By Patrick Avenell (follow me on Twitter)

SYDNEY, NSW: Samsung today sent out preliminary invites for its gala launch event for the Galaxy S II Android smartphone; the follow-up to the hugely successful and critically acclaimed Galaxy S phone launched in mid-2010.

The press conference for this launch, which will be held in Sydney, is set for 3pm on Thursday 26 May 2011, with a proposed conclusion at 10am on Friday 27 May 2011. That's a full 19 hours looking at the Galaxy.

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No mention in the invite was made of whether the new Galaxy Tab, that which will not be exclusive to Vodafone, will also be launched at this time. understands that the Australian office is planning a separate launch event for this Android tablet PC.

The release of the Galaxy S II will see Samsung join HTC (Incredible S) and Motorola (Atrix) in direct competition for the high-end Android smartphone market.