A top Samsung executive says the next-generation Galaxy S5 smartphone should be with us by April, and rumours suggest it could feature some form of eye-scanning technology for the first time.
Speaking to Bloomberg at CES 2014 this week, Samsung executive VP of mobile Lee Young Hee said the Galaxy S5 would launch in a similar timeframe to its predecessors in the first half of the year.
“We’ve been announcing our first flagship model in the first half of each year, around March and April, and we are still targeting for release around that time,” Lee said on the Las Vegas show floor.
That's not quite as exciting as predictions of a launch at MWC next month, but then this is at least directly from an official source, and of course doesn't entirely rule out a Galaxy S5 announcement during MWC.
Lee added that the Galaxy S5 would be joined by a successor to the Galaxy Gear smartwatch featuring not only better features, but a slimmed down design too.
“When we release our S5 device, you can also expect a Gear successor with more advanced functions, and the bulky design will also be improved.” he added.
Lee didn't go as far as confirming the eye-scanner tech for the Galaxy S5, but didn't rule it out either. Samsung registered a design for a Google Glass-style product in October able to show info from a smartphone and let users manage calls hands-free, and all Lee would say definitively is that Samsung will announce at least one other wearable device in 2014.
“Many people are fanatical about iris recognition technology. We are studying the possibility but can’t really say whether we will have it or not on the S5,” the Samsung man said.
What he was willing to commit to, however, was a “back to basics” approach following a fairly cautious evolution from the S3 to S4 that has seen the current model record softer sales amidst stronger Android rivals and a revitalised iPhone 5s from Apple.
“When we moved to S4 from S3, it’s partly true that consumers couldn’t really feel much difference between the two products from the physical perspective, so the market reaction wasn’t as big,” she said. “For the S5, we will go back to the basics. Mostly, it’s about the display and the feel of the cover.”