Samsung will seek to reinvent itself with the flagship Galaxy S5 smartphone this year and it will introduce new features that help the company increase sales of its high-end smartphones, Samsung’s executive vice president for the mobile business Lee Young Hee told Bloomberg in an extensive interview at CES 2014. “We’ve been announcing our first flagship model in the first half of each year, around March and April, and we are still targeting for release around that time,” Lee said, without mentioning an actual launch date for the handset.
The Galaxy S5, which will be released after MWC 2014 according to the executive, may include a new design to meet the needs of buyers who expect completely new things from the company, something the Galaxy S4 failed to achieve. “When we moved to S4 from S3, it’s partly true that consumers couldn’t really feel much difference between the two products from the physical perspective, so the market reaction wasn’t as big,” Lee revealed. “For the S5, we will go back to the basics. Mostly, it’s about the display and the feel of the cover.”
In addition to significant cosmetic changes that will help it differentiate from its predecessors, the Galaxy S5 may also feature an iris scanner, something the company is currently looking into. The exec believes that “many people are fanatical about iris recognition technology,” although she couldn’t confirm whether the Galaxy S5 will get the technology or not. Samsung is also rumored to be considering a fingerprint scanner to its next-generation Galaxy S model.
A recent leak has also suggested that Samsung may be considering software changes for its TouchWiz overlay that goes on top of Android in its smartphones and tablets.
Samsung failed to meet estimates last quarter, recording its first profit decline in nine quarters. The company sold around 13 million Galaxy S4 units in the Christmas quarter, down from 17 million in the previous period. Samsung shares have dropped 11% from its closing price on December 23rd, wiping $22 billion of the company’s market value, as analysts worry about the company’s continued growth in its mobile business, which is responsible for more than 60% of Samsung’s quarterly profits.