The Samsung Galaxy S4 release date is expected to arrive in early to mid-2013. The latest rumor has the Android smartphone's launch tied to the release of Google's latest OS update to 5.0 Key Lime Pie.
Google's Android OS, which powers all Droid smartphones and tablets including the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S4, is currently in it's 4th major iteration following a minor upgrade to Jelly Bean 4.2. However, industry analysts are now claiming that before Samsung unveils their 'next big thing' Google will pave the way by releasing the followup, which Android users expect will be called Key Lime Pie.
The main reason Samsung may tie the Galaxy S4 release date to the Android 5.0 OS launch would be to avoid a situation similar to the painfully slow arrival of Android 4.2 updates for Samsung Galaxy S3 users.
Android 4.2 has been out for months and comes pre-installed on the latest Google-powered smartphones, but many Galaxy S3 owners are still waiting for access to the software upgrade. The South Korean company is likely hoping to time the Galaxy S4 release date for soon after the Android 5.0 launch so the new smartphone can come with the latest OS right out of the box.
Earlier predictions have pegged the Samsung Galaxy S4 release date for February 2013. However, Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie may not come out until April or even October 2013 at the latest, according to our big sister site IBTimes.com.
That means the Samsung Galaxy S4 release date may not arrive until the fall of next year. Furthermore, Google will likely want to launch a new Nexus-branded smartphone alongside Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie, which could push the S4's release even further back.
It would certainly be ideal for Samsung to offer the Galaxy S4 with Android 5.0 pre-installed at the device's release date. However, if the South Korean company wants to maintain, or even speed up, their already brisk product cycle they may have to soldier on even without Google's upcoming smartphone software.
Rumors have been flying that the Samsung Galaxy S4 release date is already set for February 2013, and Gotta Be Mobile published an article last week confirming the rapidly approaching launch for the fourth time in as many weeks.
Their most recent report was based on a note to investors by RBC Capital Markets analyst Doug Freedman. Here's Freedman's key point regarding the Galaxy S4 release date (via CNET).
Galaxy 4 likely ships a month early if carriers want it at end of March, [semiconductor companies]...support will start mid-Feb.
Early rumors pegged the Samsung Galaxy S4 release date to the upcoming World Mobile Congress (WMC) in early 2013 in Barcelona. However, based on previous smartphone launches we're pretty sure Samsung will schedule a special event devoted entirely to their new smartphone. The Galaxy S4 launch will likely take place soon after WMC.
We're also expecting Samsung to make a splash at next month's Consumer Electronics Show (CES). The company has already denied that they will tie the Galaxy S4 release date to CES 2013, but some industry analysts expect the company to unveil their rumored unbreakable/flexible smartphone screens at the massive tech expo.
Samsung has already released a short hype video for their CES attraction, promising to bring "something new" and innovative to the show.
You should also check out the mind-blowing video of what looks a lot like an early design model of the Samsung Galaxy S4 screen display.
When do you think the Samsung Galaxy S4 release date will take place? CES? WMC? At a special event early in 2013? Or only until after Google releases Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Also check out our running tally of all Samsung Galaxy S4 features, specs and other rumors:
-Android 4.2 Jelly Bean OS
-Redesigned OLED display replacing the AMOLED screen used in previous Samsung Galaxy devices
-Larger, 4.8-inch screen with 441ppi
-16GB, 32 GB, 64GB and even 128 GB models
-Quad-core processor clocked at 2 GHz
-3GB of RAM
-3200 mAh battery
-13 megapixel camera
-Skype-ready 1.9 megapixel front-facing camera
-Rumored starting price of $599 with no contract, or $199 with 2 year contract
Samsung has yet to confirm the existence of the Galaxy S4 device, admit it is in development, respond to any rumors or reveal the smartphone's official name.