A Korean business website, who is traditionally pro Samsung, reported today that they were disappointed in the new Galaxy S5 unveiled in Barcelona on Monday. The report noted that the Galaxy S5's specifications didn't live up to market expectations. But Korea's Electronic Times news vehemently disagrees and claims that Samsung's real surprise is being withheld for now but that it's in the wings.
The Korean business site stated that "First of all, its controversial display panel turned out to be a Full HD 1920x1080 pixel Super AMOLED display, rather than a Quad-HD (QHD) 2560x1440 screen. A QHD display promises four times the resolution of an HD panel, and twice that of a Full HD screen. The 5.5 inch panel has a pixel density of 538ppi.
Initially, the industry anticipated that with Chinese phone maker Vivo showcasing the world's first QHD smartphone last year, the Galaxy S5 would feature a QHD display. However, the new Samsung phone is equipped with a 5.1 inch display. The screen size of the new smartphone is a little bigger than that of the Galaxy S4 (4.99 inch), but there is no change in resolution.
Samsung's use of a Full HD screen in its new flagship phone can be interpreted as its strategic choice, in that Samsung Display already completed the development of QHD panels, which are now available. Experts are saying that the decision was made by considering factors such as an increase in production costs for QHD panels and functions of components such as application processors (AP) and batteries."
Is There Really a Samsung Galaxy F5 in the Wings?
Not liking the general news about Samsung's S5 not living up to expectation in Korea, the etnews site decided to come up with a wild theory that they're convinced is true. According to etnews, it appears that Samsung Electronics (SEC) is intentionally hiding their cards for now in respect to their application processor (AP) and QHD.
According to etnews' theory, "The strategies the company can use in the future are two-fold: to release the Galaxy S5 Premium (tentative) model or introduce a new series equivalent to the Galaxy S and the Galaxy Note series.
As a matter of fact, SEC began to develop the new premium series (tentatively named Galaxy F), which will succeed to the Galaxy S and Galaxy Note, last year. Over the years SEC has dominated the premium smartphone marker with the Galaxy S series in the first half, and with the Galaxy Note series in the second half. However, as the smartphone product cycle has become shorter, it is difficult to keep the market interested with two series for a year. It is anticipated that, if the Galaxy F is a medium-sized hit or better, it will fill the void between the Galaxy S and the Galaxy Note series.
SEC formed the 'F Project' Team last year to develop a new premium smartphone. Noh Tae-moon, VP, Advanced HW Development Team, Wireless Business Division, who played a leading role in developing the Galaxy S and the Galaxy Note series, was deeply involved in the F Project. Mr. Noh led the K Project of the Galaxy S5 Development Team.
At first, the Galaxy F was known to come with a 16 mega pixel camera module and a metal case. However, in the process of developing the Galaxy S5, it appears that H/W distribution was redone. To stress its difference from the Galaxy S5, the Galaxy F is expected to be equipped with a 16 mega pixel camera module and the Optical Image Stabilizer (OIS) function.
It is also possible that a metal case will be applied. SEC has used plastic cases for its premium model too, but it has been limited in implementing a luxurious design. As the Galaxy S5 realized the feel of leather with a composite material, a metal case is highly likely to be applied to the Galaxy F.
As the metal case supply chain is not complete yet, it is difficult to meet demands as big as those of the Galaxy S and the Galaxy Note series, said industry sources. If the new series comes with metal, it will be possible to release it without any burden on the supply chain and see how the market responds."
Dazed and Confused
I don't know whether to just laugh at that news or laugh hardily as this is a new twist for Samsung. The twist is that if the critics cut your new products down, just send out rumors that there's really a surprise in the wind so that they could gain some time to figure out just what that'll be. C'mon, this is getting silly. Obviously Samsung is very dazed and confused.
Look, they hyped the market (directly or indirectly) for months about a smartphone using the new Samsung/Intel Tizen OS debuting at Barcelona and they embarrassingly dropped the ball. Weeks earlier, the big debut of a Samsung phone was scheduled to debut on NTT Docomo's network and it was to really make waves in the industry. Then Docomo pulled out being that they were happy with a real product called the iPhone. Whether that was egg or a pie in Samsung's face, it was funny. And all of this was happening right after having to report a disastrous Q4 with plummeting Galaxy S4 sales.
Samsung, the Great Fast Follower
At the end of the day, Samsung is a great fast follower (copycat) and they have a very vocal community that's just as loyal as Apple fans. Many of their loyal fans are happy with the Galaxy's progress, while others are terribly disappointed.
But in Korea, where their home fans reside, it's really a bitter fight. One side vehemently believes that Samsung failed to deliver high end specs for the Galaxy S5 while the other camp believes that there's a mysterious new Galaxy F series phone hiding in the wings or some bat cave that will deliver a Quad-HD display sooner than anyone believes! Is this just crazy fanboy talk or could there actually be something to their madness?
I think that Samsung could deliver a Quad-HD display without having to believe in their cult group-think. However, I also believe that Samsung is going to play it conservatively for the next few quarters, get their crazy marketing budget under control and try to not screw up their financials that could have Wall Street finally seeing the folly of their ways.
Samsung realizes that being a true innovator like Apple on a consistent basis is much harder than it looks and I think they're going to give up on that dream in the short term and focus on what they do best: Copy and copy fast.
Seoul Start Your Photocopiers
In 2006 Apple had a banner hanging at their World Wide Developer Conference that read "Redmond, start your photocopiers" when marketing OS X Tiger, and we all got a laugh out of that. Today, it's "Seoul, start your photocopiers." Different time, different market – same old tune.
Samsung enviously saw Apple launch the iPhone 5S with Touch ID and five months later they debuted a fingerprint scanner on their new Galaxy S5. And where did they decide to place that scanner? Yes of course, the phone's Home Button. I rest my case.
Samsung, just be patient. Whether it's the S5 or the rumored F5 or the new-new X5 it's all irrelevant as we know that you're your dazed and confused as all copycats are. Be patient, Samsung, as the coming iPhone 6 will once again show you the way.
Interesting: The Wall Street Journal: Missing at Mobile World Congress: Innovation