According to the Korean publication ET News, Samsung plans to change the product introduction cadence for their Galaxy S flagship lineup. According to sources in the supply chain, ET News claims the announcement of Samsung Galaxy S7 will come in January 2016, probably during the CES trade show in Las Vegas. The product announcement should follow with a complete turnaround in the company’s smartphone sector, by splitting Samsung’s models into Premium and Sub Premium, followed by Mainstream and Entry Level. If that sounds like a bad idea, you’re not the only one.
The idea behind Samsung’s plan is a simple one. They want to attract more customers and diversify their lineup, but is that the right way to go? While Samsung makes great smartphones, they lack the prestige of some of their competition (namely Apple’s iPhone). The problem with current Samsung models is the unification in both looks and performance in certain key areas, making a decision to splash more cash for a premium Galaxy or Note product even harder. Splitting the model range into an even more diversified lineup may be a great idea on paper, but time will tell can this strategy bring good results.
Furthermore, the timing of introduction has the potential to significantly dent the sales of their competitors during the traditional Gong Xi Ca Fai shopping bonanza. Chinese New Year happens on February 8th, 2016, and should Samsung make its Galaxy S7 available, it could be a ‘hotter’ ticket than the ‘old’ iPhone 6S, ‘old’ LG G4, ‘old’ Xperia Z5 and others. We believe Chinese mobile phone vendors will also shift to Samsung’s cadence, since OnePlus and Xiaomi could find themselves behind Samsung in features, which as we all know – mean ‘everything’ in the Chinese culture. This just might devalue the Mobile World Congress, but that happened to all the trade shows – CES vs. IFA, CeBIT vs. Computex and so on.
The company itself is in a somewhat of a tight spot. Samsung Electronics needs to reinvent themselves, get rid of excess models and start producing premium feel phones, avoiding consumer confusion which happened with Galaxy S6, S6+, S6 Edge and S6 Edge+, devaluating the original investment of people who bought the phone just months earlier. Osborne effect comes to mind. Is the strategic move by Samsung a good one? Only time will tell that. Meanwhile we have a great deal of expectations for the upcoming Galaxy S7 and all its tricks and traits. Increase the sales, yet protect the profitability while producing better phones and ensure the devices can battle it out with Apple, Google and Microsoft and co. Remember, next year in February, Mobile World Congress in Barcelona will see the return of Nokia as a smartphone maker, this time using Google Android operating system.
Note: Theo Valich contributed to the report.