Samsung is deliberating over the possibility of refurbishing the Galaxy S8 lineup and relaunching it as a series of Android mid-rangers with more affordable price tags, the company's mobile chief DJ Koh suggested earlier this week on the sidelines of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. The company took to the latest iteration of the mobile industry's largest annual trade show to announce its latest high-end offerings in the form of the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus, adding that it expects them to outsell the Galaxy S8 series, yet latest studies suggest global smartphone sales and shipments have been on a decline for the first time ever over the fourth quarter of the year. While industry watchers are still reluctant to predict whether that trend will continue going forward, Samsung is aware of it and is considering relaunching some of its older flagships in order to cater to consumers unwilling to pay for the latest and greatest hardware the phone makers have to offer, Mr. Koh indicated.
A number of industry trackers are suggesting the second-hand smartphone market in the United States is presently growing at an unprecedented pace, with that trend coinciding with the wireless segment's decision to transition away from two-year contracts and subsidies. Whereas consumers in the U.S. were previously upgrading their devices on a biannual basis, they're now much more reluctant to do so and are resorting to holding on to their existing handsets for longer or are buying them used and refurbished, some analyses suggest. Should consumer behavior continue pursuing that same conservative course, Samsung is likely to attempt injecting itself between resellers and price-conscious buyers in an effort to offer them some of its older but unused flagships at more affordable prices.
As the competition in the ultra-premium segment of the smartphone market continuously increased since the 2007 launch of the original iPhone, major original equipment manufacturers found themselves hard-pressed to repeat some of their past successes. To date, the Galaxy S4 is Samsung's best-selling flagship series which achieved approximately 80 million global sales after launching in the spring of 2013, whereas the Galaxy S8 lineup is estimated to have sold around 37 million units over the last 11 months of its commercial availability.