Samsung is looking to bring consolidate its smartphones under a total of four series brands and reduce the cost of some of those by using LCD display panels, South Korea’s ETNews reports. Citing at least one mobile operator and other industry insiders, the source says that the associated changes will be most noteworthy in Samsung’s budget-end and mid-range offerings, currently classified with ‘J’, ‘C’, Galaxy ‘ON’, ‘M’, and ‘A’ model designations. Following the rebranding, expected to take place at some point in 2019, only the ‘M’ and ‘A’ series handsets will remain. The Galaxy M family of devices is said to include top-level models under the ‘M50’ designation that will feature OLED panels more typically used by the company. However, Samsung Galaxy M30 and Galaxy M40 are set to be built around LCD screen technology to keep pricing down.
For the traditionally more premium Samsung Galaxy A lineup, Samsung hopes to start pricing at a lower cost that starts below $265.22 using a similar strategy. The Samsung Galaxy A30, A40, A70, and A80 will feature either OLED or LCD panels and will be available in Korea, North America, and Europe market. Galaxy A50 and A60 models will only feature LCD displays will be the only devices in the lineup brought to India and Southeast Asia, in addition to those other regions. Similarly, industry insiders say that Samsung will keep premiering novel new features, such as the quad cameras found on the recently launched Samsung Galaxy A9 series, within the upper reaches of the Galaxy A family of devices. In fact, tech giant reportedly has plans to include those types of features across the entire family of devices in its ‘A’ category starting next year.
Background: This is not at all the first time Samsung has been reported to be considering a complete rebranding of its lineup. Prior to the launch of the above-mentioned Samsung Galaxy A9, CEO DJ Koh indicated that the company was putting significant effort into revitalizing the mid-range to the budget-friendly portion of the company’s offerings. Moreover, the executive also hinted at a need to bring more premium features to bolster those device families’ overall market performance. Simultaneously, the reasoning offered by the new reports, with regard to Samsung’s decision to rein in its vast list of current smartphones under simplified branding reportedly stems from difficulties the company in those smartphones’ respective sectors. More succinctly, that’s linked to the fact that it is having trouble in keeping its sales for budget handsets moving along an upward trend compared to the company’s rapidly rising competition. That hasn’t been verified by the OEM in so many words but does align well with the direction of the market itself, according to analyst reports.
Another likely culprit, meanwhile, is the introduction of the manufacturer’s new, tentatively titled, Samsung Galaxy F series. No handsets have been released under that series, as of this writing, but it will be comprised of devices that are arguably more premium than the Galaxy S and Galaxy Note series, according to the source. Moreover, it will be in a completely different category regardless since that’s the family of smartphones that Samsung’s new folding tablet/phone hybrid devices will be placed under. With the previous naming conventions and smartphones in place, that would have brought the number of device families to seven or eight, depending on whether the ‘Note’ phablets are placed in their own category. Under this newly reported convention, that number will be reduced to just four or five, with fewer handsets in each category.
Impact: As already alluded to, the biggest advantage to this new strategy would be that it puts an end to the ever-increasing number of Samsung smartphone models currently available. Beyond that, however, it also provides a clearer set of dividing lines between the device families. The new designations and their subsequent numbered order will clearly show an order of hierarchy for budget-focused smartphones in the Galaxy M family while Galaxy A mobile devices will follow a similar pattern but above the quality of the former series. Galaxy S and Note smartphones will likely continue to represent two branches of the same flagship family meant for different audiences, on the other hand. Lastly, the Galaxy F series would represent the most novel concept the company has yet to put forward and a device that’s at the top of its game as both a tablet and a smartphone. Whether any of that bears out remains to be seen but it would be a much more straightforward approach than the one Samsung currently takes.