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Samsung's Galaxy S6 launch: Join us March 1 (live blog)

The Mobile World Congress event is a vital one for Samsung. Along with the Galaxy S6, we'll be watching for new wearables and a mobile payments system.

Samsung will host its Unpacked event March 1. Samsung

Samsung in March will "unpack" its newest smartphone, and CNET will bring you all the action.

The South Korean electronics giant will host an event at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona on March 1 at 6:30 p.m. local time. CNET will be on hand to provide you with all the news, photos and commentary. To see when the event starts in your time zone, click here.

This year's Unpacked event is a vital one for Samsung. The company is expected to unveil its newest smartphone, the Galaxy S6, as well as new wearables. It may also show off a new mobile payments system and other services or software features. The all-black invitation from Samsung reads "What's Next" and hints at a curved device.

Tune into CNET's Galaxy S6 live blog.

Samsung really needs a hit. Last year's Galaxy S5 -- which looked nearly identical to the earlier Galaxy S4 and Galaxy S3 -- largely flopped with consumers, causing Samsung's sales and market share to tumble. It also has struggled to attract hordes of buyers with its Gear line of wearables. Apple's bigger screen iPhones -- the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus -- have put more pressure on Samsung and it's also struggling to compete with newcomers such as Chinese vendor Xiaomi.

Samsung has not disclosed actual Galaxy S5 sales, but sources familiar with the company's plans told The Wall Street Journal that Samsung sold 40 percent fewer of the big-screen Galaxy S5 smartphones than expected.

In the fourth quarter, Apple pulled even with Samsung in the smartphone market, with both controlling 20 percent of the sector. Apple's share rose from 18 percent a year earlier while Samsung's tumbled from 30 percent. The South Korean company has been steadily losing share over the past year, and it's at risk of ceding its position as the world's biggest smartphone and mobile phone vendor.

Now that Apple has large-screen smartphones, Samsung no longer can use that feature as a key selling point. Instead, it's turning to other characteristics to attract buyers. That includes using curved screens in its devices -- such as in the Note Edge smartphone and Gear S smartwatch -- and experimenting with new materials, such as metal. It also has been paring back on the amount of bloatware it preloads on its devices.

The Galaxy S6 is believed to come in at least two versions, including a regular smartphone and a phone with a screen that curves along one like the larger Galaxy Note Edge, or even along two sides. Samsung also is expected to introduce an all-metal design in its Galaxy smartphone line for the first time. The company in prior generations opted for plastic, allowing it to keep down the cost of the devices and include a removable battery.

Samsung also may show off a round smartwatch and a payments service similar to Apple Pay.