When Samsung introduced the first Galaxy S phone, it wanted to show the world that it could compete with AppleAAPL
. Now, in an effort to outperform the Cupertino, California-based tech giant, Samsung is slowly turning into a firm that resembles its competitor.
Trip Chowdhry, the Managing Director of Equity Research at Global Equities Research, interviewed somewhere around 50 people who attended the Galaxy S IV launch last night. His converged view is as follows:
- "Samsung Galaxy S IV – Overhyped and Under Delivered."
- "Just an okay offering -- a mix of Samsung Galaxy Note II and Samsung S III."
- "Not innovative – Samsung is confused… What is an application and what is an operating system. [We are] expecting a mediocre customer acceptance."
Chowdhry also took issue with the screen size. "Some liked the big screen size. [It] makes browsing easy, and a lot can get accomplished," he said in an e-mail to investors. "Some preferred [the] somewhat narrower screen size. Smartphone[s] should be one hand device[s]. Galaxy S IV is too wide to be used by one hand. It's a two-hand device." Chowdhry said that if two hands are needed, the converged view is that people will simply use a tablet. "Some said they would prefer a much smaller device, [the] size of [a] credit card, as they already have a tablet," he added. "Initial indications are that that the addressable market for Galaxy S4 is probably one-third of [the] total smartphone market, as large screens are probably not universally appealing to customers anymore." Google'sGOOG
services also pose a threat. "[The] ability to have multiple video chats on Samsung's Galaxy S IV is a nice feature, but almost everyone was quick to point out that if that is the interest of the user, then Google Hangouts looks like a better option," Chowdhry warned. "Almost everyone liked the Galaxy S IV's ability to shoot 100 shots in four seconds, but almost everyone was quick to point out that this scenario makes no sense on a smartphone. [It] may make more sense on a dedicated camera." Chowdhry also broke down the Galaxy S IV's success rate based on the devices that people currently own.
- "If someone came from Blackberry BBRY, they loved [the] Samsung Galaxy S IV."
- "If someone is using [the] Galaxy S III, they see S IV [as] just a minor improvement."
- "If someone is using [the] Galaxy Note II, they like S IV, but will not upgrade as they had recently purchased [the] Note II."
- "If someone is using [the] iPhone, they see no wow factor in the S IV."
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