Let me invoke the MacKenzie Law of Headlines on Computerworld. If a headline ends in a question mark, then the answer is ‘no.’ It’s just that simple of a rule and it works most of the time.
Here’s what James Henderson wrote.
With the S6 and S6 Edge, Samsung is directly attempting to win back iPhone 6 and 6 Plus users – and looks likely to succeed.
First, the statement itself is ludicrous and assumes that Samsung’s disappointing Galaxy S5 sales were the result of Apple’s success with iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. Galaxy S5 sales were hurting long before Apple introduced the iPhone 6 line.
Second, the premise is false because it’s unlikely that iPhone 6 and 6 Plus customers are going to dump their new iPhones and rush over to a new Samsung model that more closely mimics Apple’s iPhone line than ever before.
Finally, Henderson does not seem to understand that differentiation is key to a product’s success and the new Galaxy S6 is anything but different than an iPhone 6. The Galaxy S6 is more like an iPhone than any previous Samsung smartphone.
Samsung took out the microSD card, took out the removable battery, took out a bunch of crapware apps of nominal value, added a fingerprint ID sensor much like iPhone, smoothed the rounded edges, and in a failed attempt to flatter Apple’s designers and woo customers away from iPhone or back to Galaxy, made the S6 look much like an iPhone with a Samsung logo on top.
Here’s the problem and why neither iPhone 6 customers nor other Android smartphone customers will flock to the Galaxy S6 line the way customers have lapped up Apple’s iPhone 6 line. Samsung hasn’t figured out the basics of product marketing and branding.
The Galaxy line still runs Android OS, just exactly like the cheapest plastic smartphone knockoffs. Why spend $600 for an expensive Samsung when Brand X costs $100 and runs much the same software. Also, Apple is known as a premium brand and never dilutes that brand by selling inexpensive products to compete against the low end of the product spectrum.
It’s much like what happened to Volkswagen’s expensive Phaeton, a luxury model which VW dubbed their ‘premium class‘ vehicle (a friend who works with my father bought one; he loved it but wouldn’t buy another. Why not? It’s a Volkswagen). The Phaeton didn’t sell too well because people don’t want to spend the same money on a Volkswagen as a Mercedes.
If Samsung wants to be a player in the premium space and compete against Apple’s iPhone line, then it needs to build a better phone than Apple builds, and sell it at the same price, or build exactly the same level of quality and capability into the phone and sell it for much less.
By summer you’ll be able to buy two Samsung Galaxy S6 phones for the price of one. Sure. That’s success.