Lost in Samsung's Galaxy

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Not too long ago Samsung entered the Android realm and shortly after introduced the very first Galaxy device in 2010; the Galaxy S. Fast forward to today and the Galaxy brand has expanded past the singular device that made it popular.

This year saw Samsung introduce the 4th iteration of the hit Galaxy series in the Galaxy S4 and recent news already indicate that about 20 million of that has been shipped already. The problem now is not in the runaway success of the hit Galaxy S4 but of the impending fragmentation right in the Galaxy series.

Tons of devices are announced and released almost everyday by the South Korean company under the Galaxy moniker. Such devices which are not as feature laden as the Galaxy S4 or even the S3 but are mostly middle range to budget devices most times sporting the same design held by the bigger and better flagship product.

This strategy of familiarity and uniformity makes shifting between Samsung devices less jarring and makes the user more comfortable. At the same time this can also backfire on Samsung as they have effectively through the release of not so different devices polluted the Galaxy brand. Let me explain below.

It is no new news that Samsung has effectively adopted the “throw everything on the wall until something sticks” approach to the manufacture of the myriad of devices under the Galaxy moniker. The Note series is a perfect example of how that strategy is working and lately it seems the guys in charge of design at Samsung have chosen to use that approach going by the devices that gets announced nigh daily.

In fact they never seem to stop and it is almost as if they want to make device that fits into every category. A 4.3 inch device today?, tomorrow a 4.6 inch device. They just cannot seem to stop!

"Let's make everything" - The Samsung strategy
“Let’s make everything!” – The Samsung strategy

While that to a certain extent is good for product penetration and multiple price points there seem to be a dilution of the core Galaxy series such as the S4. Against other devices like the HTC One and the Sony Xperia Z the Galaxy looks like a toy compared to it by looks and now there is virtually no differentiation within the Galaxy brand itself.

Even the S4 and the S3 can only be identified by someone who is familiar with them both as they look virtually identical. I believe that if you are willing to splurge that much for a device it might as well look and feel premium as opposed to having zero to no differentiation from lower models.

With the Galaxy family in excess of 50 different devices I’m afraid Samsung may begin to shoot itself in the foot by offering so many devices which do not really look that different. What do you think?

  1. in addition to every price point, there is also every “size _point”

    there is something for every pocket, and every size_preference.

    if the product managers can keep on top of their game, it is probably a good strategy.

    but, the logistix nightmare…hmm

  2. inasmuch as I hate the Samsung dilution of the Galaxy brand but I can’t really fault it, offering different products is good for consumers not everyone wants a phone with a gigantic 5 inch screen or one with a small 3.5 or 4 inch screen, so offering multiple devices with small variations in its specifications is good for the consumers. Samsung doesn’t have the cool factor that Apple has where any offering is a must have, and to top it off only tech savvy people know of Samsung’s multiple devices, the consumers sometimes never get to see most of these devices. and some of these devices are market specific.

    To me there is no difference between Samsung’s strategy now and that of Nokia with the number series, N-series and E-series brand where there was a device for every price point. (shame they lost their way).

    It’s just good business.

  3. I agree up to a point. Samsung Android users are akin to Nokia users before them – brand loyalty.

    I can see in some areas where Samsung will lose and that is mid to lower end spec’d phones.

  4. I don’t think the approach is really bad. Something for everyone is good. If they have ignored the lower end segment, the Chinese
    and other Android manufacturers would have seized that segment, meanwhile the other major Android manufacturers are beginning to take the high-end segment more serious.

  5. “only tech savvy people know of Samsung’s multiple devices, the consumers sometimes never get to see most of these devices. and some of these devices are market specific”

    Exactly. As far as a lot of people are concerned there is the S, S2, S3, S4 and that ‘Banky-W phone” (Galaxy Grand)

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