The hype is building around Samsung's London launch event on June 20. Indeed, the rumor mill is churning hard as leaked photos of a Galaxy S IV Mini circulate the Internet and talk of a ruggedized version ramp up.
The Wall Street Journal was the first to report that the S IV Mini is "likely to be one of the several new products the company plans to launch." Industry watchers agree that a "mini" version is likely, along with Microsoft Windows devices, though it's not clear whether those will be smartphones or tablets.
Samsung is on a roll and hopes to build momentum at its June event. According to Strategy Analytics, Samsung owned 33 percent of the smartphone market in the first quarter. That's up slightly from 29 percent in the year-ago period. Apple gave its rival some of those points as it fell from 23 percent to 18 percent market share in the same time frame.
A Flagship Mini
Avi Greengart, a principal analyst at Current Analysis, told us he expects Samsung to broaden the lineup because Samsung is known for creating devices in many different sizes, from the Galaxy S IV with its 5-inch display to the Galaxy S III with itS IV.8-inch display to the Galaxy Note with its 5.5-inch display.
"Samsung has had good quality devices with smaller displays. But they haven't really put their brand on the Galaxy S IV in a smaller display," Greengart said. "So I think that's one of the things the Journal was talking about. We may see a more ruggedized version of the Galaxy S IV for active users. That would be a version that could survive a spill or a fall."
With more devices, Samsung could ship even more units. Samsung boasted earlier in May that it shipped more than 10 million devices of the S IV alone since it entered the market in April. That was the hottest Galaxy S launch so far.
Refining the Software
For all the talk about what Samsung is likely to do, though, Greengart offers some analysis on what he feels the wireless device maker needs to do: refine its software.
As he sees it, Samsung has put plenty of effort into making it easier to use the devices by offering a completely separate -- and simpler -- user interface. Although Samsung almost has to include plenty of features as part of its bleeding-edge technology marketing campaign, he said it can get overwhelming.
"Sometimes devices can do so much and they don't do all of it well. Samsung would stand to benefit from being a bit more selective in which features get included and how they are implemented," Greengart said. "That said, Samsung's products are good and the marketing campaign behind them is exceptional. And broadening the line to take advantage of that marketing campaign to reach more consumers with different product variations is something that good companies do. So I am expecting Samsung to do it."