Samsung’s newest smartphone with a smaller screen could give Apple’s iPhone a run for its money. But the specs — including the absence of 4G LTE — aim the device more toward the mid-tier.

Samsung today unveiled a smaller version of its popular Galaxy S3 smartphone as the Korean electronics giant ramps up competition with Apple’s iPhone.

The device, dubbed the Galaxy S3 mini, features a 4-inch screen and the latest version of Google’s Android operating system. By comparison, Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S3 smartphone has a 4.8-inch screen.

The iPhone 5, meanwhile, also features a 4-inch screen, slightly bigger than earlier versions of Apple’s device.

Samsung hasn’t yet provided details about availability or pricing. We’ll replace if we get that data.

The new Galaxy smartphone comes as the rivalry between Samsung and Apple — not to mention all the other Android handset vendors — continues unabated. The companies are vying to control the mobile market, introducing new devices at a steady clip. Apple has unveiled one new phone a year, while Samsung has been pushing its high-end Galaxy S line and introducing other devices at the same time.

While many patrons have sought out the devices with bigger screens, analysts say there’s nonetheless a large market for smaller units. Many Apple customers, for instance, have shunned the larger monitor sizes present in Android devices. thus far, many of the phones with smaller monitors have been geared more to the access-stage marketplace, now not providing the robust specifications found in top-finish units. that suggests few have given Apple a run for its cash.

Apple has proven quite conclusively that tens of millions of people are happy to have a device they can wrap their hands around, Current Analysis analyst Avi Greengart said. It doesn’t mean they don’t want powerful processors or high megapixel cameras.

The Samsung Galaxy S3 mini isn’t as powerful its flagship phone, but the company says the device can be optimal choice for consumers who are looking for more practical smartphones.

While Samsung is also counting on the new tool to lend a hand it compete with Apple, it’s not likely to modify a lot in the us The instrument doesn’t include 4G LTE features, and the processor and digital camera are both weaker. The chip used within the mini is twin middle, rather than quad middle like the S3. And the digicam is best 5-megapixels as an alternative of 8.

Where the Galaxy S3 mini could shine, though, is emerging markets, a key area for smartphone growth. And it could also be a strong device for prepaid carriers, which also have started offering older versions of the iPhone.

Either way, the folks in Cupertino are likely to pay pretty close attention to the new device.