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Galaxy S10 – Bright Future or Inauspicious Upcoming Disaster?

It’s about the time to get into the same but still somewhat exhilarating topic once again when we march into the 2nd half of the February every year – The next Galaxy S series smartphone launch event. The Galaxy S10, again, is the most talked about smartphone in the past month since it’s expected to reshape the smartphone landscape in the 1st half of the 2019. This year not only should we probe into the hardware but the strategy Galaxy S10 might hold towards the newest low-end iPhone, iPhone XR, as well.

 

Rumors, Release Date, & A Bit Spec Bump

Of course no one (excepts Samsung itself) has the real thing (Galaxy S10) in hand since it hasn’t been unveiled yet. Samsung is expected to put on a show for its next Galaxy S phone in about two weeks at its Feb. 20 Unpacked event. However, thanks to the powerful sources all over the world, we can probably say that we might already know 90% of the phones in terms of the look and specs.

3 models (source from Evan Blass)


Galaxy S10E, Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10+

 

Whopping Price Increase

It, unsurprisingly, might follow Apple’s footprint to get into the 3 models release and 3 different pricing for different consumer segments; although the fact already proved that Apple was wrong on this front. There isn’t an entry level for LUXURY smartphones. It’s like you are into a luxury house hunts but the market assumes that you are looking for 200 square feet 1 bedroom luxury mansion? It’s just too ridiculously wrong.

Galaxy S10E: £669 / $850

Galaxy S10: £799 / $1,000 (128GB version) ; 
            £999 / $1,250 (512GB version)

Galaxy S10+: £899 / $1,150 (128GB version) ; 
             £1,099 / $1,400 (512GB version) ; 
             £1,399 / $1,750 (1TB version)

There isn’t an entry level for LUXURY smartphones.

 

Hardware

the main market segment Samsung and Apple are both going after is the mainstream non-techy consumers

Seriously? We all know the hardware on the new released smartphone will be bumped for a bit (at least if not a lot); however, this isn’t the focal point anymore. Nowadays, those newly released smartphones are more powerful than our daily used laptop (I am currently still on 4GB RAM Macbook Air)… who really cares about the hardware that much except tech enthusiasts.

That’s right… it sounds contradictory since the main market segment Samsung and Apple are both going after is the mainstream non-techy consumers. Mainstream consumers aren’t gonna get into that detailed hardware spec as long as their phones function well and smoothly. You might argue that people still care about cameras. We do agree with that … to … a certain degree if you do NOT take the whopping huge price increase into account. Really that smartphone tech has been mature enough especially on the camera point of view that it’s hard to ask consumers to pull out $300 ~ $500 more for a slight image enhancement. So … I will just list a few of the nitty-gritty hardware improvements as follows,

Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite/Galaxy S10e 

* 5.8-inch display, flat 

* 6GB of RAM * 128GB of internal storage 

* 2 rear-mounted camera lenses (12-megapixel variable aperture lens; 16-megapixel wide-angle lens with a f/1.9 aperture) / 1 selfie lens 

* Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor (US market) / Samsung Exynos 9820 (rest of the world)
Samsung Galaxy S10 

* 6.1-inch display, curved * 6GB or 8GB of RAM 

* 128GB or 512GB of internal storage 

* 3 rear-mounted camera lenses (12-megapixel variable aperture lens; 16-megapixel wide-angle lens with a f/1.9 aperture; 13-megapixel lens with f/2.4 aperture and 2x telephoto zoom) / 1 selfie lens 

* Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor (US market) / Samsung Exynos 9820 (rest of the world)
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus 

* 6.4-inch display, curved 

* 6GB, 8GB, or 12GB of RAM 

* 128GB, 512GB, or 1TB of internal storage 

* 3 rear-mounted camera lenses (12-megapixel variable aperture lens; 16-megapixel wide-angle lens with a f/1.9 aperture; 13-megapixel lens with f/2.4 aperture and 2x telephoto zoom) / two selfie lens 

* Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor (US market) / Samsung Exynos 9820 (rest of the world)

Note:

Most of the consumers will only care about the display and internal storage … also … a bit about the camera if the image the new device can really produce significant better photos/videos.

Pursuing iPhone XR Failed Pattern?

It looks like whatever Apple does, Samsung would just follow suits no matter what the outcome will turn out to be. It’s obvious that Apple’s iPhone XR strategy tumbled and failed despite its efforts to push consumers into purchasing (they) so called the most affordable future iPhone ever made. First of all, it’s not affordable at all. The pricing of the smartphone jumped absurdly in the past couple of years. It used to be a high-end smartphone for about 500 bucks and everyone was crying out loud for its unusually high price. Nowadays, thanks to Apple, the smartphone price has risen to the laughably level (over 1 grand) and high-end smartphone makers still think that they can push the target price even higher. Well… they are WRONG. Even though consumers are still buying those high-end phones, they are getting more cautious about their hard earned money purchases. Not only the upgrading cycle is getting longer, but also consumers are opening up to other choices (other smartphone brands such as ONE Plus which isn’t as well known among mainstream consumers… again, thanks to the push of the price, mainstream consumers now are well aware of those high quality and affordable price smartphone brands).

Apple’s strategy on iPhone XR not only is laughable but also pathetic.

Apple’s strategy on iPhone XR not only is laughable but also pathetic. It’s in the plain view that they intentionally make a low quality model out of it even though the cost wasn’t really the issue. The screen bezel is stupidly wide compared with all of the new released smartphones out in the market. The 3D touch is being taken out off the scene. Sure, it still has the FaceID (over hyped feature) as well as well marketed ads campaign all over the world. It didn’t pan out to be what Apple thought it would be. Consumers are not stupid. We don’t buy into stuff that don’t make sense especially when we are asked to pull $ out of our pockets.

Consumers are not stupid. We don’t buy into stuff that don’t make sense especially when we are asked to pull $ out of our pockets.

 

Galaxy S10E, an Entry Level Luxury Galaxy S10 Phone?

Entry level LUXURY phone? (what does that even mean???)

What does the message convey to consumers? And what does that (entry level luxury phone?) even mean? If the rumor is true, it’s gonna be the ill-fated Galaxy S phone launch ever. Why? The pricing alone will probably kill the S10 (sales-wise sort of speaking). Just take a look at the iPhone XR situation. Consumers who want to have a better iPhone experience chose iPhone XS or XS Max (although the XS lines are a disappointment too but it’s another different story to tell) instead of iPhone XR. People who want to have an iPhone but don’t wanna pay that much landed on iPhone 8 or 8 plus territory without a second look at the iPhone XR. Why? In terms of the aesthetics, the iPhone XR totally failed on this front. It’s clunky and feel it’s not polished despite it’s above 700 bucks price tag (that’s right. It’s still that expensive. It’s the price tag which we used to be able to grab the top tier smartphone). The performance is subpar to its siblings (somehow) or even it’s elder family member, iPhone X. It really failed on every part of the equation. Hence, if Samsung just simply follow the suite, just wait and see how miserably Samsung will need to go out and clean the mess. Think about it… even the almighty Apple failed on this (stupid) attempt, Samsung will probably not going to be able to pull off this trick.

iPhone XR – It’s clunky and feel it’s not polished despite it’s above 700 bucks price tag

 

Entry level LUXURY phone trick

Almighty Apple failed. Will Samsung pull this off?

Another reason that it’s a failure waiting to happen for the S10e model is because Samsung already has other product line representing middle and low end smartphone market. They really shouldn’t put their high end launch into this absurd bid. For them, “focus” is going to be the key to bring them on the top of the smartphone market again.

 

Pushing the Price to a Ludicrous Level (marching towards $2,000 USD)

“A $2,000 USD smartphone for the mainstream consumer market?”This is way beyond insane. We all know consumers love their smartphones. They live and breath with their smartphones. However, they still know that it’s a free market and there are better alternatives all around even if the bright marketing campaigns might blind us for a while.

We once saw a comparison on the iPhone XS Max and Macbook 2018 model. It says that the price of iPhone XS Max is well placed over $1,000 USD territory. Seriously? You can not compare a smartphone with a computer since the main function of a smartphone is a “phone plus entertaining” device. If you do so, you can also compare a $20,000 USD bike with a $18,000 USD sedan although the main purpose of them are different.

If Galaxy S10 $2K priced model is really that superior enough, it might gain some tractions; however, it’s more likely not going to be that much a significant improvement from its previous model or even its alternatives/competitors out in the market already. So, if consumers can spend $1,500 USD less to purchase a “OnePlus 6t” which is a very decent and high quality smartphone and still have tons of $, $1,500 USD, to spend on something else, what do you think they would choose? To us it’s a non-brainer that we would definitely choose to save $1,500 USD and enjoy those savings on anything else we would like to do/purchase (maybe jump into buying a 75 inches 4K TV).

our opinion ... the performance improvement on S10 isn't going to be that superb compared with OnePlus 6 models. Also, the image, sound quality, and screen resolution ... etc aren't going to the factors since OnePlus 6t already is in the high-end quality smartphone turf

 

What’s REALLY the “Next Big Thing”?

Next Big Thing?

Have its own garden to cultivate and grow instead of being copycat every single step away

Sure, if you are small and needing to survive, copycat is a great way to go (lots of examples… such as Xiaomi in its inception stage)  … However, when you are already a big name out there, you should have your own path and along side of the path that you should have your own garden to cultivate and grow. Samsung did that once on the “Note” brand but ever since then there has been an empty shell underneath its glamorous OLED screen. They really should re-think their strategy instead of blindingly following the high pricing strategy which Apple had successfully pushed until the very recently iPhone XS and XR launch.

Note:

We need to give the credit when the credit is due. Samsung didn’t follow the crowds when almost every single one of the smartphone manufacturers adds “notch” on their smartphones’ screens. It might turn out to be the winning differentiator in the end of the smartphone race then.

 

Takeaways

Smartphone market is into a mature stage. There will be fewer and fewer innovation on this front. We do understand that pricing (push it north) is one of many ways to increase revenues (if it is being done right and within its range); however, it won’t happen in the smartphone market. The pricing already reached the highest level. It’s not gonna do phone makers any good if they keep pushing it. Everything has its limit… try to sell a $100 big Mac and see how many consumers you will be able to reach. No matter how much high-end (pricy) ingredients you put in it, it’s a burger and it has its own price rangeeven if it’s the end of the world, the number of the consumers you will be able to sell a 100 bucks big Mac is going to be very very small.

When the purpose of a product is to reach mainstream consumer market, keep pushing the price to the north will just kill it instead of flourishing it