Samsung Electronics, the world's biggest supplier of smartphones, is poised to launch its much anticipated new flagship model, the Galaxy S4, in Hong Kong later this month.
The Galaxy S4, which debuted in New York City about three weeks ago, will be introduced to the local market at a Samsung-hosted media event on April 18 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai.
Mobile network operators CSL and SmarTone Telecommunications separately confirmed yesterday that they will offer the new smartphone. Sources said that the city's other mobile network operators will also sell the device, including Three Hong Kong, China Mobile's Hong Kong subsidiary and PCCW-HKT, formerly known as PCCW Mobile.
All five operators currently sell the new smartphone's predecessor, the Galaxy SIII, and other Samsung handset models.
A Samsung spokeswoman said neither the Galaxy S4's local pricing nor its exact release date had been announced, but sources said the release date will be near the end of this month.
In the US, 4G network operator AT&T said last week that its pre-orders for the S4 will start on April 16. It is priced at US$249.99 with a new two-year contract.
The S4, which runs on both high-speed 4G and 3G mobile networks, runs the latest version of Google's Android operating system. It has a 5-inch display, 13-megapixel rear camera and 2MP front camera, and up to 64 gigabytes of internal memory.
Based on the company's efforts last year, Samsung could again pursue major marketing and advertising campaigns in Hong Kong to support the Galaxy S4 and compete effectively against a new iPhone model expected this year from rival Apple.
Data from media-monitoring firm admanGo show that Samsung was the third-biggest advertiser in Hong Kong last year, with a 142 per cent year-on-year increase in advertising spending to HK$554.31 million.
Market research firm IDC said Samsung shipped 215.8 million smartphones globally last year, and Apple shipped 135.9 million.