The Samsung Galaxy S4 launched earlier this year and since then they have been expanding the range with niche variants. At an event in London last week, Samsung focused on the latest three models of the S4 family.
But in trying to address specific audiences, have they diluted the credibility of the original S4 by downgrading some of the specifications of the devices? Or in trying to please everyone, have they actually left consumers confused by offering too much choice?
Well let’s look at the three Galaxy S4 variants that Samsung have on offer.
First, the Samsung Galaxy S4 Zoom. Primarily it is a camera, with 16-megapixels and 10x optical zoom, yet with only a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and 1.5GB of RAM, it is notably less impressive than the original Galaxy S4.
Now consider the Galaxy S4 Active. This version was designed to appeal to the active type, being waterproof, dustproof and generally life-proof! Yet whereas the Galaxy S4 has an AMOLED display and a camera with 13-megapixels, the Active has just a LCD screen and the camera has only 8-megapixels.
The Galaxy S4 Mini was labelled the “little brother” of the S4. It is smaller, less expensive yet does have the AMOLED display. But once again it compromises on the specifications, having a slower 1.7GHz dual-core processor, 8GB of internal memory and a camera with 8-megapixels.
Historically with the Galaxy S Series, Samsung have introduced one flagship device a year, yet with the release of the S4 it seems that they are breaking away from their usual habit, in favour of expanding the brand into niche markets.
In all of the niche variants, there are elements of the S4 flagship. According to Avi Greengart, a market research analyst from Current Analysis, “Samsung has to maintain some core ‘Galaxy S’ attributes in each branded product.” He also said “And Samsung has to continue investing in advertising for the flagship Galaxy S.”
Greengart seems to think that as long as Samsung work hard to keep marketing the high-end S4, the new members to the S4 family won’t drag down the family name.
“As long as Samsung does that and makes a desirable flagship, I’m not that concerned about brand dilution,” he said.
So really there are two ways of looking at Samsung’s new approach – they are tailoring the products to peoples’ specific needs, thereby ensuring everyone has a device suited to them. Or, they are forcing consumers to compromise by offering them specific features, while taking away other desirable specs that make the S4 such a popular smartphone.
Of course it is worth considering that with the niche products, Samsung may have had to skimp on some of the features in order to keep the costs down.
However, in such a competitive market, is it a dangerous strategy to effectively tell customers that they can’t have everything? Tell us your thoughts.
[Image via mizokhawvel]