New phones to carry game-changing tech
The company that sells more smartphones than any other has delivered a major boost to telcos rolling out next-generation 5G networks, with three more compatible phones to launch next month.
Samsung's flagship Galaxy S20 is entering its second decade and has a new naming style to celebrate.
Unlike last year's S10, the S20 will have 5G models available at launch on March 6, starting at $1499.
The S10 launched in March last year but the modem needed to connect to 5G mobile networks didn't hit the market until a few months later.
Samsung's Galaxy S phones are popular with consumers, as is the rest of the line, with more than two billion Galaxy-branded devices sold in the past decade.
While in their infancy the Galaxy phones were viewed as the best phone you could get if you couldn't afford an iPhone. In recent years, they have caught up and in many places overtaken the Apple tent pole.
One of those places is price: the base model Galaxy S now costs $150 more than the iPhone 11.
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But premium design and construction as well as bigger screens, more cameras and the Android operating system all offer compelling reasons to spend the extra money.
Of course, one other area the Galaxy leads is on network compatibility.
A 5G iPhone is still yet to hit the market or even be announced, though it's expected the next iteration will have the new technology.
Apple being Apple, nothing can be confirmed until chief executive officer Tim Cook takes to the stage in September.
Samsung held its version of those famous keynotes at Wednesday's Unpacked event in San Francisco, where it introduced the S20, S20+ and S20 Ultra.
In the US, the phones will all feature 5G, but Australia will have 4G variants too.
The difference is likely driven by different chips used in the phones.
The North America devices use a Qualcomm chip, which the company recently mandated manufacturers must only use in phones that also support 5G.
In other markets, including Australia, Samsung usually uses its own Exynos range of processors, and because it makes that chip it's allowed to do what it wants with the phone it goes into.
That doesn't mean retailers have to stock them though.
Optus is only offering the 5G variants of the phones to future proof customers as the faster new network continues rolling out across Australia.
Telstra offers the 4G variant, which is a good option for customers who don't want to pay the extra $15 per month that accessing Telstra's 5G network will cost from July.
Not only will the new S20 phones push more people on to the network, they're also likely to send the price of the S10 5G models through the floor, making it a great time to pick up a still very good 5G phone for cheaper.
Telcos will be hoping the new phones get more customers onto the newer mobile network where they can experience the faster download speeds and lower latency offered by 5G technology.
Those customers will hopefully use the greatest marketing tactic of all and bring their friends and family on to the network via word-of-mouth recommendation.
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