If the Galaxy S III is a no-show, Samsung could focus on tablets at MWC [UPDATE: The S III will not launch at MWC]

UPDATE: Samsung has confirmed the launch of the Galaxy S III will be at an event later in the year.

For a long time, the unveiling of the Samsung Galaxy S III at Mobile World Congress 2012 seemed to be an almost foregone conclusion, however recent rumors suggest the device will not make an appearance, due to Samsung wanting to co-ordinate an international launch instead of the staggered release seen with the Galaxy S II.

If that’s the case, and Samsung doesn’t have a flagship smartphone to release at the show, what will they be launching? Aside from a clutch of mid-range phones, the obvious answer is another round of tablets.

Samsung’s Galaxy range tablets is already quite extensive, with no less than seven models showing up on their website, ranging from the original Galaxy Tab through to the latest Tab 10.1. Samsung’s smartphone range shows how it loves to make sure there is a device for everybody, so while the current tablet range looks quite comprehensive to us; to Samsung the proverbial cupboard is almost bare.

A Japanese website has spotted two potential candidates for MWC, the GT-P5100 and the GT-P3100, which have appeared on the Wi-Fi Alliance certification site. While the descriptions say ‘smartphone’, the GT-P model numbers have previously always referred to tablets.

Kindle Fire Competitor?

Unlike Bluetooth certification leaks, the Wi-Fi site doesn’t provide any further details, however The Verge links the P5100 with a previous rumor concerning an 11.6-inch tablet. The unnamed Android 4.0 tablet could feature a 2Ghz Exynos processor and boast a screen resolution of 2560 x 1600.

As tantalizing as this sounds, the P3100 could be even more interesting due to a suspected 1024 x 600 screen resolution. Why you may ask? Because that’s the same as the Kindle Fire.

Of all the tablets not named iPad, the Fire arguably made the biggest impact in 2011, and it wasn’t to do with the spec or the presence of Flash, it was the price. If Samsung produces a similar tablet — same spec, same screen — as the Fire but with Android 4.0, all for around $199 to $250, it would have great potential.

Another key to the success of such a tablet would be an international launch. Amazon continues to drag its feet in this regard, having not yet rolled out the services the Fire needs to make it worth buying, let alone the tablet itself.

Is a $199 tablet with a recognized brand name, not subsidized by a wealth of aftermarket sales, really too much to ask for?

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