Robert Ngeru makes a presentation at the launch in Nairobi
According to Samsung Kenya chief operating officer Robert Ngeru the company hopes the device can take over from its predecessor the Samsung Galaxy S3, which was the best selling high end smartphone of 2012.
The phone, also yesterday launched by mobile services provider Safaricom, will retail at KSh64,999 (US$773), far above its pre-order price of KSh52,999 (US$630) with Airtel and KSh57,999 (US$690) with Safaricom.
Speaking during the launch, Ngeru revealed moe than 500 units of the device had been sold through pre-ordering ahead of the launch.
“If you pay in advance and wait for the device then you get a discount, but when you wait for the retail price you pay the higher 65,000 shillings,” said Ngeru.
Businesses will be among of the main targets, according to Ngeru, with the security features attractive for major corporates.
One such feature is the Samsung Knox, which presents a powerful security and privacy experience while separating business and daily life activities, thereby allowing other users to access the business segment, but restricts access to private life.
Already the phone has been certified by the US government as meeting the required security features for deployment to its staff and agencies - a milestone for the company.
Samsung says it expects the device to be a hit especially among the middle class, which has smartphones integrated with their lifestyles, with features such as S Health, helping users monitor their fitness by keeping track of their workouts and watching their calories intake.
Another prominent feature is the Samsung screen scroll.
“It’s incredible that you are watching a movie and you turn away it pauses, you move back and the video continues. The thinking behind it is that it doesn’t break the workflow or trail of thought,” Ngeru said.
Among the key specifications include 4.2.2 Jelly Bean operating system, five inch full HD Super AMOLED display, 4G LTE compliant up to different band sets, 13 megapixel back camera and full HD recording and playback.
The company says it hopes the phone can keep up with its past launches such as the Samsung Galaxy Pocket, which is by far the most successful smartphone in the market as the company tries to increase its grip on the smartphone market that currently stands at 22 percent.
On the tablet front the company said it sold more than 10,000 units in 2012.
The S4 will launch in Uganda on Wednesday and Tanzania on Thursday.