How many times have you heard someone say, "Well, it's Verizon, they can do whatever they want?" I heard it the last time I was in a carrier store (that wasn't Verizon), and the general consensus from those around the person who said it was that of agreement. It seems like such a strange statement, and it should be silly, considering "do whatever they want" is a pretty broad statement. A blank check, if you will. But, I guess I can understand the sentiment.
There's a point where some companies reach a certain level within their specific market, and people just expect them to do whatever they want. To that end, the consumer is basically meant to just accept it, and move on. Everyone knows that not everything is meant for them, so if you don't like what a company is doing, or has done, you'll just support another one. Meanwhile, there are plenty of people who *do* like that company, or who just don't care, and will continue to throw money at them.
Just the way of the world, right? If we were really to get into a conversation about companies doing what they want, it wouldn't be that hard to list off a few companies that fit this mentality: Apple and Microsoft, for instance. Both companies have their plans, and they stick to them, no matter what's going on around them. It's why so many people yell out, "They're behind the times!" when we're talking about their phones, or even their mobile platforms. But, it's working. It takes time, sure, but eventually it works for the companies that are willing to stick it out. As long as what they're doing is beneficial.
Has Samsung reached that point?
I haven't been shy about my anticipation for Samsung's year in 2014. I think they're going to do some great things this year, and a lot of that has to come down to changes with their phones, mobile software, and other little things. Mostly, though, I want to see a new design aesthetic for their smartphones (and tablets), and I want to see some major change brought to TouchWiz. While I've wished for that for a long time now, I think 2014 is (finally) going to be the year we see those changes manifest in the real world.
The thing is, with leaks that are starting to churn out of the Rumor Mill, I'm beginning to wonder if I should temper my enthusiasm and expectations.
Earlier today, our own Alex Wagner reported that Samsung's upcoming Galaxy S 4 successor, known right now as the Galaxy S 5 (shocker!), would see some nice spec bumps where they matter. Specifically, we'll see a display with a resolution of 2560x1440, up from the 1080p HD panel on the Galaxy S 4. It'll also be reportedly getting a size increase, up to 5.25-inches. On the back of the unconfirmed handset, we've got a 16-megapixel camera, and it'll be running Android 4.4 KitKat right out of the box if the rumors hold true. Under the hood, it'll either be running a Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor, or Samsung's Exynos 6 chipset.
That's the good news. The news I'm going to go ahead and label as "bad," is that there are rumors pointing to two different Galaxy S 5 models. One of which will be a plastic design, like we've grown to love (or hate) from the company over the years; while the other will be a metal design, something that we've heard rumored for almost all of 2013.
For the record, this isn't the first time this type of rumor has surfaced. We heard multiple times that Samsung would be using that same strategy for the Galaxy Note 3, but it didn't pan out. So, there's a real chance that this rumor follows the same fate. However, I just want to say one thing, just in case this rumor does come to fruition.
There's no way I'm paying more for a metal Galaxy S 5. Not unless there's a ridiculously good reason to do so.
I already expect TouchWiz is going to get improved, but I doubt Samsung would segregate those changes to just the metal version, so those changes will be in the plastic device, too. More to the point, it sounds like the devices will be exactly the same, with the metal design or plastic design the only things setting them apart. So, why would I pay *more* for that? Especially when there are other manufacturers, like Apple and HTC, that aren't charging more for their device's choice of construction materials.
Right now, you can pick up a 64GB Apple iPhone 5s for $849.00 without a contract. A 32GB HTC One (from their website), unlocked, will run you $599. These are reference points. According to these latest rumors, the metal Galaxy S 5 would cost up to $1,092! That's downright laughable.
I won't pay more for a Galaxy S 5 just because it's metal, and I won't ever pay that much for a phone unlocked, even if there are monthly installment plans in place to get it. And, honestly, it just doesn't make any sense for Samsung to do that.
I don't think it's going to happen. If Samsung is seriously considering creating variants for the Galaxy S 5 (and let's face it, they are), then I would expect the Galaxy S 5 to be metal, and the Galaxy S5 Mini to be plastic. I would imagine that the Galaxy S 5, with its flagship status, would continue that trend with metal materials for its design, and that variants, whether with a lower resolution display, slower processor, less memory, or whatever else would boast the plastic design instead.
That's just my two cents though. What do you think the chances are that Samsung will release two variants of the Galaxy S 5 proper, one with a metal construction for a steep price increase, and another with the familiar plastic design? Would you pay more than a thousand bucks for a phone, just because of its physical design? Let me know!