Samsung's providing the options many customers wantEvan Selleck - Contributing Editor
Some smartphone manufacturers like options. Some of them like options a lot more than others. We've seen over the years how one company can release a plethora of phones, to the point where one has to wonder just how many niches or specific markets they're trying to fill. Of course, the easy answer is: as many as they can. But there's a point where releasing too many phones is a bad thing, just as some companies have learned while looking through the floodgates.
The truth is, the more phones, especially the ones that call out to a potential buyer's wallet through features and availability and price, the better. Or at least that's the idea. Despite how much work a company may put into their flagship device, they know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it's not going to be for everyone. While they'd like it to be, some phones just won't be what a customer is looking for, for any number of reasons.
The display is too big. They don't like what the phone is made out of. It isn't comfortable to hold. The camera isn't good enough. The price tag is too high. Again, the list of reasons why someone may not want a phone is endless.
And that's where options come in. That's why even having different colors for your phone can be important, and why (some) companies seem to be having a love affair with offering more colors. The options are important because these companies need to get into as many pockets as possible. And the only way to do that is to try and figure out what people want, and then to capitalize on that. Eventually.
That's the key right there. All of these options happen eventually in most cases. For example, Samsung. Now, let's be clear: Samsung isn't the company to do this. They aren't evil for doing it, either, even though it's quite easy to paint them in a bad light for offering up options in such a way. But the truth is, staggered launches aren't new, and they aren't going anywhere anytime soon.
Samsung announced and released the Galaxy S 4 not too long ago. In fact, despite the fact that it has been just over two months since Samsung announced the handset, many would still consider it new. Some might even say that it "just came out." And I'd agree with that. But that's not stopping Samsung from working on different versions of the device. Versions that, based on the feedback I've seen online, that some people are actually looking forward to. Versions that are more water resistant, for example. Or smaller. Or basically the old phone, but with different color schemes.
Options. As we just covered, Samsung knows that the Galaxy S 4 is not for everyone. No matter how much love and attention went into it, it's just not going to be the phone for everyone. Maybe someone wants a Galaxy S 4, but only if it had a smaller screen. Or maybe they just don't want a Galaxy S 4 with a white or black shell? Or, just maybe, they want a more ruggedized version of the device, even if it means they'd have to sacrifice a few features here and there.
All of these scenarios are supposedly what Samsung is currently working on, and what the company may show off at their newly announced "Premiere 2013" event in June. Nothing is official quite yet, obviously, but the rumor mill is spinning pretty hard in suggesting that these new devices are indeed coming down the pipe.
The truth is, there are some people out there who may have purchased a Galaxy S 4 as soon as they could, not thinking that a smaller version would come out. (And no, that doesn't mean they could just buy a Galaxy S III. It isn't the same thing.) So if Samsung does indeed announced the Galaxy S 4 Mini, I could see where the frustration might come from. The same could go for a more rugged version of the handset, or even different colors.
But, I'm hoping that most people would not purchase something that they really didn't want. And I think that's where Samsung, and every other company out there that does the same thing, is coming from. They know that the Galaxy S 4 isn't going to be for everyone, so they're hoping that those people won't just buy it to buy it. Maybe, just maybe, they waited to spend their money on a phone they want. So, three months after the original Galaxy S 4 is announced, the company unveils new versions of the handset, with slightly tweaked features, that have the potential to be exactly what some people out there were waiting for.
I don't think Samsung is being evil by holding out new Galaxy S 4 designs, and releasing them at a later date. Sure, it makes for a lot of different Galaxy S 4 models out there, but if you're trying to find the right phone for potentially each smartphone buying person out there, your only option is to release a lot of different Galaxy S 4 models.
Sure, I'll admit that I wish, sort of, that Samsung (and all the other companies out there that do this) would announce all the different Galaxy S 4 variants at the same time. Would it have been cool to see the Galaxy S 4 alongside the Galaxy S 4 mini, Active, and whatever else is coming at that first event? Yes. Even if Samsung said that the two other Galaxy S 4 variants wouldn't be launching until three months later, I still think that would be the perfect scenario in a perfect world.
But, we know how that goes. So instead we're getting an entirely new event, where it's anyone's guess how many different devices Samsung could announce. But one thing is for sure: At least one of those new devices will be the perfect option for at least a few people out there, which means Samsung (eventually) did something right.
So which of the rumored new Galaxy S 4 variants are you most excited about? Did you already buy a Galaxy S 4, and now find yourself wishing you hadn't due to the rumored impending announcements? Or did you hold off on purchasing one for this very reason? Let me know where you stand.