Samsung might be holding their Galaxy S III from next month’s Mobile World Congress show, but that doesn’t mean this will be a quiet show for them. Thanks to a little digging around I did during CES and some other recent news, I now believe I know what Samsung will introduce in its place. Read on for the full rumor report.

The Rumor

Samsung will announce the next-generation of the Galaxy Tab at Mobile World Congress. It will feature a dual-core 2 GHz Exynos 5250 processor and feature a display larger than 10 inches with a WXQGA (2560×1600) resolution. The device will run the latest Android 4.0.x.

The Source

For once, I am the source of my own rumor report. I visited with Samsung System LSI during CES to discuss their upcoming Exynos processors and I saw one of their prototype tablets which was powered by Exynos 5250 and already running Android 4.0. I actually took pictures of the device (not really knowing what it was), but I was politely asked to delete them from my camera after the briefing was over.

One Android Insider’s take on the rumor

Last year at Mobile World Congress, Samsung unpacked the Galaxy S II and Galaxy Tab 10.1. Many of us were focused on the Galaxy S III for this year’s show, but Samsung is still weighing their options and it’s not likely to be announced. However, that leaves open the possibility of them showing the next-generation Galaxy Tab.

Samsung already announced their dual-core 2 GHz Exynos 5250 processor last November, which is their first mobile processor to feature ARM’s latest Cortex-A15 CPU core. The chip is built on Samsung’s new 32nm High-K Metal Gate (HK/MG) low-power process and it also includes ARM’s next GPU, the Mali-T604.

Many competitors are also working on Cortex-A15 parts, but they were not expected to be widely available in products until late 2012 or early 2013 (see TI’s OMAP5). However, Samsung has been sampling their A15 part for quite some time and they just announced it will go into mass production in Q2.

I can’t say for sure how Samsung was able to deliver their A15 part so far ahead of the competition, but it could be because they chose the more mature 32nm process while others are using a 28nm process that is rumored to be having yield issues.

For those of you just joining us, I suggest heading over to ARM’s site and reading up on Cortex-A15 and Mali-T604 if you want to know why this is such a big deal. Basically we should see twice the compute power, insane memory bandwidth(12.8 GB/s), 5x the graphics horsepower, and all day battery life.

Even though Samsung’s Exynos 5250 will not hit mass production till next quarter, they still have enough of the chips laying around to pop them into some demo devices and put them on display at Mobile World Congress. The fact that Samsung already has Android 4.0 up and running on the Exynos 5250 shows me how serious they are about being first to market with an A15 part.

I realize there’s a chance I could be wrong about this rumor, but if Samsung was showing off this next-generation tablet behind closed doors at CES, then it should definitely be ready for show time at MWC. Given the fact that the Galaxy S III will be absent, it makes perfect sense that this tablet will be the star of the show for Samsung.

Update: As someone pointed out, my description is very similar to a device that Jonathan Geller of BGR reported on back in December. I guess this is confirmation that he was correct, since I saw a similar product with my own eyes.

Update 2: German site is reporting that Samsung will introduce the Galaxy Tab 11.6 at MWC. Their mockup is included below.

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