Could Samsung Galaxy S5 be launched this month?

Tuesday, 4 Feb 2014 | 6:31 AM ET
Is a new Samsung phone on the way?
Tuesday, 4 Feb 2014 | 8:48 PM ET
Samsung fans rejoice! The Korean electronics company may be launching the Galaxy S5 on February 24, nearly 4 weeks ahead of schedule. CNBC's Julia Wood reports.

Samsung could reveal its latest smartphone – the Galaxy S5 – sooner than expected, after the company sent out invitations to an event and urged potential attendees to "mark the date".

The Korean smartphone giant sent out the invitations to "Samsung Unpacked 5" at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona on 24 February.

Samsung is known for unveiling major products at the Unpacked events and the company hints that this event will be no different.

"Mark the date and come visit us to see the unpacking of The Next Big Thing (even the Samsung Tomorrow team doesn't know yet)," the company wrote on an official blog post on Tuesday.

Invitation to the Unpacked event
Invitation to the Unpacked event

(Read more: Biggest loser of Apple-China Mobile deal: Samsung)

Rumors about Samsung's next mobile offering have been swirling for months. In November, reports suggested the world's biggest smartphone maker was planning to launch a three-sided handset with a screen that wraps around the device's edges.

If the S5 is released at the MWC, this would mark an earlier than expected launch of the product, which was tipped to be released at some point in March. This could be in part driven by weaker fourth-quarter earnings in January which showed the company's slowest profit growth since 2011.

Analysts said the timing is not important, as the company makes several announcements a year, but the fact that the S5 launch could come at the MWC is significant.

"Samsung is now such a significant company and if they make an announcement at the Mobile World Congress, they will make the headlines and the advantage is clearly everyone is there, from customers to networks," Ian Fogg, head of mobile analysis at IHS Electronics and Media, told CNBC.

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The S5 is widely rumored to have a larger display than its predecessor and the company could bring out a metal version costing 800 euros ($1081) and a plastic device retailing at 600 euros ($811), according to the Sammobile website. If this becomes reality, the move would echo a similar tactic employed by Apple when they released the iPhone 5S and the lower costing 5C.

A sharper display and higher mega pixel camera has also been tipped to feature on the device.

But analysts have warned about the lack of innovation in the smartphone market and said Samsung needs to make sure any new features are not just gimmicks.

It is quite difficult to find hardware innovation in smartphones nowadays," Sam Gee, senior technology and media analyst at Mintel told CNBC in a phone interview.

"You can guarantee it would have a sharper display as all smartphones do now. It could have more technical features - an iris scanner was something that was floated. But if it does, you have to ask if they are making a practical improvement for users or if they are just a novelty."

—By CNBC's Arjun Kharpal: Follow him on Twitter @ArjunKharpal


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  • Matt Hunter is the senior technology editor at CNBC.com.

  • Cadie Thompson is a tech reporter for the Enterprise Team for CNBC.com.

  • Working from Los Angeles, Boorstin is CNBC's media and entertainment reporter and editor of CNBC.com's Media Money section.

  • Jon Fortt is an on-air editor. He covers the companies, start-ups, and trends that are driving innovation in the industry.

  • Lipton is CNBC's technology correspondent, working from CNBC's Silicon Valley bureau.

  • Mark is CNBC's Silicon Valley/San Francisco Bureau Chief covering technology and digital media.