Samsung has been continually adding new members to its family by diluting some of the core specifications and functionality. At a recent event in London, it specifically spoke about the latest additions to its Galaxy S4 family.
Galaxy S4 Zoom, the camera cum smartphone, is mainly designed for shutterbugs with 10x optical zoom and not for phone-centric buyers, as it sports a 4.3-inch, 960×540-pixel display and 1.5GHz dual-core processor.
The rugged version Galaxy S4 Active is a water resistant, dust-proof and sand-proof device which can be taken anywhere. But again, some of the impressive specs of Galaxy S4 are missing in this variant. The striking AMOLED display for great colors and 13 megapixels camera are replaced by inferior LCD screen and 8 megapixels camera respectively in the Active.
The little brother of the Galaxy S4, Galaxy S4 Mini is specifically targeted to markets where phones are not subsidized. This smaller and cheaper version sports an AMOLED display like Galaxy S4 but with a slower 1.7GHz dual-core processor, only 8GB of internal memory, and an 8-megapixel camera, very much unlike its elder version.
All the additions are certainly fine enough for many users but they should not support the Samsung Galaxy S4 name as the name could disappoint consumers in regard of their specification.
According to Avi Greengart, a market research analyst with Current Analysis, if Samsung does invest in marketing and advertising its high-end Galaxy S4, the brand dilution would not matter.
Samsung is following in the footsteps of Apple in marketing its Galaxy S series. As Apple has always been focusing on one smartphone per year and making the older version available at discounted prices for the customers looking for spending less; Samsung has also shaped its Galaxy S strategy to look more like Apple’s approach.
With Galaxy S series of smartphones, consumers around the globe, and especially among the four major wireless operators in the U.S., have had access to a single flagship device. Samsung has also introduced these flagship devices once a year: the Galaxy S, which launched in 2010; the Galaxy S2, which came out in 2011; the Galaxy S3, which debuted in 2012; and now the Galaxy S4, which was launched earlier this year.
Now, with these strategies by the smartphone companies, consumers are forced to think and compare hard to make a choice. For the active lifestyle, you might opt for S4 Active but not with all the specs of the flagship Galaxy s4. And same applies for the Galaxy S4 Zoom where you get high-end camera with an inferior phone specs.
Samsung is more likely to keep the price under control to attract a wide array of buyers who are benefited with a lot of choices available every now and then. According to analyst from JP Morgan, sales for GS4 were 20-30 percent lower than what Samsung had expected and it is going to cut production of the device and retire to the previous model, the Samsung Galaxy S3, in order to not cannibalize sales of the flagship.