Samsung’s sixth-edition flagship smartphones — Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge — which was launched in Dubai on Tuesday, could be decisive for the company as it faces immense pressure from Chinese rivals and Apple.
Apple became the number one smartphone vendor in the fourth quarter of last year by overtaking Samsung, which was the leader since 2011.
According to Gartner, Apple had 20.4 per cent smartphone market share in fourth quarter while Samsung had 19.9 per cent. For the whole year, Samsung had 24.7 per cent smartphone market share while Apple had 15.4 per cent market share.
Daniel Gleeson, senior mobile devices and networks analyst at IHS, told Gulf News that Samsung now understands much of this is down to the lack of emotional connection between customers and its handsets.
While removable batteries and waterproofing are useful features, he said that they also led to design compromises for Samsung; most notably the cheap feeling plastic exterior on the Galaxy S4 and S5.
Samsung reversed course with Galaxy S6, eschewing useful features in favour of designing a beautiful device with metal and glass.
Hayssam Yassine, head of telecommunications group at Samsung Gulf, told Gulf News that the material combination used in the devices is excellent and used for the first time.
“We are introducing the 14nm 64-bit Exynos processor for the first time, wireless charging, advanced security software knows as Knox and the advanced camera. The big issue many face is charging the device when you are in a hurry. Samsung is the first to offer a four-hour talk time just by charging for 10 minutes,” he said.
The game for Samsung is in the “$600 plus price range” as the margins and value share are more.
“We have really addressed consumer key issues on these devices. That is why we think that these devices will perform well in the market and finally, consumers will decide. We expect the demand to be 50 per cent each for both the devices and count a lot on these devices,” he said.
The screen sizes — S6 and S6 Edge — remain at 5.1 inches but the display resolution increases to 577 pixels per inch, up from 432 ppi in Galaxy S5. In comparison, Apple’s iPhone 6 has 326 pixels per inch.
The chip set is Samsung’s home-grown — Exynos 7420 — which runs at quad-core 1.5GHz Cortex-A53 and Quad-core 2.1GHz Cortex-A57.
Samsung had started taking pre-orders for the device.
The Galaxy S6 is available for pre-order in four models. The Galaxy S6 (32GB) for Dh2,599, and the Galaxy S6 (64GB) for Dh2,899. The Galaxy S6 Duos (32GB) for Dh2,699, and the Galaxy S6 Duos (64GB) for Dh2,999.
The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge is available in three models. The S6 Edge (32GB) for Dh3,099 while the S6 Edge (64GB) for Dh3,399 and the S6 Edge (128GB) for Dh3,799.
Although the rear cameras for the models remain at 16MP, cameras on both sides will have wider openings to let in more light. Both the devices have 5MP front-facing cameras.
The front and back panel glasses are made of Gorilla Glass 4 and it has incorporated wireless charging.
The Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge will be available in White Pearl, Black Sapphire, Gold Platinum, Blue Topaz and Green Emerald and will be available from April 10th.
Pre-booked customers will get the devices on April 9.
Samsung said its new devices would be equipped with Samsung Pay, a contactless payment system, following the success of Apple Pay. But Samsung Pay is available only in the US and South Korea.
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