Smartphone penetration has been a repetitive statement of tech analysts for the last year, but Samsung is starting to show signs that it too, is another victim of saturation. The Galaxy S5 manufacturer is now struggling to retain the same kinds of smartphone profits it has boasted over the last two years. The reason for profit decline is that consumers no longer see the need to upgrade their smartphones each year.
In Q4 2013, Samsung lost 700 billion won (Korean currency) or $676 million due to the decline in smartphone profits. Tech analysts are diagnosing Samsung and even competitor Apple’s profit troubles as what happens when a real lack of innovation exists in the smartphone industry. With each passing year, manufacturers are improving their cameras (from the 8MP Galaxy S3 to the 13MP Galaxy S4 and 16MP Galaxy S5, for example), increasing display sizes (from 4.7-inch to 5-inch screens and beyond), screen resolution (from 1280 x 720 to 1920 x 1080), updating the Android OS, and adding new apps and services (such as S-Health).
Some companies have added extras to the hardware, such as fingerprint scanners and IR blasters as a way to distinguish their smartphones from the crowd. Regardless of these perks, many consumers see these features as “added unnecessaries” that they could live without.
Many Galaxy S4 customers have asked questions like: “Why should I trade in my Galaxy S4 for a Galaxy S5 when I have an excellent camera, screen resolution, and access to S-Health and even Samsung’s new Milk Music internet radio service? Why do I need water and dust resistance in my phone when I don’t intend to take it near a pool?” I wouldn’t say that this is a wise approach to take, but it goes to show that what I believe to be innovations are nothing more than classic extras that come with another $600 price tag that some consumers can’t (and don’t want to) afford.
For Samsung, smartwatches have become “the next big thing,” to use the company’s slogan, in the mobile tech space. The Galaxy Gear 1 is a fine smartwatch that I believe leaves others such as the Pebble and Omate Truesmart in the dust, but many consumers didn’t hold the same view. Samsung is back this year with the Gear 2 running Tizen OS that provides up to 3-4 days of battery life as opposed to the 1-2-day battery life of the first-generation Gear smartwatch. There are numerous tech analysts who like the improvements, but still consider other smartwatches such as the Pebble Steel to be more elegant.
Some believe that the smartwatch will be nothing more than a niche product, but the same thing was said about smartphones in 2007. Now, look at where smartphones are today? If I’ve faith in any company to make the smartwatch a “here-to-stay” kind of product, it’s Samsung. Here’s to hoping the consumer populace agrees.
Samsung wants to invade other areas of electronic world as household appliances, electronic devices and even transport modality. This will not only help it to generate huge profit but also maintain its number one position.
Recently, launched Galaxy S5 is currently beating the Galaxy S4 in sales. Samsung launched its latest-generation Galaxy device in over 125 markets on April 11th, just two days ago. South Korea showed a warm reception to the device, with a 30% increase in sales as compared to the Galaxy S4 sales one year ago. Samsung’s increased market availability (125 markets for the Galaxy S5 vs. 60 for the Galaxy S4), as well as a drop in price from the previous model ($599-$699 vs. $700-$800 full price for the GS4) and subscription bundle have placed the Galaxy S5 in a better position to increase Samsung’s profits. Long lines for the Galaxy S5 have also been reported in places such as Singapore and the Netherlands, but are missing in places such as Australia (where Apple has a strong iPhone presence) and Korea, Samsung’s home country.
As for the Galaxy S5, Samsung’s latest and greatest comes with a 5.1-inch Super AMOLED Full HD display with a screen resolution of 1920 x 1080, IP67 water and dust resistance rating that provides up to 30 minutes in 3.3 feet or 1 meter of water, a 16MP camera utilizing Samsung’s own new ISOCELL camera technology that matches the camera quality of DSLR cameras, a 0.3-second Fast Autofocus feature that provides a selective focus feature, and features a home-embedded fingerprint scanner as well as a heart rate monitor just below the 16MP back camera on the device. The Download Booster, one of Samsung’s newest software additions, looks to be present on unlocked/T-Mobile devices, as the Big Three carriers (AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint) removed the feature from their Galaxy S5s earlier this week. Last but not least, the device runs the latest Android upgrade, Android 4.4 KitKat with Samsung’s own TouchWiz.
The Galaxy S5 comes in Shimmering White and Charcoal Black, along with Aqua Blue and Copper Gold, but the blue and gold color options are only available in select markets. Most consumers will see the Charcoal Black and Shimmering White options in carrier retail stores with a price tag of $199.99 or $249.99 with a two-year contract.