Samsung’s Galaxy S4 launch highlights a phone industry problem.
After five years of stellar growth and stunning hardware improvements, phone makers are running out of headroom for innovation.
Samsung’s Galaxy SIII is the world’s top-selling smartphone for a good reason. It offers the mix of features customers want in the right package. The Galaxy S4 updates a winning formula. There were no serious shortcomings to fix.
Which means the Galaxy S4 is an incremental upgrade. It looks a lot like the Galaxy SIII all the improvements are not immediately obvious. There’s a slightly bigger screen, more camera pixels and a faster processor.
All good stuff, but possibly not enough for existing SIII owners to feel a need to switch immediately to the new model.
The headline features outlined at today’s global launch function are powerful software applications – mainly adding functionality that could previously be purchased from app store vendors.
That’s a sensible move. Today’s best smartphones have similar hardware specifications, Samsung’s software gives the company an important point of difference.
However, if experience is anything to go by, much of the extra software packed in the S4 won’t get used by mainstream owners.