If it wants to retain its massive share of the smartphone market, Samsung must ensure its flagship devices are always one step ahead of the competition. So with the Galaxy S5, the South Korean company hopes to take on Apple’s Touch ID with eye-scanning technology that’ll let you unlock your phone using only your irises.
The device will be available around March or April of this year, Samsung executive vice president Lee Young Hee confirmed in an interview with Bloomberg — and it’ll launch alongside a second-generation Galaxy Gear that’ll be thinner than its predecessor.
Samsung’s smartphones are already a huge success, with the company accounting for one of every three devices sold globally. But with tough competition from the likes of Apple, HTC, LG, and Sony, Samsung needs to work hard to ensure that consumers don’t lose interest in its latest devices.
Adding eye-scanning technology to the Galaxy S5 would certainly be a step in the right direction, but although Lee did confirm that Samsung is researching the possibility of this feature, she couldn’t promise it would make its debut inside its latest flagship.
“Many people are fanatical about iris recognition technology,” Lee told Bloomberg at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. “We are studying the possibility but can’t really say whether we will have it or not on the S5.”
Lee also acknowledged that consumers were disappointed with the design of the Galaxy S4, which is similar to that of the Galaxy S III and considered cheap and tacky in comparison with devices like the iPhone 5s and the HTC One. But the Galaxy S5 hopes to make up for that.
“When we moved to S4 from S3, it’s partly true that consumers couldn’t really feel much difference between the two products from the physical perspective, so the market reaction wasn’t as big,” Lee said. “For the S5, we will go back to the basics. Mostly, it’s about the display and the feel of the cover.”
Lee did confirm that the Galaxy S5 will launch around March or April of this year, and that it’ll be accompanied by Samsung’s second-generation Android-powered smartwatch. “When we release our S5 device, you can also expect a Gear successor with more advanced functions, and the bulky design will also be improved,” she said.