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Samsung to unveil Galaxy S6 with digital payment system

Samsung Electronics said Tuesday it would unveil its Galaxy S6 in Spain on March 1, hoping the latest model of the smartphone will boost sales in the face of intense competition from Xiaomi’s budget phones and Apple’s iPhone 6.
Samsung Electronics’ invitation to the press, analysts and developers for the Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2014 event in Barcelona on March 1. (Samsung Electronics)
Samsung Electronics’ invitation to the press, analysts and developers for the Samsung Galaxy Unpacked 2014 event in Barcelona on March 1. (Samsung Electronics)

The unveiling will come one day before the Mobile World Congress, the world’s largest festival of telecommunication devices and services, opens in Barcelona.

The event invitation given to members of the press, analysts and developers was as tantalizing as those in the past, reading “WHAT’S NEXT?” with a silver curvy line hinting at a product with a curved display or body.

As first reported by The Korea Herald in November, at the event Samsung will showcase the Galaxy S6, which will sport a display that is curved on both sides. Samsung may also introduce a variant of the Galaxy S6, either with a flat screen or with a so-called “dual-edge” screen.

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 Edge, unveiled in September along with the flat-screen Note 4, featured a display curved only on the right side.

Samsung had previously planned to use a dual-edge display for the Note 4 but ditched the idea allegedly due to high production costs and low production yields.

“With the success of the Note 4 Edge, Samsung seems to have found that the curved-edge display can be appealing to customers,” said an industry source who declined to be named.

Adopting the curved display on its smartphones is in line with Samsung’s efforts to differentiate its products from high-performance but low-budget Chinese smartphones and Apple’s high-end iPhones.

Beaten by rising smartphone-maker Xiaomi and the California-based Apple in the Chinese smartphone market in the fourth quarter last year, Samsung slid to the third spot with 9.8 percent, according to global market research institute Strategy Analytics.

Xiaomi and Apple snatched 12.8 percent and 10.9 percent, respectively, during the same period.

Stuck between a rock and a hard place due to steep competition in the mobile industry, Samsung is also striving to weather obstacles by beefing up its software.

The firm’s plan to incorporate a digital payment system, called Samsung Pay, in the next flagship smartphone is a case in point.

Unlike Apple’s NFC-based Apple Pay, which requires installment of NFC readers by retailers, Samsung Pay will reportedly utilize magnetic secure transmission technology developed by Boston-based start-up Loop. The MST technology will enable smartphones and conventional credit card terminals to communicate without having to install extra hardware.

It is expected that Samsung will enhance the security of the mobile payment system through fingerprint authentication technology.

By Kim Young-won (