Earlier in the week I talked about how a flagship device from a manufacturer should be all about the technology, and not about launching on a specific carrier’s network. The majority of manufacturers seem perfectly complacent in bringing their high-end devices to one specific carrier versus another, while launching other high-end devices for those other networks at some point. It may restrict some people from getting the handset they really want, but it does ensure that there’s always a constant flow of new, better phones. However, Samsung seems to be able to release new phones at a pretty good clip, while still bearing some of the best high-end devices out there. Their latest flagship device, the Samsung Galaxy S II has been making its rounds across Europe for a little while now, and it’s finally coming to the States.
The upcoming release of the Galaxy S II here in the States falls right in line with what I was saying in that previous article. I mentioned that Samsung has the right idea with launching their flagship devices in such a manner. The original Galaxy S device line-up went to every major carrier, and it’s even available on some rural carriers here in the States. While all of the phones are the same in name and overall statistics, Samsung made some specific changes for each carrier. One device had a full, landscape slide-out physical keyboard (Sprint’s Epic 4G), while the others looked slightly different in their physical form factor. There were other changes made between each model, but the biggest change was the Epic 4G’s addition of a physical keyboard.
With Samsung set to launch the latest and greatest Galaxy S device, it has me wondering if Samsung should even make big changes to the handsets this time around. Making them look different, with four separate cases for the wireless carriers makes sense and I personally think that’s a great idea. However, making changes to the handsets should stop there. Samsung should focus on the hardware and software, and let the carriers attract customers based on their plans and pricing, not a specific handset. At least, not in this specific case.
For Samsung, releasing the Galaxy S II here in the States (finally) should be about the phone. If the manufacturer were to make the same phone, but change up the physical form factor a bit, for all carriers, then that’s exactly what it would be about. Just the phone. But, if Samsung goes the route of making some considerable changes to the handsets again, then that shows me (and many customers) that one carrier is getting favored over the others. Yes, I do believe choice is great, but in the case of a flagship phone I think it should be available to all the subscribers who want it, no matter what carrier they’re on.
Of course, the rural carriers are a bit hard to throw in there, simply due to their lack of size and subscriber count. But when it comes to the major carriers, there shouldn’t be much of a chance to the handsets, I don’t believe. If the Samsung Galaxy S II were to launch here in the States exactly as it is over in Europe right now, and it launched for every major wireless carrier, the sales would be huge for Samsung and the carriers as well. I do believe Samsung should make the phones look different, though, as that’s one way to differentiate between devices between carriers.
Do you think Samsung should implement large changes between each Galaxy S II model they release in the States? Or should the company just focus on making slight aesthetic alterations, and put the customer’s focus on the phone itself? Let me know what you think in the comments below.