Ready for the Galaxy S10? Samsung to host 'Unpacked' press event on Feb. 20

Ten years ago, Samsung unveiled its very first Galaxy smartphone. On Feb. 20 at San Francisco's Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, Samsung hopes to celebrate the milestone with the expected launch of the S10 flagship handset.

Searching for clues? The invitation, sent to the press on Thursday, not so subtly showed off the number 10 written out sideways.

The launch of the S10 is a big deal for Samsung, and not just because of the 10th anniversary. Samsung, like arch-rival Apple, has seen a significant slowdown in the smartphone business.

Premium handsets are pricey, the market has become saturated and, as good as phones as last year's Galaxy S9 and other top tier phones are, it's been some time since any major new ground has been broken in the space.

In looking to break that ground, Samsung could announce as many as three new Galaxy phones at the "Unpacked" event, just as Apple did during its own 10th-anniversary event in September of 2017 when it unveiled the iPhone X, iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. Apple repeated a hat trick launch this past September, with the XS, XS Max and XR.

At least one of Samsung's latest phones is likely to be capable of tapping into the blistering fast new 5G wireless networks that are launching this year. Whether that proves to be a Verizon exclusive or gets immediate support from all the major U.S. (and global) carriers pushing 5G remains to be seen.

AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon have all announced that they will have at least one 5G Samsung in 2019. AT&T has also said it will carry a second Samsung 5G phone later this year.

A Wall Street Journal report from November suggests a new Samsung model with a monster-sized 6.7-inch screen and as many as six cameras on board. Another possible innovation has to do with wireless charging, in which you may be able to use the Samsung phone to wirelessly charge other devices by placing one on top of the other.

One other thing to look out for that I hope does not happen: Will Samsung follow the trend of removing the standard-sized headphone jack?

Speaking of innovation, it is also plausible, though this one seems less certain, that Samsung will formally announce the release of its "foldable" phone at the event. Even if that phone isn't quite ready yet, I'd expect Samsung to surrender more details.

Galaxy series devices have had their ups and downs during their 10-year lifespan—look back no further than 2016's thrice-recalled Galaxy Note 7 phablet, whose batteries kept catching fire.

But Samsung has also successfully nurtured the Galaxy brand during the period that, along with Apple, came to dominate the smartphone business.


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