Samsung seems nailed-on to reveal its new Galaxy S4 Mini this week. There has been speculation surrounding the device ever since the full-sized S4 launched to much hype and hoopla at the start of last month.
We already know that it packs a 4.3-inch HD screen (hardly small), an eight- megapixel camera and will come in single and dual SIM variations.
But beyond following the same pattern as the Galaxy S3 and Galaxy S3 Mini, this device and the timing of its release say plenty about how Samsung plans to take on Apple, and specifically the iPhone Mini.
The smaller Apple handset has been constantly touted since the start of 2013, with Cupertino doing little to deny its plans for a pared-down, budget edition of its best-seller.
Stories about the iPhone Mini have dried up of late though, with suggestions that Tim Cook and co might push the device back into 2014.
There have been conflicting reports about its screen size and design, but the general thinking will surely be along the same lines as the iPad Mini.
That is, smaller, more affordable and with pretty much all the same features as the full-on version.
However, Samsung seems unwilling to take any chances. Its much-leaked phone will apparently get the official nod laster this week, before being released in June or July.
That ties in nicely with Apple’s plans to reveal its iPhone 5S, most likely at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference.
And, of course, there’s a possibility the iPhone Mini could be along for the ride too. With its Galaxy S4 set to hit shelves imminently, Samsung clearly doesn’t want to miss out on punters who have less money to spend, but still want a smartphone.
Currently, the iPhone doesn’t offer that approach, unless you want an old-school iPhone 4 or 4S.
The S4 Mini will be chock full of more impressive tech, which Samsung clearly thinks will make it an easy sell.
Of course, there’s also Samsung’s massive marketing budget to contend with. The S4 Mini will doubtless be touted just as hard as the S4 over the summer, in an attempt to woo as many punters as possible.
Apple will obviously look to go toe-to-toe, but its job of convincing customers in emerging markets will definitely be made harder by Samsung’s new effort.
Whether the S4 Mini turns out to be a great phone is almost beside the point.
It will sell heavily in its early months, giving Apple and other budget Android makers plenty to think about.