Samsung said its GS4 variant would be the first to provide LTE-Advanced support. Shin said:
We'll be the first with the commercial launch of the advanced 4G version of the smartphone.LTE-Advanced offers data transmission at up to twice the normal 4G speed. Samsung said that a movie download that takes three minutes with conventional LTE will take slightly more than one minute. The phones will reportedly use a Qualcomm SOC (system-on-a-chip).
Samsung's announcement comes about three weeks after Verizon Wireless' own news about a speedier GS4. The company said in late may that current GS4 models -- not a different ones -- would see a 2x speed-up on its network when it activates the AWS (Advance Wireless Service (AWS) spectrum that it acquired in 2012 from a group of cable companies led by Comcast.
The Galaxy S4 is surely a hit, and is selling faster than last year's Galaxy S III. However, since June 7, Samsung's shares have lost nearly $20 billion after analysts cut forecasts for GS4 sales by as much as 30 percent on industry data that showed the high-end smartphone market was becoming saturated.
It's the same issue that has been reported for Apple's iPhone 5, which has led to the Cupertino, Calif.-based company's stock to drop to $435 from over $700, at its high point.
Samsung's market capitalization is still a nice $195 billion. Apple has a market cap of about $409.1 billion. Those numbers can be compared to Microsoft's $293.5 billion and Amazon.com's $127.1 billion market caps, respectively.
Despite this, Shin said:
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.Shin said that the LTE-Advanced model would be "slightly" more expensive than the GS4. Verizon earlier said that its doubling of speed would only require a ROM update.