the US as late as October.
The same, now known-accurate rumor that mentioned the Galaxy S III delay also claimed that the delay was primarily to narrow the gap for the American release. If so, it would show the importance Samsung now puts on the US and on trying to defeat Apple's iPhone in its home territory by getting a high-profile launch. Samsung once only paid mild attention to the US while preferring Asia and Europe, but it now brings its best models to the area and will run a Super Bowl ad in the hopes of getting more recognition for its smartphones in the country.