Samsung to sell a double speed Galaxy S4 phone

SAMSUNG Electronics is planning a variation of its flagship Galaxy S4 smartphone that will transmit data at nearly twice the normal speed, the firm’s mobile business chief revealed.

JK Shin, also co-chief executive of the world’s biggest technology firm by revenue, said the phone will go on sale in South Korea as early as this month.

Samsung was in talks with several overseas carriers to take the phone, Shin said. He declined to name the carriers.

“We’ll be the first with the commercial launch of the advanced 4G version of the smartphone,” Shin said.

The new S4 will use LTE-Advanced 4G technology, an upgrade from conventional 4G called LTE, or long term evolution. LTE-Advanced offers data transmission at up to twice the normal 4G speed. The phones will be powered by Qualcomm chips.

This means a movie download is cut from three minutes with a normal 4G phone to just one, Samsung said.

Samsung’s shares have lost almost $20bn since 7 June after analysts cut forecasts for Galaxy S4 sales by as much as 30 per cent on industry data that showed the high-end smartphone market was getting saturated. The same problem is hitting sales of the iPhone 5, made by Samsung rival Apple.

But Shin remained upbeat about sales of the S4.

“S4 sales remain strong. It’s selling far stronger than the (Galaxy) S III ... and the new LTE-Advanced (4G) phone will be another addition to our high-end segment offerings that ensure healthy profit margins.”