Did Samsung Just Get Lucky With the Galaxy Range?

Samsung’s latest all conquering (Spec-wise at least) Galaxy phone.

I heard it said on a podcast, I think it was Engadget Mobile, that Samsung had been lucky with the success of the Samsung Galaxy S2, which caused me to pose the question to the guys at TeckTalkUK when they asked for subjects to talk about on their podcast special on the SGS3, and I later heard that Mobile Majesty Rafe Blandford saying a very similar thing on the 361 Degrees podcast, so I thought would offer my opinion on the question.

I don’t think it can be denied that the Samsung Galaxy S and it’s successors, the S2 and now S3, are great Android powered Smartphones. It was certainly no accident that the devices were/are cutting edge on release, and go on to be the premium Android handset. But, this can also be said about numerous amounts of Android phones which are released with ever increasing Specs. So, why did the Galaxy range take off so well?

When Samsung first unveiled the Galaxy S in march 2010, did they show off something truly unique in either hardware design or in the use of the open source software? No, in my opinion Samsung quite unashamedly ripped off the iPhone design, from the custom skin replicating the famous app tiles to the chrome edging around the bezel. Phone shop staff called it an “iPhone Killer” offering an imitation which could out spec and out perform the real thing for half the monthly price. The customers didn’t seem to mind if it was a bit of a copy, in fact many were drawn to a device which could out do their friends costly iOS powered phone, and still be passed of as an iPhone, at a quick glance at least.  I was actually fooled, when my Brother-in-Law first pulled out his SGS, and for a few minutes, until I saw the big silver SAMSUNG logo on the back, thought he’d got himself an iPhone.

I could of course be wrong, but I believe if the first edition of the Galaxy Range hadn’t had such a stark resemblance to one of the most desired phones in the world, it would not have sold in quite such high numbers. But it did, and Samsung decided to turn what was just another Android phone name, Galaxy, into a range of products.

Getting on for 18 months after the SGS hit the stores, Samsung brought out the TouchWiz driven Samsung Galaxy Tab, a 7 inch tablet (no prizes for guessing what that looked liked) which was promptly followed by the Galaxy S2.

The Samsung Galaxy S2 (or is it SII?) packed with a dual core processor and 4.3 inch screen as well as an 8 mega pixel camera which can shoot 1080p video, all top of the spec chart at that time, and Samsung had released what could be considered more than just an iPhone rip off. More than just another Android smart phone. It was rightly considered the best smartphone in the world, both on paper and in the hand.

While all this may be memorable even to me, who has never seriously considered owning an Android smartphone (they’re fine, just not for me) what may not be as well remembered is another Android powered smartphone which came out just before the SGS2, and probably also had a claim to be called best phone in the world at the time. Do you remember what that was? No?…. The Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc. Sure, it was outspec’d by the SGS2 when it was released a month later, but then that has been the case with virtually every Android phone, within a month or two something comes out with either more cores in the processor or more gigahertz or a better camera.

And history seems to be repeating itself. Only a matter of weeks ago HTC released the One X, heralded by many as the greatest phone around, but that has already been over shadowed by the launch of the SGS3. I personally don’t see the SGS3 being so easily forgot when the next Android with slightly more PPI or battery capacity hits the market. And why do I not expect to see half as much speculation about what the HTC Two X (or whatever it will be called) will look like leading up to its release. Will there be mock up pictures and supposed leaks of its design as we had with the S3? For some reason I doubt it.

So, perhaps it wasn’t just luck, that Samsung released a range called Galaxy which sold by the shed load. Maybe, while the likes of HTC and Sony Ericsson went out of their way to design a phone out of the ordinary (though I bet many an N9 owner could spot HTC’s inspiration) Samsung made a calculated decision to ride the coat tails of Apple. And who could argue, it’s worked?

Got an opinion on this post? Leave a comment. Want to contact me on a more personal level, follow me on Twitter.

2 Responses to “Did Samsung Just Get Lucky With the Galaxy Range?”
  1. Whilst I agree the SGS does have more than a passing similarity to the iPhone3GS, I’ve got to take you to task on “Samsung brought out the TouchWiz driven Samsung Galaxy Tab, a 7 inch tablet (no prizes for guessing what that looked liked)” The SGT looks nothing like an iPad, has a far smaller screen and no home button – I think you’re ‘massaging the truth’ to make your point?

    • I agree the design of the hardware doesn’t look identical to the iPad in any huge way, but areas of Touchwiz on the Tab looked very similar to iOS, such as the 4X5 menu grids with wallpaper in the background, and the bookshelf style book reader. TBH I have never owned either device so could be wrong, but am basing it on what I have seen.
      Thanks for commenting.

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