South Korean giant Samsung on Thursday challenged innovation-driven Apple on its home turf with the latest of its top-end smartphone, Galaxy S4, that was in your face - literally - with gesture computing features based on eye movement that gives a cutting-edge appeal.
That might be critical to take on a market in which it lagged Apple last quarter despite a $400-million advertising binge last year. The Galaxy S4, due to hit the markets in April-end, is aimed to beat the world leader's latest, the iPhone 5. It is due to hit the markets in April-end.
In India, Samsung already leads the high-end game with a 46% market share according to industry researcher IDC. India has only 50 million smartphones in a mobile population of 800 million. Samsung did not reveal the S4's price though market speculation puts it at Rs. 45,000.
The S4 that runs on Android appears to be a notch above the iPhone 5 as it sports a bigger display and a stronger camera (13 MP vs 8 MP). With its gesture control, one can pause, play, read e-mails or change the music track without touching the set. Apple lags on these now.
"With the Galaxy S4, Samsung is again going to enhance the way we live," said JK Shin, head of IT & mobile communications division, Samsung.
In connectivity, the S4 offers near-field communication in addition to Wi-Fi, LTE and 4G support that both models offer.
"There are lots of things that are in there that the iPhone doesn't have. People who like larger displays will see this as a better phone," Charles Golvin, analyst, Forrester told Reuters.
(The writer's travel and stay were sponsored by Samsung)