This morning took place the presentation of the new flagship of Samsung, the Samsung Galaxy S4. And while news there is hardware, such as processor, screen, thinness and a finish on the metallic edges, we have a phone that is very similar to the SIII in terms of design and finish. There are no surprises in this section.
Samsung has decided that where you have to differentiate themselves, apart from their ability to produce at one sufficient pace to meet demand, something that not everyone can tell and if not to speak with LG and Google, it is in software. We have seen lately that its dependence on Android is a risk for the Korean company, because it does not control the ecosystem (and also for Google, which depends on this company) but this is changing.
Is the differential value in the software?
Samsung had a formidable challenge. The career of the hardware is very complicated and even though they have taken a terminal excellent in terms of specifications it is difficult to find out what the high end is better, especially if we start to analyze the relationship quality price.
Therefore Samsung has invested in software. And not just by adding a layer intermediate between the user and Android for distiguirse partially, as do almost all manufacturers, but with new interesting features like Dual Camera (which allows to record videos and take pictures simultaneously with both cameras), an application of very powerful camera that we saw in the Samsung Galaxy Camera or Smart Pause you pause a video when we don’t look at it.
We are talking about a concept that already introduced Samsung Samsung Galaxy SIII with its Premium Suite. If you have Samsung instead of a third-party Android you’ll have things that they don’t have, things that are interesting and that they deserve a little more pay.
And also Samsung aims at the business sector with Knox, which already presented at the Mobile World Congress, and which already pointed out where were the shots of the Korean company. Unique applications that make life easier and that differ from the standard version of Android.
Is it the people able to assess these differences?
The question that arises now is if people will evaluate these differences positively, as well as to tip the balance when it comes to buying a terminal to similarity of specifications. Here I have my doubts, though Samsung is doing a good job.
I’ve always said that I value a pure Android experience, because manufacturers all they do is get launchers of low quality, little configurable and which also make less fluid use. The clear example was the HTC Desire, same hardware than the Nexus One but I needed more memory because there was the HTC Sense.
However these innovations presented by Samsung start to have doubts. Some are very interesting and it wouldn’t let me have them in my terminal (Nexus 4 pure Android). The software is important, and although there are always alternatives in Google Play, these innovations from Samsung are very attractive.
Could they tip the balance? In my case it is possible that Yes, but the question is what will think the public in general. Business-themed think clearly yes, Knox is a very interesting novelty that Android should copy without want to attack this market with all manufacturers. In other news I have my doubts, because there are always alternatives and we are generally unwilling to pay more for features purely software (and if not look at the case of WhatsApp).
Android has a problem
What is clear is that Android has a problem. The largest manufacturer of Android phones, the flagship of the operating system, is very focused on extending the platform. It still does, of course, with Google Play and applications from Google, but maybe in the future dare to take the plunge and make a fork, Amazon-style.
They have their own app store, his own user experience and unique features. And they rely too much on an operating system that they do not control. The next obvious step is to distance itself completely from Google and control its own ecosystem.
Therefore, with the introduction of the Samsung Galaxy S4 there is deepening in the idea of the Korean company control more ecosystem and give a differential experience. All this started with the Premium suite, continued with Knox, and now it is confirmed in this presentation. Will it leave you well the move? Will it affect Android? Only time will tell what.
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