Samsung announces rugged Galaxy S4 and apps on SD cards as analysts’ shipment estimates fall

Samsung has announced the Galaxy S4 Active, a new and more rugged version of its popular flagship smartphone, along with a major software update that will allow users to store their apps on SD cards.

However, the news is not all rosy, with analysts cutting back on initial shipping estimates for the company’s Galaxy S4 smartphone over the next two quarters, suggesting the company’s rapid growth rate might have peaked in the smartphone market.

The Galaxy S4 Active has earned an Ingress Protection (IP) Code rating of 67 out of a possible maximum rating of 68, with a fully sealed design that keeps out dust particles and can be submerged in water for 30 minutes of at a depth of one metre.

The device also features a 1.9 GHz quad-core processor, an 8-megapixel rear camera with ‘aqua mode’ that can allow clear shots underwater and a 5-inch full HD display.

“The Galaxy S4 Active is the newest addition to the Galaxy series and is purposefully designed for active users who love the outdoors,” says Samsung Mobile chief executive JK Shin.

“Samsung has taken the innovative features of the Galaxy S4 and added breakthrough protective design elements to create a device that thrives in an active environment and is built for a lifestyle of travel and exploration.”

Late last month, SmartCompany reported the company was been working on a rugged, waterproof and dustproof version of its flagship smartphone.

Meanwhile, Phandroid reports that Samsung is releasing a software update that will allow Galaxy S4 users to move apps onto a microSD card. However, the update is initially being rolled out in Germany, meaning Australian users will have to wait for it to be released locally.

Other features of the upgrade include:

  • New camera firmware
  • The smearing issue has been fixed (purple effect while scrolling)
  • Smart pause toggle
  • A semi-transparent status bar
  • New icons in settings
  • Secure boot status in “about phone”
  • Increased display legibility

Finally, Barrons reports that senior executives from Samsung have been meeting with senior analysts and investors in a bid to “temper” their sales expectations for the Galaxy S4.

As a result, consensus estimates of shipments of the flagship smartphone have fallen from 25 million to 20 million for this quarter and from 30 million to 20 million next quarter.

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