Why the "cheap" Galaxy S10e could be Samsung's most successful upcoming phone

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.
Why the
Samsung Galaxy S10e leaked renders; via @rquandt

Samsung, Apple, LG, Google: all of these and many other companies are in the smartphone business with the goal of putting a fast, beautiful, and innovative smartphone in the hands of each and every person. A phone bearing their own brand, of course.

They're also in it to make money – lots of it.

However, making money by making smartphones has been getting more and more challenging – not only because of aggressive competition, but also because global smartphone growth has stalled. Everyone who wants a smartphone already has one, and existing smartphone owners are holding on to their phones for longer than before.

Samsung's smartphone profits are down. Now what?

Like many other phone brands, Samsung has been feeling these chilling winds of change. While Samsung's electronics business has been doing well overall, its mobile division has been struggling to make progress. Towards the end of 2018, it was reported that Samsung's year-on-year profits generated by phone sales have dipped by a third. Yikes!

So, how can Samsung give its smartphone sales a boost? By launching new, better phones that people are willing to buy, of course.

We know that Samsung is working on a foldable phone, as well as on a 5G phone, and without a doubt, both of these will make major headlines. But I suspect that neither of them will be a true moneymaker. Samsung is making these phones for the bragging rights – to strengthen its position as a pioneer, an innovator, and a leading tech company. These two devices may end up being limited in availability and too expensive for the general consumer, not to mention that they'll be the result of higher R&D costs.

The significance of the "cheap" Galaxy S10e

The Galaxy S10 and the Galaxy S10+ are two phones with a much greater chance of boosting Samsung's profits. However, I believe that the true success story of the Galaxy S10 lineup could be the cheaper Galaxy S10e.

That's not because the Galaxy S10e will be a cheaper phone. It's because the S10e will be a cheaper Galaxy S phone. The Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10+ flagships will create the buzz Samsung needs; they'll introduce the public to Samsung's latest software features and tech advancements. Meanwhile, the Galaxy S10e – surrounded by the premium Galaxy S aura – will be the phone which would allow a broader audience to experience Samsung's latest without having to spend a grand. It may end up becoming Samsung's "affordable flagship" – the kind of device Samsung hasn't truly launched yet. 

Taking a page out of Apple's book

Of course, there's no guarantee that the Galaxy S10e will be a smashing hit. But the approach has worked for others, namely Apple. Yes, we do realize that the company recently lowered its expected revenue guidance from $89 billion to $84 billion, but at the end of the day, iPhones still make a ton of money. And curiously, Apple's cheaper iPhone XR has been selling really well. In fact, data indicates that during Q4 of 2018, four out of ten iPhones sold in the US were an iPhone XR. The iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max combined accounted for 26% of all US iPhone sales during the same period. 

While we can't say how much profit the iPhone XR generates, it is clearly a hit product, and its success is a result of Apple playing its cards right. This boils down to cutting the right corners – to bringing the cost of the product down with minimal impact on the user experience. The iPhone XR is $250 (25%) cheaper than an iPhone XS, but practically, both phones do the same things – and ultimately, that's what most people care about. They're equally fast, they take equally great pictures and (to a large extent) portraits, they both have fancy features like Face ID and screens stretching from corner to corner. Sure, the XR has one camera less, a lower-resolution LCD screen instead of an AMOLED one, and a body made of cheaper aluminum instead of stainless steel, but the average buyer doesn't care about any of this. They simply don't – as long as they're getting an iPhone that looks good, works well, and feels as luxurious as an iPhone is expected to.

It is clear that with the Galaxy S10e, Samsung will try to use the iPhone XR formula to its advantage. According to rumors, the phone will have nearly all of the capabilities of the standard Galaxy S10, but will cost significantly less by skipping features like the in-display fingerprint scanner and the third camera, as well as by using a flat screen instead of a curved one.

All in all, the Galaxy S10e is the kind of phone the masses need: a premium phone from a trusted brand loaded with flagship features and not bearing an unreasonably high price. It will not necessarily steer a long-time iPhone user away from upgrading to the iPhone XR, but it is a phone that the millions of people still holding on to their Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S7 handsets would notice. 

Related phones

Galaxy S10e
  • Display 5.8" 1080 x 2280 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 10 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 855, Octa-core, 2840 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3100 mAh



1. Cat97

Posts: 1933; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

It will also be the first Android compact flagship in a long time.

10. libra89

Posts: 2296; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Yes! For that reason, I'm very interested.

61. sgodsell

Posts: 7450; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

It's smaller than an XR. However when Nick wrote "While we can't say how much profit the iPhone XR generates, it is clearly a hit product, and its success is a result of Apple playing its cards right." Clearly Nick left out a lot of stuff. For instance Apple only make a few new smartphones each year. In this case the XS, XS Max, and the XR. So once Again Apple has little choice, especially when you compare it to Android. This S10e should be compared to the XS, and not that crap called the iPhone XR, which the XR has too many low end specs that it doesn't compare to the XR, and compares more to the XS. Not to mention the XS and the S10e have AMOLED displays that are the same size. The XR has a crappy low resolution LCD display that is larger than the S10e.

17. Loveneesh

Posts: 443; Member since: Jul 14, 2015

This S10E actually reminds me of the regular s6,s7 varient with no edge display,

37. MisterX

Posts: 59; Member since: Jul 02, 2015

I actually prefer the edge. Looks cool and feels nice in the hand..

26. BuffaloSouce unregistered

Pixel 3...

45. Donone41

Posts: 246; Member since: Dec 17, 2014


3. ijuanp03

Posts: 615; Member since: Dec 30, 2014

"Taking a page out of Apple's book" Of course, not. They took a page out of Huawei's book with the trio devices. Please...not everything is about Apple.

6. cmdacos

Posts: 4264; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

Or out of their own book when they had mini versions of their flagships.

12. alaw.14

Posts: 426; Member since: Sep 10, 2013


35. ijuanp03

Posts: 615; Member since: Dec 30, 2014

I forgot about that. But we all know the point of this biased article :))

39. sissy246

Posts: 7124; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

They all seam to forget that.

7. Playstation

Posts: 22; Member since: Dec 15, 2018

Yes, i'll say apples strategy. No doubt . But everything else should be much better in s10e.

8. Tipus

Posts: 894; Member since: Sep 30, 2016

"Taking a page out of Apple's book" Bhahaha :))) Keep trying PA :))


Posts: 652; Member since: Jun 28, 2014

Curved screens are the bane of flagship phones. I hate being unable to use a tempered glass screen protector because of that, in other words a flat screen could be one of the greatest innovations in this phone. I'll be honest I've been an LG loyal since Android ICS, and haven't really given Samsung a chance since my trusty old pre-Android T528G, but to be honest - a flat screen/ nice hardware spec combined with One UI at a fair price would be hard to pass up.

40. sissy246

Posts: 7124; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

I have had a tempered glass screen protector on my note 8 since day one.

13. Nionx

Posts: 207; Member since: Oct 30, 2017

With the trade in I was definitely thinking of trading in my Note 8 for one of the 10 models, probably the E. The price is right and it gives estimates me just enough to feel it's worth the upgrade. Then, when the Note 10 is released, trade the 10 towards that.

14. ALMBO6

Posts: 196; Member since: May 28, 2018

Personally I'm holding on to my smartphone longer because every year the price of smartphones keeps increasing and it is just becoming stupid to change a perfectly functional phone with a new one for over a thousand euros just because of one more camera and two or three software tweaks. Frankly I would buy a new flagship every year if the price was kept at 500 €, but since that's not the case I keep my phones for not less than 2 years and when I'm finally ready to get a new one I buy the previous year's flagship which has seen its price significantly reduced.

15. ZerosAndOnes

Posts: 84; Member since: Oct 12, 2018

1. It looks really good, from every point of view. 2. It has great specs overall. 3. The two camera seem top notch and despite not having 3rd zoom one it seems nice. 4. If the price is 750$ with those specs this phone is going to kick ass in USA and Europe. Something I haven't said about a samsung phone since S7 Edge. All in all this depends if the price stays at 750$ in USA and 750eur in Europe. Anything above that and this will be a failure.

21. domfonusr

Posts: 1087; Member since: Jan 17, 2014

Is there really any doubt that Samsung's Galaxy S10E will not go the same way as Apple's iPhone XR? The XR is a decent phone, and did okay in sales, but the price is still so high that it did not sell as many units as Apple was expecting. Samsung is clearly following in Apple's footsteps with the S10E... same price-point for a similarly competitive offering... I just don't think it can possibly turn out any better for Samsung than it did for Apple.

22. raky_b

Posts: 414; Member since: Jul 02, 2014

"Not high price"!? S9 was overpriced compared to s8, and this one will cost even more!!!

60. Mr.Verizon

Posts: 24; Member since: Feb 12, 2012

If you look at the spec sheet compared to the probable $750 price tag its going to be a pretty fair price point. Most people won't care about a 3rd camera and in display fingerprint sensor or 512gb storage vs 128gb etc.

23. looneyhouston

Posts: 40; Member since: Apr 10, 2014

If it isn't more advanced than the one plus 6T i'll save money and pass.

24. Vogue1985

Posts: 478; Member since: Jan 24, 2017

"Taking a page out of Apple's book"= #FakeNews. Samsung's Always had variety from their first 2009/2010 smartphone and currently 2019+, Samsung has always had a base flagship and 2+ supporting models. S1 (S1 Galaxy , S player, NEXUS S). S2 (infuse, Ace, S2 Skyrocket, Note 1). S3 (Note 2, S3 Mini, S3 Neo, Ativ). S4 (S4 mini, S4 Zoom,S4 Active,Note3). S5 (S5 mini, S5 neo,S5 Active, S5 Sport,Note4). S6 (S6 Edge,S6 Edge+,S6 Active,Note5). S7 (S7 Edge, S7 active, Note 7, Note FE). S8 (S8, S8 Plus, S8 Active, Note 8). S9 (S9,S9 plus, Note 9). Steve Job, "No One is going to buy a big phone", "Hummers", "You can't even get your hand around it" . Samsung "MoreThanBig" Galaxy Note. Writer Sit down

28. Juarizs

Posts: 46; Member since: Jan 22, 2019

Are you okay?

30. Vogue1985

Posts: 478; Member since: Jan 24, 2017

Great thanks

43. Jrod99

Posts: 760; Member since: Jan 15, 2016

“Are you ok?” Buster wolf!

56. Mikele

Posts: 175; Member since: Nov 19, 2013

Probably the writer doesn't know much about Samsung phones interaction history!!

29. JMartin22

Posts: 2372; Member since: Apr 30, 2013

If they were going to have the top and side bezels so “thick”, I don’t know why they didn’t round out the bottom bezel to match it, ala iPhone X. They have the equipment and R&D to do this.

34. GoTstan

Posts: 386; Member since: Jul 25, 2015

Dude, those bezels are not thick by any stretch

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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