SAMSUNG last night unveiled two flagship Galaxy S6 smartphones in Barcelona, marking the start of this year’s Mobile World Congress.
The two devices, the S6 and its curved screen S6 Edge brother, are a crucial attempt by the South Korean conglomerate to restore growth to its smartphone division, which has seen margins and profits erode in the face of competition.
The S6, which also comes in a curved glass S6 Edge version, boasts an even thinner body than its predecessor the S5, built-in wireless charging compatible with the charging pads being rolled out by McDonalds and Starbucks, and Samsung Pay, a mobile payments system to rival Apple Pay.
“By listening to our customers we continuously push forward new technologies and ideas,” said Samsung Electronics UK and Ireland president Andy Griffiths.
“With the all-new Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge, Samsung is offering what’s next in mobility, along with a new standard to drive the global mobile agenda.”
Samsung also took the unusual step of including a non-removable battery on the S6 to make it slimmer.
To compensate for the lack of interchangeable batteries, Samsung says a 10-minute charge by cord gives four hours of power.
In January Samsung revealed its annual profit for 2014 had fallen 32 per cent year-on-year to 25 trillion won (£14.73bn), its lowest since 2011, due to a weakness in Samsung’s mobile division.
By some estimates, Apple surpassed Samsung as the world’s biggest smartphone maker late last year, selling a record 74.5m iPhones in the December quarter on the back of the success of its big-screen iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.
Analysts expect Samsung to report its second straight annual profit decline this year, unless its new devices can reinvigorate the flagging division.
Samsung said the S6 will launch on 10 April, but is yet to disclose the phones’ prices.