Samsung Markets 'Superphone' With a Page From Apple's Playbook

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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Last night's Radio City Music Hall event at which Samsung introduced its next "superphone" was noteworthy on a number of levels.

But the most interesting was that the Galaxy S IV has revolutionary software features that are so cool, it doesn't actually matter that Samsung broke new ground. That's a paradigm shift in marketing.

At no point in the somewhat awkward Broadway musical-style presentation did anyone brag about the important technological parts inside -- like the processor or graphics chip. They glossed over important information like the 5-inch touchscreen, 2 GB of RAM, 13-megapixel rear camera and the 2,600 mAh rechargeable battery.

They never even mentioned that it runs on Google's(GOOG) Android OS (Version 4.2.2 -- Jelly Bean).

Instead, they emphasized the new software features and how you can integrate them into your life. They bragged that the new Galaxy S IV "gets you closer to what matters in life, bringing your world together." It was all about what you can do with the new phone -- not about the phone itself. That's how Apple(AAPL) promotes its iPhones, although Apple has always stressed hardware improvements as well as software features at introduction events.

Samsung showed how you can add a picture from the front camera to a picture that you take with the back camera. Or the way the S IV can translate speech to, or from, a number of languages. Or how friends with S IVs can listen to the same music at the same time. The S IV can even track your eye movements to predict when you want to advance to the next page.

But, in the end, it was what Samsung didn't say that was most interesting. In its official press release, the company says the phone will work on most 4G/LTE networks everywhere on the planet. And it lists two possible processors for the phone -- a quad-core and the world's first octa-core chip. But Samsung didn't say which we'll see on U.S. smartphones.

Samsung did let us touch samples of the S IV that were tethered to a table by a 2-foot cord. You couldn't really tell much about the hardware except that it has a good-looking screen.

You'll be able to buy the Galaxy S IV late next month. AT&T(T) , T-Mobile, Sprint(S) and Verizon(VZ) have said they'll have versions in that time frame. But no one has announced pricing.

So there's a lot more to learn about Samsung's new so-called superphone offering. We'll have a lot more to say about it as soon as we're able to get some actual production samples that aren't tethered to a table.

-- Written by Gary Krakow in New York