There’s still time to vote here.

21.13 The Verge has
uncovered some videos
that appear to show some of the new features of
the Galaxy S4. The handset in the clips is claimed to be a prototype and the
videos show features including Smart Pause, which pauses the video you are
watching when you look away, and a kind of ‘floating touch’ control,
allowing you to control the smartphone without touching the screen.

20.58 Meanwhile, in Hong Kong:

20.47 If you want evidence that this is a global audience (and that
Samsung has a massive marketing budget) here’s London’s Piccadilly Circus:

20.31 You might have seen that Samsung has taken over Times Square in
New York with S4 advertising. Well, Engadget
spotted an amusing bit of trolling by LG
, which trolled its Korean rival
with a similar looking advert promoting its Optimus smartphone.

20.19 Time for a poll. Which handset is
the one the Samsung Galaxy S4 has to beat?

Which smartphone is the one the Galaxy S4 has to beat?

19.54 According to Experian searches for Samsung Galaxy S4 increased by
30 per cent this week – a bigger increase than any other smartphone.
Overall, Samsung accounted for one in every four mobile phone searches last
week, compared with one in five for Apple. Though, obviously Apple sells
fewer different smartphone models than Samsung. The main search term people
were adding so Samsung S4, Experian says, was “release date”. We
might know that shortly.

19.38 PC Mag has an interesting exercise while wait: take their
interactive quiz and build
your own Galaxy S4
.

19.12 Another analyst with a positive outlook for tonight’s launch is
Greenwich Consulting’s managing partner Fred Huet:

OpinionLike its predecessor, I expect the Galaxy S5 to become the world’s best
selling smartphone, yet I wonder whether Apple has enough punch to take that
title away from them once again when the 5S launches later this year. Apple
has recently faced a barrage of criticism for failing to deliver that ‘wow
factor’, something that Samsung has clearly avoided with today’s launch. The
scales have now tipped in Samsung’s favour and its emerging Tizen operating
system and innovations in eye scrolling technology certainly present a
bright future for the Korean manufacturer. While there can be little
certainty in this space, there is no denying that the ball is now firmly in
Apple’s court but nobody should rule them off surprising the world once
again at their next device launch this summer.

19.02 Samsung seems to have an advantage when it comes to emerging
mobile markets. With the smartphone market maturing in the West, this is
increasingly where big profits are to be made. A new study by Upstream
looked at the preferred mobile brand among adults in Brazil, India, NIgeria
and Saudi Arabia and found that Samsung was the most desired brand (32 per
cent), ahead of Nokia (22 per cent) and Apple (21 per cent). In the US and
UK, it’s a different story, with Apple leading on 32 per cent.

18.50 If you really want to spoil this evening’s surprise for yourself,
gadget website IT168 has a very thorough preview of the new handset. The
text isn’t in English but there are a lot of pictures, including photos of
the screen under the microscope. If it’s not genuine then it’s an
extraordinarily detailed fake. We’ll know which in a little over four hours.

18.35 According to analysts, Samsung smartphone owners are a loyal
bunch. Dominic Sunnebo, global consumer insight director at Kantar
Worldpanel ComTech, says:

OpinionSeventy-one per cent of British Samsung owners plan to buy another Samsung
when they upgrade, and with the highly-successful S2 coming to the end of
its lifecycle we expect a large number of the 1.8 million existing S2 users
to upgrade to the S4. High-levels of loyalty via consumer upgrades will be
key to its success in 2013, particularly in what is now a congested market
where smartphone penetration has reached 62 per cent.

18.20 If the leaked handset pictures below are genuine, then they
appear to suggest that the Galaxy S4 is slightly larger than its
predecessor. Reports have suggested that the new phone has a five-inch
screen, compared to 4.8 inches for the Galaxy S3.

18.08 The Times Square Twitter account (yes, there is one) has been
posting photographs of the preparations for the launch event. This one was
captioned: “Samsung is not messing around. Here’s a peek at what
they’re building for tonight.”

17.42 There’s been lots of speculation about the precise nature of the
Samsung Galaxy S4 and a vast number of apparent leaks. These photos, which
emerged last week, purport to show the new handset:

17.18 While the S4 is perhaps the most anticipated Android handset to
date, Samsung’s rise to this point is no surprise. The company has slowly
built on the success of each device. In his
feature this morning
, Matt Warman wrote about that process:

In the words of one analyst, “there won’t be a person on the planet who
hasn’t heard of the S4”. That’s thanks to Samsung’s most potent weapon, its
marketing budget. Coupled with unprecedented momentum, Samsung has powered
its way to becoming the biggest phone manufacturer in the world, taking over
from Nokia, and it has been able to promote itself as a brand uniquely
positioned to sell consumers everything from refrigerators to televisions
and from mobile phones to laptops. At the company’s recent European showcase
it even renewed its push into robotic vacuum cleaners.

17.00 Good evening and welcome to our live coverage of the Samsung
Galaxy S4 launch event, which takes place in New York this evening. It’s the
first time in three years that Samsung has launched a Galaxy handset in the
US and shows that the Korean firm is keen to take on Appe’s iPhone on its
home turf. We don’t know the exact details of the new handset yet but we’ll
be running through some of the rumours between now and 11pm (UK time) when
the event begins.

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