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What do you make of Samsung's 26 screens and counting mobile strategy?

Posted: , by Daniel P.

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What do you make of Samsung's 26 screens and counting mobile strategy?
Image credit: Which? Tech Daily

Looking at the chart above that the Brits from Which? put together, what does it remind you of? That's no less than 26 mobile devices that Samsung circulates, covering every nook and cranny in the industry, from 3-10" screen size, and that's not even counting the dual SIM or different carrier versions. It branches out into territories nobody had ever set foot before, like the Note and Mega lines, but also steps into niches just for the sake of being there, like with the S4 Zoom, slapping together a quick answer to the Nokia EOS and the rumored Sony Honami cameraphones.

If we take a look at the time Nokia was at its peak, right after the iPhone introduction, that year it released about 40 models, and there weren't even tablets then. Even more came in 2008, before it started shrinking the portfolio and ultimately switched platforms. There were a bunch of overlapping models with very minor updates, just like Samsung is doing now. Take last year's Galaxy Ace 2 vs Ace 3, for instance, with 0.2" screen upgrade, 0.4 GHz faster processor and a slightly bigger battery.

Nokia didn't even have any major competition then, while Samsung's flagships are threatened left and right this season by great handsets from HTC, LG, Sony, Nokia and even Huawei. Does this huge overlapping portfolio spell trouble for Samsung like it did for Nokia five years ago? After all, we are just learning that the company has issued more careful Galaxy S4 guidances to investors, and has shrunk its parts orders forecast from 30 to 20 million units for the next quarter. Samsung's JK Shin himself took to the airwaves today to try and calm the bears.

Hardly, we'd say, as there are a number of differences in the two situations. First off, Samsung makes its own components, allowing it to avoid the parts markup that external suppliers would charge, no matter how razor thin they are in this industry, while still asking street price for its devices. Second, with close to $8 billion operating profit in the last quarter and 70 million mobile devices forecast for the next, we aren't too worried about its financial state, despite that it lost $12 billion in market value the moment sagging Galaxy S4 sales projections were tipped.

Granted, Apple raked in even more with a fraction of the models and numbers Samsung sold, although there's an old saying in the investing community that market share would always trump profit share. Disruptive high margin products like the iPhone are usually caught up with by the competition in the span of few years, and if you have a small slice of the market then, it's not going to be what you are used to, is the premise.

That's why you have to move to greener pastures, or where the next explosive phase of growth is, and analysts argue that is exactly what Samsung is doing at the moment, what with the shifting focus to the midrange, and the restructuring of its flagship efforts with the Design 3.0 paradigm, reportedly coming next year. The company is perfectly aware, they say, that the flagship market is becoming cutthroat and stagnating in terms of growth potential, so it is reshuffling its mobile efforts.

What do you think, does the chart above signify Samsung's inevitable peak, or does it simply indicate that it is quickly responding to shifting mobile market tendencies, trying to capture the biggest slice possible of the burgeoning midrange market, after it carved a huge slice for itself from the already cutthroat high-end?

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posted on 13 Jun 2013, 08:50 31

1. PunyPoop (Posts: 752; Member since: 18 Jan 2013)

YES! and it's annoying!

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 09:07 23

15. Jason2k13 (Posts: 1280; Member since: 28 Mar 2013)

How is it annoying? go to your phone store and how many samsung phones do you see? 100? 50? or 4? cause in all the phone stores i go to, i only see 4 different Samsung phones at most. That doesn't sound alot does it?

Maybe its annoying for you because all you see is samsung phones on phone reviews and blogs, but in reality you wont see many different types of samsung phones.

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 09:45 6

42. Mittal (Posts: 494; Member since: 14 Dec 2011)

I think the S3 Mini was 4 inches, not 4.3

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 09:47 5

43. skyguy7567 (Posts: 148; Member since: 17 Nov 2012)

Electrical stores here in Hong Kong have a dedicated section piled with at least fifty different Samsung phones on display. Just makes me go dizzy. Same pattern repeating 50 times. Boring and cheap look. This totally breaks your theory. I can give you a photo of the store.

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 09:49 9

44. xoatomxo (Posts: 57; Member since: 26 Apr 2011)

You are 100% correct, Jason

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 09:50 8

46. Jason2k13 (Posts: 1280; Member since: 28 Mar 2013)

was that the Samsung section? or Samsung store? what do you expect? They should add iphone products to?

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 09:58 1

48. iamfoolhehe (Posts: 28; Member since: 03 Jun 2013)

I am great samsung fan .. I know this is choice for customers but problem is too much choice is also a problem for customers to select the device !

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 10:02 8

52. iamfoolhehe (Posts: 28; Member since: 03 Jun 2013)

Thats true for example in india hardly 10 models including flagship, note series, basic series etc you can see. I REPEAT hardly 10 models!!

When sites come with new new reviews people thinking this all will be in the store !! Thats why they keep on saying many phones !

A sensible person wont say like that !

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 10:10 7

56. iamfoolhehe (Posts: 28; Member since: 03 Jun 2013)

I am talking about country world second largest in temrs population and 1/7 of world population !

Samsung actualy not producing many phones !

Yestrday my girl friend asked for a phone for her to chat/talk with me ..what wil I do ? Which budget phone I will buy for her ? Asha series which phone automaticly shut down every day 2-3 times ( personal experience ) ?

No I planed to buy asha 302 but asha S40 platform..no apps !! No multitasking very important these days !
So I atlast I come up with idea of buying samsung galaxy chat ..jellybeans os..qwerty keyboard..touch screen..best for her to talk with me :) and wondering what it cost less than asha 302 !!!! In india Rs.5000 only that is $90 only ..

There is my samsung wins !! If there is no choice which phone I will buy to her ?

Samsung is great conpany for all kind people !

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 10:14 12

59. Zeus.k (unregistered)

SAMSUNG is not forcing you to buy all the phones they make so how is it annoying for you? stop trolling all the samsung articles.

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 10:15 6

61. iamfoolhehe (Posts: 28; Member since: 03 Jun 2013)

Punny poop is XPERIAdroid ! I am sure !
Please go and get a life bro ..or only use one account !
The bittertruth also you !

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 10:16

62. Wiki_jaan (Posts: 704; Member since: 24 Jun 2012)

yupe ... and samsung also have a 8.9inch tablet

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 10:26 2

63. andro. (Posts: 1999; Member since: 16 Sep 2011)

Agreed my work carries around 5 different Samsung devices, rival networks have a good few of the same except for a different handset here and there. The options means a bit of differentiation between carriers also. Only place that gets messy is online retailers if they have like 40 different handsets to pick from

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 11:11 4

70. Taters (banned) (Posts: 6474; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)

What is annoying is the North American media covering every single Samsung phone in existence, even the ones that are remote island only. They never had an article for every Nokia phone, heck, they never even reported much on the Asha line.

If idiots like PunyPoop here can fall for the illusion of one Samsung phone a week, then I am sure there are many more, especially here at phonearena.

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 19:08 4

87. Diazene (Posts: 129; Member since: 01 May 2013)

your name really describes you

my dad has an asha 305 and it never restarts, can open multiple programs AFAIK and it has lots of apps

a laggy low quality galaxy chat, it looks horrible, and it's not durable, and it can't run most of the apps in the store

posted on 20 Jun 2013, 08:37

110. skyguy7567 (Posts: 148; Member since: 17 Nov 2012)

Those stores are called Broadway and Fortress. If you don't believe that samsung just comes in numbers not quality. Go to GSMarena. Type 'Galaxy S4' and 4 or 5 different models come up, each with a very little difference. Mind you, those are only S4 not S4 Active or those stuff. You see what I mean? If you type something like Xperia Z or Nokia Lumia 920 and only ONE comes up. Not enough evidence? Go to Phandroid and you will find a huge amount of samsung phones just there. Each with very little difference. If you click on the 'Galaxy S4' you can also find tons of problems with it. Screen, those useless features and tons of other issues. samsung is in sheer fleet size but 0% quality

posted on 20 Jun 2013, 14:13

122. JohnnyZ (Posts: 34; Member since: 30 Sep 2011)

I think the annoying thing is that, if Samsung were smart they'd stop making incremental upgrade phones and just concentrate on 3 or 4 phones and make them really good, then lower production cost could be passed on to the consumer. There are literally 17 Samsung phones between all the carriers in the US right now. 5 on Verizon, 3 more on Sprint, 1 more on T-Mobile, 3 more on AT&T, 3 more on BoostMobile, and finally 2 more on VirginMobile. These are ALL SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT SAMSUNG PHONES. And no, I didn't recount the galaxy sX's that are on each carrier. This is just stupid, cuz the only one's that work well are the Galaxy S series and the Galaxy Nexus. Why not just keep making the original Galaxy S instead of these other phones with the same specs that don't work as well and never get OS upgrades. I'm sure the production cost would be insanely low to keep making a phone that's already been designed 2.5 years ago! WTF?!

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 08:51 17

2. sats.mine2k4 (banned) (Posts: 208; Member since: 10 Aug 2012)

More choices are always good...

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 08:54 19

3. PunyPoop (Posts: 752; Member since: 18 Jan 2013)

More choices is good if the phones are not the same looking phone.. SAMESUNG!

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 08:55 4

4. jan25 (Posts: 470; Member since: 26 Feb 2012)

how about less choices and more focusing on the quality of lesser devices.

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 09:05 10

12. EXkurogane (Posts: 863; Member since: 07 Mar 2013)

QUALITY is more important than quantity

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 09:10 2

17. takay0 (Posts: 144; Member since: 25 Mar 2012)

and its right not only for phones

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 09:12 11

18. tech2 (Posts: 3487; Member since: 26 Oct 2012)

Can you elaborate, how the quality of devices are affected by quantity ?

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 09:14 2

21. EXkurogane (Posts: 863; Member since: 07 Mar 2013)

Yup, apps as well.

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 09:22 10

25. Jason2k13 (Posts: 1280; Member since: 28 Mar 2013)

that's true, but how can you judge which brand of phones has the best quality when every person has different user experience?

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 09:23 16

27. WHoyton1 (Posts: 1635; Member since: 21 Feb 2013)

You are an example of how a simple minded person can still laugh at the phrase same-sung, at least if your gonna insult sammy use some insult that is original!

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 09:24 4

28. WHoyton1 (Posts: 1635; Member since: 21 Feb 2013)

Well said +1

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 09:31 2

35. EXkurogane (Posts: 863; Member since: 07 Mar 2013)

That's because i have had hands on with countless phones from different brands? Not difficult to get my hands on a review unit when i have a family member doing phone-related business.

But when i mentioned quality, i mean in the long term - how well the device is supported, how frequent does it get updates. Dont use custom roms as an excuse to me, 90% of smartphone users dont even know how to do it unlike us who keep up and well informed with gadgets. But in terms of build quality even HTC and Sony is ahead of Samsung.

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 09:45 5

41. Jason2k13 (Posts: 1280; Member since: 28 Mar 2013)

so your experience on every phones you had, makes everyone else the same as yours? And you do realized to fully experience what a phone is capable off, you need to keep using it for at least 6 month minimum, not just ONE day with it.

Also whats wrong with the build quality of Samsung? Are you saying polycarbonate is bad and glass and aluminium is good?

posted on 13 Jun 2013, 09:53 3

47. EXkurogane (Posts: 863; Member since: 07 Mar 2013)

Nope, it's not the difference between metal material and plastic material im talking about; Aluminium gets scratched way too easily. You can just compare a HTC One X with a Galaxy S3, or even S4. The difference in build quality is very obvious. There is a reason why some people including me call Samsung's plastic cheap plastic. Polycarbonate is also a variant of plastic. ABS is also a variant of plastic. The question is, which one is being used? Plastic is a general term.

Of course my experience will be difference from everyone. Experience is based off your expectations. I still know there are people who wouldnt even care being stuck on Android 2.3.7 on their phone, that kind of people have low expectations out of a smartphone. When you said you need at least 6 months of experience, i already mentioned it in comment 35 "in the long term". I dont expect Samsung to be able to support all their phones for 2 years.

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