Samsung to launch new line of S20 phones with three 5G-enabled models

The world’s largest manufacturer of smartphones will unveil the new series at Samsung Unpacked event in San Francisco next month

Samsung Galaxy S10 smartphones on display during the Samsung Unpacked event in San Francisco in February, last year. Bloomberg
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Samsung will launch a premium line of S series smartphones on February 11, the first major release by a manufacturer in the new year, according to a leaked promotional teaser video.

The world's largest manufacturer of smartphones will unveil the new series at the Samsung Unpacked event in San Francisco nearly two weeks before the Mobile World Congress – the world's largest mobile trade show starting in Barcelona on February 24.

In a bid to create hype to woo more customers, Samsung is also expected to rename the S11 series as S20, TechRadar reported, citing the leaked video.

Samsung is set to launch three models of S20 phones. The 17.5-centimetre S20 Ultra will be the flagship product of the series. It is expected to cost more than $1,000 (Dh3,670) and have a 108-megapixel camera.

Other new devices will include the 17cm S20 Plus and the 15.7cm S20. The South Korean consumer tech giant is likely to offer 5G support on all of its new Galaxy S20 phones. The wireless technology will have connection speeds up to 1.2 gigabits per second, which will gradually increase to 10Gbps – more than 100 times faster than 4G. The S20 devices will go on sale in the last week of February.

Samsung is currently battling Apple and Huawei to retain its market dominance.

After facing a nearly 8 per cent dip in sales year-on-year in the first quarter of 2019, the company rebounded in the second and third quarters witnessing a 6.9 per cent year-on-year rise in sales in the six months to September 30, according to the International Data Corporation.

However, lower sales of expensive devices and a decline in its chip business meant Samsung reported a 56 per cent plunge in the third-quarter operating profit to $6.6 billion (Dh24.2bn).

This was the fourth consecutive quarter where Samsung’s operating profit fell year-on-year. The company’s quarterly revenue also fell to $52.8bn from $55.8bn last year.

However, Samsung projected "solid" sales of its budget-conscious A and Lite series in the coming months. It unveiled a pair of low-cost phones – the Galaxy S10 Lite and Galaxy Note 10 Lite – on Friday. The company has not yet released prices for either model.

Samsung could also introduce the Galaxy Fold 2 – its second foldable phone –on February 11. The company plans to price it below Dh4,000 to reach a broader customer base. Its predecessor, the Galaxy Fold, was priced at more than Dh7,000 when it was unveiled in February last year.

Overall, global smartphone shipments grew 3 per cent in the third quarter of last year, according to US market researcher Strategy Analytics. This was the first quarter of positive growth in the past two years.

Samsung increased shipments of its smartphones in the period by 8 per cent a year and stayed ahead of its rivals with a 21.3 per cent market share. It was followed by Huawei with an 18.2 per cent share and Apple with 12.4 per cent.