The Samsung Galaxy S3 launch was held in London last year. This year, it's in New York.


Jason Jenkins/ CNET)

As successful as Samsung's Galaxy S franchise is now, it's easy to forget the Korean consumer electronics giant's first attempt at the American smartphone market was met with an apathetic shrug.

The U.S. launch of the first Galaxy S smartphone took place at a gallery on the west side of Manhattan more than two years ago. When it came time for J.K. Shin, head of Samsung's mobile business, to formally announce the Galaxy S flagship smartphone, a black cloth cover was pulled back to unveil not one, but four different devices with the forgettable names Captivate, Vibrant, Fascinate, and Epic 4G. Samsung had been forced to split its new phone into four distinct lines in order to placate the top four American wireless carriers.

Related stories