Analysts disagree on how Samsung’s new smartphone will affect its competitors
Analysts have welcomed the highly “innovative” nature of the Samsung galaxy S 4, although some say it may not be enough to see off competition from Apple in future.
Ovum chief telecom analyst Jan Dawson said Samsung has innovated rapidly over the last seven years, but that it needs to continue improving its devices or risk being overtaken by competitors.
Dawson said Samsung faces the same challenge as Apple in trying to invent new features for phones that are already “top of their class”.
He said that although the Samsung Galaxy S 4 has lots of new features, most of them will go unnoticed by users.
“Samsung appears to be trying to kill the competition with sheer volume of new features – there should be something here for everyone, even if most of these new features won’t be used by most users.
“Overall, there are lots of features, but based on past experience most people will never even find them on the device,” Dawson said.
He said Samsung can instead rely on its “vastly superior” marketing budget to keep ahead of the competition.
CCS insight director of devices and software platforms, Geoff Blaber, also said Samsung’s “enormous marketing campaign” will be key to it being able to compete with Apple.
Blaber said: “Samsung’s competitors will be less concerned by the product itself but more by the looming promotional onslaught.
“The Galaxy S 4 is not a revolutionary product but nor does Samsung need it to be. It’s a competitive device supported by an unrivalled marketing campaign that will deeply worry the competition.
“BlackBerry, HTC, Sony and others can’t compete with Samsung on marketing spend so must be innovative to avoid being eclipsed by the Galaxy S 4 marketing juggernaut.”
Analyst firm IDC’s European Mobile Devices team however said the device itself can be a “game changer” for Samsung.
Research director Francisco Jeronimo said: “I believe for the first time this device has the potential to outsell the next generation of iPhone, assuming that Apple will incrementally improve the next version of the iPhone.
“By launching the Galaxy S4 by the end of April, as opposed to June or July, Samsung will take advantage of an almost exclusive sales period of several months where high-end competition is minimal. This will put pressure on Apple to further innovate the launch of the next iPhone.
“I believe this will make competition at the high-end of the market extremely difficult for competitors possibly forcing them to focus on low margin opportunity.”