Samsung sent invitations to members of the press on Monday for an event that, rumor has it, will be the unveiling of the Galaxy S III, the latest product in the company's popular line of Galaxy smartphones. The invite to the event, which will take place on May 3 in London, included a teaser that simply reads "Come and meet the next Galaxy." Samsung has been on a roll with recent products, including the critically celebrated Galaxy S II, which sold 20 million units, and the Galaxy Note tablet-phone hybrid, which has sold 5 million worldwide. And as a result, the "sheer number of rumors that have surfaced around the Galaxy S III is somewhat shocking," says Don Reisinger at CNET. Typically, it's Apple that gets all the rumor love, and the buzz over the next iteration of the Galaxy S has essentially confirmed that Samsung's a "top player." What will the Galaxy S III have to offer? Here, five rumored features:
1. A bigger screen
Reviewers raved about the Galaxy S II's giant 4.3-inch touchscreen. The Galaxy S III could be even larger. The device will reportedly pack a 4.8-inch high definition display comparable to "Blu-ray" quality, says Jonathan S. Gellar Boy Genius Report, making it "the baddest Android smartphone" yet.
2. A ceramic body
While the iPhone is forged out of glass and metal, and other smartphones are made of plastic, the Samsung Galaxy S III is rumored to be made, "curiously," out of ceramic, says The Huffington Post. The company wouldn't be the first to use the material, though; Korean rival Pantech unveiled the world's first ceramic smartphone earlier this year.
3. Improved innards
The Galaxy S III hardware will reportedly have a new 1.5GHz quad-core processor, a faster 4G LTE connection, and an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera supplemented by a 2-megapixel front-facing camera. But contrary to previous reports, Samsung has "moved to quash any rumors" that it will incorporate 3D into the device, says Matt Brian at The Next Web.
4. Mobile payment processing
Last year, Samsung and Visa announced a partnership aiming to bring near-field communication (NFC) mobile technology — which allows users to make payments by scanning their phones at a cashier — to smartphones in time for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London. Since then, "mobile payments and mobile banking have made huge strides around the world," says Eric Zeeman at Information Week. It seems likely, since Samsung's May 3 event will take place in the same location as the Summer Olympics, that the Galaxy S III will be NFC-capable. "Otherwise, why wouldn't Samsung unveil the product in Seoul?"
5. Ice Cream Sandwich
The phone will run on the latest version of Google's operating system, Android 4.0, according to Korean Digital Daily. Codenamed Ice Cream Sandwich, the OS incorporates sleek new features, like a digital home button and a five-column icon layout.