Well that about seals it. Amid rumors that the highly-anticipated refresh of the Galaxy S line would debut with dozens of competing phones at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Samsung confirmed that the Galaxy S III won't be showing up in the late February event. The current flagship, the Galaxy S II, got its public debut at the same event in 2011. Company representatives gave a canned response to inquiries from TechRadar, saying that the successor to the Galaxy S II will be a no-show, instead getting its own event sometime in the first half of the year.
Here's the info, straight from the manufacturer's mouth:
Samsung is looking forward to introducing and demonstrating exciting new mobile products at Mobile World Congress 2012. The successor to the Galaxy S2 smartphone will be unveiled at a separate Samsung-hosted event in the first half of the year, closer to commercial availability of the product.
The popular (and it must be said, unsubstantiated) rumor is that Samsung is holding back on the Galaxy S III unveil to allow it to directly compete with Apple's iPhone 5, expected in late summer or early fall of this year. If that's the case, holding their own event would be appropriate - Apple famously doesn't share the stage with anyone, preferring secretive events at their company headquarters to trade shows and other conferences. (And who cares if thousands of tech journalists have to make separate expensive trips to all these unveilings, says I? A bunch of whining brats, the lot of them.) Samsung appears to have taken cues from HTC and Motorola, who have also begun to huge press events for single devices in the last six months.
Rumors continue to run wild about the Galaxy S III's hardware, though there's been no clear shots of the phone itself thus far. (The photo above is a fan rendering.) A 4.5-inch or larger Super AMOLED screen with 720p resolution is almost assured, but beyond that it's all guesswork - 2Ghz Exynos processors, insane RAM and megapixel ratings, even lenticular 3D displays have been thrown into the rumor mill. Aside from the fact that the Galaxy S III will showcase Samsung's best possible hardware and new software, there just isn't a lot that's known about it for now. Samsung's playing this one very close to the vest - another trait they're picking up from their Cupertino competitors.