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Samsung logo at booth

It’s the device that no one can stop talking about. The Samsung Galaxy S4 is on the sharp end of some serious hype as the new year approaches, and with good reason.

The follow up to this year’s uber successful Galaxy S3 is likely to set the standard for phones being released in 2013 and once again push Android ahead in its ongoing battle for smartphone supremacy with Apple’s iOS.

While initial chatter had surrounded a flexible screen, a five-inch display and a beefed up processor, Samsung’s new teaser trailer, which told fans to ‘get ready for something new’ between 8 and 11 January, has really set tongues wagging. Those are the dates for the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Of course, Samsung could be talking about a new TV the size of a football stadium’s big screen, but let’s face it, there’s only one device that it can hype up this way.

Revealing the Galaxy S4 at CES is smart for so many reasons. While holding a separate media event might seem like the better bet, the fact is that a top line gadget like this can dominate headlines all week if it’s touted on the Vegas show floor. The world’s tech media is already assembled and this is a great chance for Samsung to gazump its key rivals by garnering endless press coverage and detracting from competing products also at the show.

Samsung Galaxy S4 placeholder

Location is also significant. Mobile World Congress has become the go to gathering for mobile companies looking to impress media with their top-end new kit. So much so that it’s become overcrowded. CES, with its focus on home gadgets and desktop experiences, will give Samsung a chance to shine and show off a phone that few others will dare to compete with during the second week of January.

Having it on show in the lucrative US market first is also a real sign of intent. Samsung isn’t coming to the easier European market first, instead laying a marker right in Apple’s backyard. It used to be Apple that trumped CES with new products at its annual Macworld conference. Now it’s Samsung showing the world that it’s number one.

Of course, that early reveal also leaves competing mobile makers in a bit of a jam. They’ll have to wait a whole month until MWC before they can show off their attempts at taking on Sammy, or scramble to organise their own private events.

Apple, meanwhile, will once again be on the back foot, its iPhone 5 bringing up the rear as Samsung loads up the Galaxy S4 with stacks of bleeding edge tech. Expect Samsung to leave Vegas with a big smile on its face.

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