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What's up With the S4?

Discussion in 'Samsung' started by SiempreTuna, Jul 5, 2013.

  1. SiempreTuna

    SiempreTuna Android Expert
    Thread Starter

    Samsung has missed another lot of quarterly earning estimates by nearly $2 billion. Seems that a good chunk of this is down to much lower than expected sales of the S4.

    What I've read about the S4 suggests to me that its a really good phone and reasonable incremental improvement over the S3. Admittedly, the reviews weren't exactly blown away by it, but none of them said it was anything other than excellent, just not as excellent as they'd hoped. The only common criticism was the one all Samsung Droids have had from day 1, namely that build quality - particularly in the rear panel - wasn't up with the best.

    So the question is: why isn't the S4 selling? Is it just the state of the market? Is it that it wasn't a big enough improvement over the (also excellent) S3? Could it possibly be that the market has moved on and people won't accept 'previous generation' build quality?

    Was going to post this on the S4 forum but it occurred to me that people who had bought the S4 probably weren't the best people to answer questions about why people weren't buying it :D

    earlds123 likes this.

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  2. Bearsyzf

    Bearsyzf Android Expert

    I'm thinking the S3 did better when it first came out :thinking:
  3. funkylogik

    funkylogik share the love peeps ;)

    Im not sure if the average (not geeks like us) person realises that the s4 isnt realisticly much of an update to the s3 or not.
    Maybe the HTC One has been more of a hit? It is a lot prettier imo
  4. Bearsyzf

    Bearsyzf Android Expert

    I agree Funky,
  5. LilBit

    LilBit Extreme Android User

    Moved to AL, probably get better feedback in here.:)
    funkylogik likes this.
  6. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    The S4 is selling. It's selling very well. What it's not doing is selling as well as the "analysts" expected it to - hence stock prices fall because they were being inflated by expectations of even larger profits than Samsung are actually making.

    I cannot tell you how much of that is due to real lost sales (people who would have bought it if something had been done differently), and how much is due to the people who are paid to make things up for stock projections getting too carried away and making unrealistic predictions. And assuming it's largely the latter, how much is the fault of those people making stuff up themselves (or copying each other), and how much is Samsung themselves talking things up? I have the impression that Samsung themselves were making some very bold projections pre-release, but haven't followed that closely.

    It seems to me that Samsung did the obvious thing: they had a huge success last year, and so they played safe and didn't shake anything up (predictable spec bumps, all in line with market trends, but basically continuity). That's a safe, conservative strategy, and if you just compare S4 sales with S3 most people would conclude that it's worked fine. It's just that the groupthink had expected it to work even better.

    The question is whether Samsung will now be thinking it's time to update the formula? If I were them I would. The S4 is a success, despite the impression that some headlines give, but the perception of "more of the same" is already strong enough that I'd think that doing same again with the S5 would be more risky than shaking things up a bit.
  7. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    All of the numbers I've seen say that the S4 is outselling the One heavily, though I actually see more One's in the street than S4s (of course S4s look like S3s, but I figure I can spot the differences).

    I do think HTC were more ambitious with what they did: not only the physical design (including some clever work on the antennae), but in bucking some market(ing) trends. It was obvious many months ago that flagships this year would be 5", or even slightly larger, but they stuck with 4.7" (and made it a couple of mm narrower than the One X). They didn't miss the boat there, because they had released 5" handsets 6 months earlier, so it was clearly a choice. Likewise going for fewer, bigger pixels rather than going to 13 MPix like everyone else. These things are risks, because bigger numbers are part of the normal marketing message, so whatever their reasons I'll give them some credit for not just doing the easy thing (I also gave them some money, as it happens ;)).
    funkylogik likes this.
  8. funkylogik

    funkylogik share the love peeps ;)

    Money well spent? :)
  9. MLSS

    MLSS Android Expert

    Samsung had a record quarter if I am not mistaken, so what's the problem here?

    If you want more S4 sales then cut back on the 1,000 other versions they come out with every other month.
  10. Hadron

    Hadron Smoke me a kipper...
    VIP Member

    So far :)

    @MLSS: the "problem" is that the estimates had predicted the profits to be even higher. So record profits = disappointment because they aren't record enough!
  11. funkylogik

    funkylogik share the love peeps ;)

    *wants a One* :)
    Wonder how well the s4 Active will do. I really like the look of it compared to the s3/s4 but id rather it had the amoled display
  12. Slug

    Slug Check six!
    VIP Member

    My theory? Samsung's beancounters forgot to factor in a global recession to their prediction. Many people simply don't have the cash to splash on top-tier handsets right now. Even those upgrading are often looking to freeze or lower their monthly outlay.
  13. funkylogik

    funkylogik share the love peeps ;)

    Surely the recession was just as bad this time last year though to be fair mate?
  14. MLSS

    MLSS Android Expert

    My point is that there is no problem.
  15. Slug

    Slug Check six!
    VIP Member

    Sure, but that still doesn't mean that Samsung's shoegazers paid heed. I suspect they just looked at the S3 sales, adjusted their figures up based on Android's % growth in the interim, and then rounded up to the nearest million for luck. ;)

    Not to you or I maybe, but the financial sector's definition of "a problem" is poles apart from that of consumers. Major multinationals failing to meet their earnings projections make the markets jittery.
  16. IOWA

    IOWA Mr. Logic Pants

    I've got the S4 and I love it. To me, the upgrades are noticeable and welcome. Camera bump is nice, the screen is gorgeous and I absolutely love the IR blaster.

    That being said, I'm an enthusiast. To the layman, the differences between the S3 and the S4 are negligible and may not justify the price to have a top tier handset.

    Just my humble opinion however.
    spman and funkylogik like this.
  17. funkylogik

    funkylogik share the love peeps ;)

    Id love the IR hardware tbh but thats pretty much it i think. The CPU is obviously more advanced than the s3 but when are the apps gona catch up with the hardware?
    Also i like how that beautiful screen is bigger and higher def than the s3's but the bezel is smaller :)
    I love LED displays so thats the one thing that would tempt me to get the s4 over the One but the one's LCD is pretty beautiful too :beer:
  18. Stannis the Mannis

    Stannis the Mannis Rapscallion

    The best selling Android phone of all time ISN'T selling? Wait what??
  19. chanchan05

    chanchan05 The Doctor

    The Analysts based their predictions on how the S3 sold, which was an all around hit and destroyed the competitors *cough*One X*cough* in terms of sales. HOWEVER, HTC has learned from their mistakes and made a truly compelling device in the One. It actually has the best of both worlds: Android plus a build quality that can go toe to toe with yhe iPhone and Razrs, plus excellent performance all around. The S4 seemed like just an internal upgrade over the S3, which made many people feel disappointed. They were expecting more, much like how the S3 was insanely superior to the S2, the S4 wasn't that to the S3, sadly. The fact that they look a lot alike may have a huge factor in this.

    So basically that's it: A worthy competitor in the HTC One, plus over expecting people made the S4's sales go lower than expected, but it doesn't mean its not selling. Its like they were expecting net profits of 1billion but just got 700million from the S4 (not actual figures, just for example purposes). That's still awesome numbers.
  20. king krish

    king krish Lurker

    the next iPhone is due around Jan I'm sure a lot of people like to wait and see what else they have as an option. If last year with the S3 and iPhone 5 is anything to go by then Sammy will get an increase in sales when its released.
  21. Rxpert83

    Rxpert83 Dr. Feelgood

    The s4 has been absolutely killing it in sales.

    They're only slightly behind apples ip5 when you account for time they've been on the market.
  22. scary alien

    scary alien not really so scary
    VIP Member

    Don't you guys think this really belongs in the S4 area? :dontknow: ;) :) (it all seems just about the S4, after all)

    Let me know what you guys think.

  23. Maybe mobile computing is a sheer Hype
  24. Rxpert83

    Rxpert83 Dr. Feelgood

    I can see how the OP didn't want this in the S4 forum since people generally don't like seeing bad things about their device

    However, the conversation is really about Samsung's profits not meeting expectations, so I've moved this to the Samsung subforum for now.
    Mikestony and scary alien like this.
  25. LouWags

    LouWags Well-Known Member

    Something else to consider is that so many people have the S3 and are still happy with it that Samsung is having trouble getting the upgrades from existing customers. I'm still using and S2 and frankly, it's everything I need for the moment. Why spend $250 for a new phone that I won't use any differently than I use this one?

    Also, you can still buy the S3 ($50, if I'm not mistaken?) and as mentioned above, it's not that much of a step down from the S4.

    I've seen a couple of people upgrade from dumb phones to the S4 but the step up could just as easily have been to the S3 without any real loss of capability. In at least one recent report, I recall reading that Samsung is going to "discontinue" the S3 just to try to get their numbers up on the S4.

    Not to mention, the Note II is still a good option and the Note III is coming out soon. I'm thinking about waiting for that but it highlights the ever-present problem of companies announcing their new stuff too soon and they end up competing with themselves.

    I always say, don't upgrade any electronics because it will be obsolete by the time you get out of the store. Of course, that means I used an old flip phone from the stone age until about two years ago! LMAO

    scary alien likes this.
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