The story: After weeks of rumors, Samsung has confirmed that a miniature version of its massively popular Galaxy S III will be announced in Germany on Oct. 11 — bucking the trend toward giant Android phones (the original S III has a 4.8-inch display) with an eminently more pocketable 4-inch screen. Speaking to the Korean press on Wednesday, Samsung head of Mobile Communications JK Shin said the new device won't just be an entry-level product, but will boast a "full form factor" on par with high-end Androids. Some critics have pointed out that the new Galaxy S III mini's size puts it in direct contention with Apple's iPhone 5. But is a more petite phone something Galaxy fans want from a company that's made its name with a "bigger is better" ethos?
The reaction: It's definitely an unusual move, says Jamie Condliffe at Gizmodo. The rest of the high-end Android market is brimming with screens 4.5 inches or bigger. "So, if what puts you off Android is the fact that it means carrying a whopping phone around, you might just be in luck." Going with a smaller device is "apparently due to demand in the European market," says David Meyer at ZDNet, "where people may be less keen on enormous phones than in the U.S. and Asia." We're not even entirely sure yet if the S III mini will make it to U.S. shores. The timing of the event — just six days before Apple's rumored iPad mini announcement— is curious, and possibly telling, says Stan Schroeder at Mashable. If Apple indeed debuts the new tablet under the "mini" label, "Samsung's Galaxy S III mini will definitely steal some of its thunder."
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How Ronald Reagan turned America into a nation of children
- Why Mitt Romney is perfectly poised for a comeback in 2016
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Why is the West so afraid of Islam?
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- The crusade against Iraq War supporters has forgotten someone: Hillary Clinton
- 8 things the world's most extraordinary survivors can teach you about resilience
- This week I learned the moon might be littered with dinosaur fossils, and more
- 8 secrets to steal from power networkers
- 10 things you need to know today: August 1, 2014
Subscribe to the Week