Samsung had introduced its latest flagship smartphones recently, the Galaxy S10e, S10, S10+, and S10 5G. Samsung’s Galaxy S series of smartphones have always been quite popular, and they’re arguably the most important Android flagships out there (for the operating system), but sales of the Galaxy S9 were not as good as Samsung had hoped. The company never released proper sales number for the Galaxy S9 series, but in its Q2 2018 earnings report, it described the Galaxy S9 sales as “slow”. Analysts, on the other hand, said that the Galaxy S9 may end up being the worst-selling Galaxy S device since the Galaxy S3.
Now, the Galaxy S9 sales numbers are probably extremely high, but in Samsung’s book, they apparently were not good enough. There are a number of reasons why, but the fact that the Galaxy S9 series is extremely similar to the Galaxy S8 series in terms of the design could have something to do with it, even the Galaxy S9 specifications were not a huge boost compared to the Galaxy S8. On the other hand, Chinese smartphone manufacturers have been on the rise for years now, and have had a great year (2018) in terms of sales, so that probably affected Samsung’s sales to a degree as well.
Samsung realistically has only one way to change the tide, and prevent Chinese OEMs to continue climbing the charts, it can release a compelling product(s) in order to convince consumers to keep buying its phones or switch to its products, and I do believe the Galaxy S10 series will be successful for the company. The Galaxy S10 series may not represent a complete step away from the company’s design in the last couple of years, but it does offer thinner bezels, and it looks different to the Galaxy S9 series. The display hole, or in the Galaxy S10+ and S10 5G’s case, holes, may represent a downgrade for some, but Samsung opted to make that change in order to trim the top bezel. That’s not all, though, this time around the company has four horses to race with, including the Galaxy S10e unit, which seems like an ideal alternative to the iPhone XR, and a great phone for those of you who want to get a Galaxy S10, but not break the bank by doing so. Those people who want to spend more on the Galaxy S10 and S10+ can do so, including the top-of-the-line Ceramic Galaxy S10+. It’s also worth singling out the Galaxy S10 5G, which will attract consumers later this year and possibly next year, once carriers start pushing out 5G connectivity.
So, the company now has four flagship smartphones to sell, and it covers more of the market than it did with the Galaxy S9 series. The Galaxy S10e may not sport all the feature the Galaxy S10, S10+, and S10 5G do, like an in-display fingerprint scanner, curved display, or three cameras, but it is fueled by the same processor the other three phones are, it comes with plenty of storage, and it has two of the most important cameras on the back. The Galaxy S10e is also a bit smaller than the Galaxy S10, and considerably smaller than the Galaxy S10+, so that may suit some people as well. The point is, Samsung now appeals to a wider range of people than it did with the Galaxy S9 series.
The Galaxy S10 is not only different enough compared to the Galaxy S9 in terms of the design, it’s also a considerable upgrade in other ways as well, but same also goes for the Galaxy S8, of course. People who have held onto their Galaxy S8 units because the Galaxy S9 looked too similar, or included the same amount of RAM, will probably find the Galaxy S10 to be a more than a decent upgrade. Three out of four Galaxy S10 units start at 6GB of RAM (all except the S10 5G), while the Galaxy S10+ goes all the way up to 12GB of RAM, so that is kind of a selling point for some people, as RAM was singled out as one of the main culprits to Galaxy S9 issues, such as keeping apps in memory for a longer period of time. More RAM gives Samsung more resources to work with, and in combination with the company’s brand new Android overlay, well… the series may prove to be a success.
Speaking of the overlay, there is yet another main selling point for the company, One UI. One UI seems to be the best iteration of Samsung’s software thus far. It actually seems like Samsung paid attention to what consumers want, and put some serious thought into designing One UI. One UI is still plenty colorful, but it seems to be more mature than Samsung Experience UI, even in beta builds it offered really good performance on the Galaxy S9 and Note9. In addition to that, the company’s new philosophy of offering a better one-hand-usage experience with One UI may also prove to be useful to some people. Navigating phones with one hand can be a real nightmare these days, as not only are phones huge (and quite tall), but they’re also quite slippery. One UI kind of helps with that, at least when it comes to Samsung’s launcher and home-baked applications. It remains to be seen how will consumers react to One UI, but I can see some benefits here, especially compared to Samsung Experience UI.
Ah, yes, the in-display fingerprint scanner. Some people may argue that having a capacitive fingerprint scanner on the back of the phone is a better option to having an in-display unit, and I’m one of them, but it seems like Samsung did a good job with the in-display unit. Unlike most in-display fingerprint scanners out there, the Galaxy S10 series has an ultrasonic fingerprint scanner (most others are optical), and based on initial impressions, it’s superior to pretty much anything optical we’ve seen. I would still argue that regular, capacitive fingerprint scanners are a better option, as they are more practical to use and still more accurate, but Samsung did make a step in the right direction compared to many other OEMs here. Samsung will, without a doubt, use marketing in order to emphasize its in-display fingerprint scanner as one of the Galaxy S10's main selling points, which is yet another reason why I do believe that consumers will be attracted to the Galaxy S10 series.
Only time will tell whether this assumption is right, but it seems quite likely that the Galaxy S10 series will be able to trump the Galaxy S9 series of devices in terms of sales, though Samsung probably expects much more from its tenth-generation Galaxy S flagships. Samsung’s sales do depend on its own marketing prowess now that they have rather compelling phones to offer, but it will also depend on things they can’t control, other OEMs. Huawei has been making strides all over the globe in the last couple of years, while Xiaomi, Vivo, and OPPO are on the rise as well. OnePlus is also doing fairly well in some markets, and all those OEMs are capable of messing with Samsung’s plans / sales, of course. It remains to be seen whether Samsung will manage to impact enough people with its Galaxy S10 smartphones, and whether it will prosper in terms of sales, or be a flop in the company’s eyes.