Another day, another Samsung Galaxy S4 launch date rumor and this one again pegs the next-generation Samsung Galaxy S4 as getting announced at Mobile World Congress 2013 which is set to kick off in Barcelona at the end of February. This is the third time that the Galaxy S4 has been rumored to be launching at MWC 2013 and it likely has potential customers wondering whether it’s the real deal.
With its past two Samsung Galaxy S smartphone releases, Samsung has proven to be a bit unpredictable from a launch date and release date standpoint. With the Galaxy S2, Samsung announced the device at Mobile World Congress and released it upon the world a few months later in May U.S. carriers didn’t see it arrive until the October and November.
With the Galaxy S3, Samsung broke away from the trade show in a very Apple-like move and announce it in early May. At the event, Samsung announced that May would also be the month that the Galaxy S3 would see its first release date with other regions, like the United States, seeing the Galaxy S3 arrive in June.
What I’m getting at here is that while there is a bit of a pattern, in the past two years, the releases haven’t followed a similar path. That makes it extremely difficult, despite the rumors, to pinpoint exactly when the Galaxy S4 might be released. That doesn’t mean we can’t make some predictions thought.
So what to make of the Samsung Galaxy S4 release date that’s likely coming next year? Here, we explore some possibilities and make some predictions about the Samsung Galaxy S4 release date.
Galaxy S4 Release Date Predictions
A report recently ruled out CES 2013 as a launch date for the Samsung Galaxy S4 and at this point, there is no reason to think that Samsung will use the trade show, set to kick off in Las Vegas in early January, as its launching pad for the Galaxy S4.
It’s too early, the Samsung Galaxy S3 is still selling well, and well, it just doesn’t feel right given the past and given that Samsung would likely have started sending out some kind of teaser if its announcements at CES were going to be ground shaking.
From my end, a Galaxy S4 launch at CES 2013 isn’t happening.
Mobile World Congress 2013
MWC 2013 is currently the most heavily rumored date for the Galaxy S4 launch and subsequent release date announcement. Three different publications have cited Mobile World Congress as the launching pad for Samsung’s new Galaxy smartphone.
It’s a likely spot for a launch. Big trade show, a previous launch locale with the Galaxy S2, and a perfect time to keep the Galaxy series fresh in consumers minds. Samsung could announce it and peg a later release date on it. This would help to stave off the HTC M7, the company’s flagship, that it’s supposed to be announcing in the early part of 2013, likely at MWC 2013.
Chris Ziegler from The Verge says that MWC 2013 isn’t a concrete location for a Galaxy S4 launch date and I can get on board with that. Samsung is in no rush here and it could certainly opt to wait out the full twelve months to announce the Galaxy S4. Also some thing to keep in mind: Samsung broke away from MWC last year with the Galaxy S3 so it could certainly do it again.
I’m also conflicted because some rumors state that the Galaxy S4 will have Key Lime Pie 5.0 on board. This would be a huge coup if Samsung was able to launch its flagship with the latest version of Android. With the Nexus 4 already out, it’s certainly possible. Problem is, Google I/O doesn’t take place until May so it would be odd to see Samsung announce a phone in February with an unannounced Android operating system.
It was also clear with last year’s Galaxy S3 announcement and release that Samsung wanted to shorten the gap between the device’s debut and release and also shore up the space between the announcement and the U.S. release. Remember, the Galaxy S2 was announced at MWC but didn’t launch until way later in the year. So if there was an MWC announcement, would it be out in March or April? That just doesn’t seem right given past releases and the shift that Samsung made last year.
Mobile World Congress at this point seems to be a pretty good pick for a launch date but I’m not buying it just yet.
Another rumor that cropped up over the past few weeks states that Samsung might announce the device in April. Last year, it hosted its own event in May and it could bump it up to April this year which would help to stave off the phone that HTC is planning to launch. I think this is certainly possible, but I feel like May is more likely.
I’m going to be a little bold here and go against the grain a bit and predict that the Samsung Galaxy S4 will be announced in May. Google I/O is set to take place in the middle of May and it could be that Samsung announces the device shortly after that. Remember, the Android APK was supposed to help manufacturers get major Android updates to their phones faster and we know Samsung has focused on getting software out fairly quickly to its flagship devices.
So I think that Samsung may try and get Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie on its Galaxy S4 with a release in early to mid-June. And for U.S. carriers, a late June or early July release like last year.
Even if Key Lime Pie isn’t in the mix, and it’s certainly possible that it’s not, I just don’t see Samsung announcing the Galaxy S4 at MWC and waiting a few months to release it. Not after last year.
Consumers in the United States should expect the same from Samsung in terms of carriers. AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular and Verizon should get this phone right off the bat, just like they did with the Galaxy S3 and the Galaxy Note 2.
Like the releases of the Galaxy Note 2 and Galaxy S4, U.S. consumers should expect staggered release dates with Verizon likely bringing up the rear of the pack in terms of timing.
And yes, the T-Mobile model will almost certainly have 4G LTE on board.
When do you think Samsung will release the Galaxy S4?