Samsung Galaxy S4 a no-show at Mobile World Congress

Like last year, Samsung will have a relatively quiet presence at the massive wireless-centric trade show later this month, CNET has learned.

The Galaxy S3 launch event last year in the U.K. Jason Jenkins/ CNET

Samsung Electronics wants the spotlight all to itself for the Galaxy S4.

The Korean electronics giant will be holding off on any major announcements at Mobile World Congress later this month, according to a person familiar with its launch plans. As with last year, Samsung will likely hold its own separate event to launch the latest iteration of its flagship Galaxy S franchise.

A Samsung representative declined to comment to CNET.

The move is a continuation of the broader trend of larger technology companies utilizing their own events for major product announcements. Rather than battle through the noise of competing news, a solo event allows the product to get the full attention of consumers and media. Over the past year or so, Microsoft and Samsung have dramatically reduced their presence at trade shows, following in the footsteps of Apple.

BlackBerry just launched its next-generation smartphone at its own event this week, and HTC will hold an event a week before Mobile World Congress.

Last year, Samsung launched the Galaxy S3 at its own event in May, just days before the CTIA Wireless conference. The move made for a relatively quiet trade show.

Over the past few years, Samsung has made frighteningly quick progress in establishing its Galaxy S franchise as one equal to Apple's iPhone. The latest Galaxy S device now garners the same amount of interest and hype as Apple's marquee smartphone, and the media will flock to wherever the company decides to hold an event.

That's a far cry from its start with the original Galaxy S, which ultimately was tweaked into four separate versions for each of the four national U.S. carriers. The Galaxy S3, as well as the Galaxy Note 2 were both sold by all four carriers unaltered.

While Samsung is the top smartphone manufacturer in the world, it recently lost its U.S. crown to Apple thanks to strong sales of the iPhone 5. Samsung will look to regain its title with the Galaxy S4.

Mobile World Congress kicks off in Barcelona, Spain, in the last week of February, and will still feature plenty of announcements from the likes of Nokia and Huawei. Check back with CNET for full coverage of the show.

 

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