In March Samsung announced the Samsung Galaxy S4, the companies latest smartphone which will take on the iPhone 5 and eventually the iPhone 5S. The Galaxy S4 packs in a 5-inch 1080P HD display and a new collection of smart software features made possible with a collection of sensors. The Samsung Galaxy S4 builds on the success of the Galaxy S3, which outsold the iPhone 5 during one-quarter in 2012.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is rumored for a release in late 2013, with a possible debut at IFA 2013 in September. Galaxy Note 3 rumors currently point towards the possibility of a flexible display and possibly a larger screen size.
With the new Samsung Galaxy S4 release date lined up for April in the U.S., sales starting in international markets later this month and a stable of popular phones like the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and the now more affordable Samsung Galaxy S3, the company is predicting a jump in profits and hoping for a higher profile.
Samsung released its Q1 2013 earnings guidance this week, projecting sales of 52 trillion won and an operating profit of 8.5 to 8.9 trillion won ($7.6 to $8 billion), similar to last quarter according to Sammy Hub.
Samsung makes more than mobile phones, and does not break down the performance of each industry, but when it comes to the Samsung name in the U.S., many customers associate it with the Galaxy line of smartphones and HDTVs rather than refrigerators and washing machines.
Samsung Galaxy S4 Continues the Fight
Samsung is delivering a better user experience with the new Samsung Galaxy S4, but may not be able to claim the same profit margins Apple does on the iPhone. The Wall Street Journal quotes, Wayne Lam of IHS iSuppli as saying, “it could potentially put pressures on their overall smartphone margins,” adding, “The big cost drivers are the improved HD resolution AMOLED touchscreen, quad-core applications processor and memory.”
In the company’s price breakdown of the Samsung Galaxy S4, the device is estimated at $233, $34 more than the estimated iPhone 5 cost. A large part of this is due to the Samsung Galaxy S4’s 5-inch Super AMOLED HD display, which runs an estimated $75, $31 more than the iPhone 5 Retina Display’s estimated cost.
It appeared that Samsung planned a higher Samsung galaxy S4 price to make up for the increased costs when AT&T announced the that Galaxy S4 pre-orders would start at $250, but the company later amended the announcement to offer a 16GB Galaxy S4 for $199.
Galaxy Note 3 is the Future
In 2014 it will transform the computing and online experience, in a way that is unique to its own vision. Critics who think it lacks vision need to think again
Look a little down the road and Samsung has put in place all the components to redefine the online experience. It won’t be called mobile or desktop but it might be called pervasive or “lifestyle. And it will take place wherever Samsung can fit a (flexible) screen (an industry it dominates).
The conversation between these two industry observes leads to their main point, “The Galaxy S4 is the last of Samsung’s iPhone line.” If this is true, we may not need to wait until 2014 to see what Samsung has in mind for the future. We expect the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 will arrive in late 2013, and with it there is a possibility of a flexible display and a further expansion of this “lifestyle” brand, which launched with the Samsung Galaxy S4.
Samsung’s Commitment to Users
Overall Samsung made significant progress from the Samsung Galaxy S2, and in just a few years the company raised its profile in the mobile market in the U.S. In addition to upping the ante with better hardware and innovative software features, Samsung is focusing on after sales support.
While many devices in the U.S. are not getting the Premium Suite features, Samsung is pushing out updates to the Samsung Galaxy S3, Samsung Galaxy S2 and Samsung Galaxy Note 2 in an attempt to keep customers on the latest versions of Android. Rumors peg the Samsung Galaxy note 2 and Galaxy S3 Android 4.2.2 update as rolling out in May or June, internationally at first.
Additional rumors point to support for Android 5.0 on the Samsung Galaxy S4, Galaxy S3 and Galaxy Note 2. If Samsung can deliver these new updates in a timely fashion it can continue to build its profile.
Samsung is also rolling out a store-within-a-store concept at Best Buy. These Samsung Experience Stores will be at 900 Best Buy locations in time for the Samsung Galaxy S4 release date and in 1,400 by early summer. These stores will offer Samsung a chance to connect directly with consumers to evangelize Samsung products, much like Apple employees can at an Apple Store.
At this point it is not clear if these Samsung consultants will be able to fix or replace phones for warranty issues, like Apple can, and what level of customer service shoppers can expect. Apple’s legendary customer support is not perfect, but it is better than many competitors and Apple Stores offer fast replacements for broken iPhones.
With the Samsung Galaxy S4 release fast approaching and rumors of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 release coming after September, Samsung is on track to kick up the competition in the mobile space.