It seems all those rumors that Galaxy S4 sales are slowing down are true after all. Apparently, the sales have slowed down so much that it will force Samsung to reduce its smartphone component inventory for the first time ever. New report says Samsung plans to sell only 6.5 million Galaxy S4 units in July, which is half the number they sold in May. Also future monthly projects have been slashed by 10-15%, which means the Galaxy S4 is selling less well than Samsung expected it to sell.
I don’t think Samsung realized the impact of having to sell another phone that looks almost identical to the Galaxy S3. They thought the same strategy that sort of worked for Apple, will work for them, too. To be honest, I’m glad they are wrong. I don’t think companies should get away with not innovating, simply because they have a powerful brand behind them, and they want to ride that for as long as possible. I think they should be competing as hard as they can for the customers’ attention, with each new generation.
It’s not right that companies like HTC have to prove their worth every year with a new design and better materials, while Samsung can get away with releasing what looks like the same phone as last year. Surely even current Samsung device owners can see how that’s not so good for them, and they should want Samsung to innovate every year on the hardware front, too.
I’ve complained about this before, and I think it’s still relevant today (unfortunately), but I think being able to customize Android’s interface to such a degree has taken the OEM’s focus from having to compete as hard on the hardware front, where they’re supposed to excel. They are phone manufacturers, and as such they should be trying to make the best possible phone they can make, and leave the software mostly to Google, the company that actually owns Android.
Samsung seems to be the worst offender in this regard, because with Galaxy S4 they focused almost completely on the software, and added a ton of stuff that people may not even want or need. Sure, they’ve also improved the specs, but that’s a prerequisite to compete anyway. But they didn’t do so much in terms of innovating on the hardware front.
When companies do that, it’s good that their sales fall, no matter who they are, because it means the consumers are voting with their wallets, which is what they are supposed to do, instead of having blind loyalty to a company, even when they make mistakes. Hopefully, Samsung will learn their lesson, and they’ll show us a Galaxy S5 that will be truly innovative from the hardware point of view.