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Samsung Set to Keep Smartphone Crown With Galaxy S III

Last week’s Friday Briefing once again resulted in a large number votes for one topic in particular. The impending spike in the world’s demand for digital data received 81% of the total votes.

As a quick review, a new report from Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO) projects that global data consumption will reach an incredible 1.3 zettabytes by 2016. That’s equal to 1.2 million petabytes (or 1.3 trillion gigabytes), which is around four times as much data as today’s internet traffic racks up.

Of course, the biggest reason for the uptick is the amount of devices (mostly smartphones) that are about to come on-line in the coming years.

“More people now have mobile phone subscriptions than electricity and safe drinking water” already, as Louis Basenese pointed out last month. (By the way, Louis has shown WSD Insider subscribers several ways to play the ongoing mobile revolution. Go here to see how to upgrade your subscription today.)

And the number of connected devices is going to catapult higher in the next four years. Like The Verge’s Bryan Bishop says, “There are currently 10.3 billion internet connections, used in computers, phones, tablet and other devices. That’s set to explode, with the report estimating we’ll be using 18.9 billion such connections by 2016 – an increase of over 83%.”

Now, to satisfy Wall Street Daily readers’ hunger for more information about mobile data demand, here’s a quick rundown of one of the latest smartphones that’s bound to rack up its fair share of petabytes in the coming months: Samsung’s (LON: BC94) Galaxy S III.

I’ve already written about how the hardware features of Samsung’s Galaxy S II and Galaxy Nexus were strong enough to smoke competitors at the time, namely Apple’s (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPhone 4S. Sure enough, strong sales of these devices helped Samsung become the world’s top smartphone vendor last quarter.

So there’s no question that the company’s next Galaxy model can do the same with its eyes shut.

But the new smartphone has a lot going for it besides superior technical specifications.

Perfect Timing

The S III should hit carrier shelves starting this week, and Samsung couldn’t have picked a better time to launch a device in the United States.

HTC (TPE: 2498) recently launched an Android smartphone with similar specifications, the One X, but last month the ITC requested that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection ban incoming shipments of the device. The Commission was concerned that the One X was violating a key Apple patent. The blockade was lifted last week, but the hiatus was no doubt long enough for consumers to begin eyeing Samsung’s offering instead.

Plus, Apple hasn’t released any data regarding its next iPhone. Sure, there’s strong evidence to indicate that the company’s upgrading the device with a larger screen, which would represent the most significant design overhaul yet. But, so far, nothing’s official.

Also, recent reports say that Apple will offer deeper Facebook (Nasdaq: FB) integration with its next operating system release. But those details won’t emerge until its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) this month.

“An Industry First”

Starting in June, the S III will be available at five major U.S. carriers: AT&T (NYSE: T), Sprint (NYSE: S), T-Mobile, Verizon (NYSE: VZ) and U.S. Cellular (NYSE: USM).

That’s huge, considering that it’s “an industry first to see five major carriers align behind the launch of a single device virtually simultaneously,” says Todd Pendleton, Chief Marketing Officer for Samsung Telecommunications America.

And none of the carriers should have a problem burning through inventory…

Already Setting Sales Records

The phone is already seeing incredible interest overseas. In fact, according to a report released on Sunday from uSwitch.com, the S III just blew past the iPhone 4S as the most popular smartphone in the UK.

Early adoption in the United States is staggering, as well. According to Johnny Wills, of Mobile & Apps, preorders for the S III have topped 10 million, which “is a record for any known gadget released so far.”

Bottom line: With its superior hardware, launch timing, explosive early interest and five carriers supporting its debut, there’s little doubt that the Galaxy S III will help Samsung maintain its edge over the competition in the coming months.

Good investing,

Justin Fritz

Justin Fritz

, Executive Editor

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