Leak on new Samsung phone a 'mistake'

A BUNGLE at the New Zealand arm of global electronics giant Samsung has let slip commercially sensitive information about the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini.

The existence of the Samsung smartphone had been secret until a reference turned up on the Samsung New Zealand website revealing its launch next month.

News spread quickly throughout the tech world with pundits wondering if it was a botch-up or a slick marketing campaign.

Samsung New Zealand would say nothing about the slip-up, but technology commentators believe it was a mistake.

They say they are particularly suspicious after the company removed any mention of the S5 Mini from the terms of the warranty soon after the blunder came to light.

Technology commentator Bill Bennett said it was most likely to be unintentional rather a slick marketing exercise. "It's probably not deliberate. If they were going to do that, it definitely wouldn't have been leaked in New Zealand."

Samsung favoured stage-managed launch events on a global scale to get maximum impact, he said. Bennett expected to see the phone on shop shelves within the next six weeks.

Earlier the company had been ordered to pay US$120 million ($138 million) over infringed Apple smartphone patents.