Samsung Electronics Co. will release its Galaxy S5 smartphone by April and is studying using eye scanner technology for the first time as it readies the high-end handset to compete with Apple Inc.’s iPhones.
The S5 will be paired with a new wearable device that will be an evolution of the Galaxy Gear smartwatch, Lee Young Hee, executive vice president of the company’s mobile business, said in a Jan. 6 interview. Samsung, which posted profit this week that missed analyst estimates, will debut the new products together as it also boosts marketing of tablet computers.
Samsung, which sells one of every three smartphones globally, is adding new features and models to fend off Apple in the high-end market and Chinese makers luring budget customers with handsets for $100. Asia’s biggest technology company will announce at least one other wearable device this year, Lee said without elaborating.
Sales of the S4, the company’s current marquee handset, slowed after Apple released the iPhone 5s and 5c in September. The 5s includes a fingerprint-identity sensor, and Samsung is considering using an eye scanner in its top-end smartphones.
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“The release of the S5 will be very important to Samsung,” Lee Seung Woo, an analyst at IBK Securities Co., said by phone today. “Competition is going to intensify, and it’s not going to be an easy year for the company.”
The Galaxy S4 may have fallen short of consumer expectations because its design was too similar to its S3 predecessor, Lee Young Hee said. The next handset likely will be different, she said without providing specifications, including screen size.