By Jennifer LeClaire / CIO Today. Updated June 30, 2014.
Once again Samsung is expanding its Galaxy line. The electronics giant just took the lid off four new models: the Galaxy Core II, Galaxy Ace 4, Galaxy Young 2, and the Galaxy Star 2.
What sets these smartphones apart in the marketplace? In a word, affordability. Although Samsung has not yet disclosed pricing and availability, the company did promise “an exceptional smartphone experience at an affordable price” in its announcement.
The four new Galaxy devices share a common denominator. All of them tote Samsung’s TouchWiz Essence interface and the latest Android 4.4 operating system, or KitKat. Although these are not the first budget-oriented phones in the Galaxy line, Samsung’s continued affordability push hints at the opportunity for global profits with the brand.
The Galaxy Core II
Samsung is aiming the Galaxy Core II at users who want style, portability and power. The design includes a refined leather-like back cover. The device sports a 4.5-inch display and a 2,000mAh battery that offers plenty of juice to get you through the day.
The Galaxy Core II has a 5-megapixel camera with LED flash. The device also features Dual SIM technology, which means it holds two SIM cards so users can separate their work data from personal data. Inside there’s a 1.2GHz quad-core processor.
For its part, The Galaxy Ace 4 offers a compact form factor with a 1.0 GHz dual-core processor and a 1500mAh battery against a 4-inch display.
The Galaxy Young 2 targets consumers who just want the essential features and a user-friendly platform. A 1.0 GHz single-core processor powers the device, which carries a 1300mAh battery, a 3-megapixel camera and an 3.5-inch HVGA display.
Meanwhile, the Galaxy Star 2 is small enough to use with one hand with its 3.5-inch display. The device carries a 1.0GHz single-core processor, a 2-megapixal camera and a 1,300mAh battery.
Affordable Doesn’t Always Succeed
We caught up with Roger Entner, principal analyst at Recon Analytics, to get his take on the new affordable Galaxy line up. He told us it’s a smart move because not every consumer can afford the flagship device.
“On a global scale, if you want to grow, you have to bring out devices at a more affordable price point,” he said. “And if you look here in the U.S., those are the devices that go into prepaid.”
Why, then, did Apple largely fail with its iPhone 5c? Because, Entner said, the affordable device was not really an affordable device -- it was just the least expensive expensive device. Entner compared the iPhone 5c to an entry-level Rolls Royce.
“It was $100 on a subsidized basis, but Apple traditionally came out with the $100 price point on last year’s device. It was still a good device but it didn’t scream that you couldn’t afford a new one,” Entner said.
“Nobody knew if you got that phone a year ago for $200 or now for $100. With the 5c everybody knew you wanted a 5s but you couldn’t afford it. It was unaplogetically plastic and it unapologetically failed. If Apple would have come out with that phone subsidized for $50 or free, it may have been a different story. But at $100 it didn’t work,” he added.