We've been expecting a 'mini' product launch from one of the world's leading tech manufacturers for some time now, but it has been speculation regarding a 7in iPad - circulating as far back as 2011 – that has primarily captured our imagination.
However, while we still fully expect the heavily rumoured 'iPad mini' to surface in time for the lucrative pre-holiday shopping season, it may end up having its arrival pre-empted by another reduced form factor device – and one produced by bitter rival Samsung, no less.
The Korean tech titan appears to have issued an invite for a special German launch event (see image, top), with a brief analysis of the vernacular used to lure industry bods to the 11 October gathering in Frankfurt pointing to a miniaturised iteration of the Galaxy S3.
Doing some GCSE-standard translating from German – otherwise known as clicking the Google Translate widget – the invitation teases that "something small will be really big" and tells potential attendees to "get ready for a little sensation."
(opens in new tab)The language echoes recent Galaxy S3 marketing, which announced that "the next big thing is already here," in the run up to Apple's September iPhone 5 launch. Similarly, the 4.65in display of the Galaxy Nexus was teased with size-related rhetoric, with Samsung announcing in 2011 that "something big is coming" prior to that device's launch.
Couple the miniaturist hints with a characteristic Galaxy range 'S' logo and all roads lead to the launch of a pint-sized S3 in the immediate future. Or, as German mobile site and invite-leaker Mobiflip (opens in new tab) so passionately puts it: "[It's a] Samsung Galaxy S3 Mini, because anything else would not make sense for me at the moment."
The Galaxy S3 Mini is thought to feature a 4in screen with an 800 x 480 pixel display, not unlike the original Galaxy S. It will also apparently sport a dual-core processor in the engine room, have a 5-megapixel primary camera, and come pre-loaded with the latest iteration of Android, version 4.1 Jelly Bean.
In downsizing its flagship smartphone, Samsung is likely looking to capitalise on the considerable success of the Galaxy S3 one more time, before turning its attention fully to development of its next-generation Galaxy S4 handset – expected in the first-half of 2013 and possibly debuting as soon as MWC in February.
A new 4in mobile will also no doubt further intensify the heated rivalry between Apple and Samsung beyond the existing primary battleground of iPhone 5 vs Galaxy S3.