Samsung's smartphone strategy has a Q4 hole
Samsung--high off of shipping 1 million Galaxy S smartphones in the U.S. market in the gadget's first month and a half of availability--is not planning a new flagship model for the holiday shopping season, which analysts said could dent its smartphone ambitions.
Samsung plans to expand its Galaxy S line to a range of U.S. carriers: Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) launched its variant, the Epic 4G, today, and Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ), U.S. Cellular and Cellular South also plan to launch their own versions. The high-end phone powered by Google's Android platform is currently available via T-Mobile USA as the Vibrant and AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) as the Captivate. However, Samsung appears set to rely on its current smartphone position to carry it through the end of the year.
"By launching the Galaxy S at so many carriers, Samsung gains reach but loses out on the energy and money that carriers are going to put behind their exclusive phones instead," Current Analysis analyst Avi Greengart told Dow Jones Newswires. Indeed, AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T), the exclusive provider of Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone, also is busy promoting Research In Motion's (NASDAQ:RIMM) BlackBerry Torch.
Instead of focusing on a new range of smartphones, Samsung will be busy promoting its Android-powered tablet, the GalaxyTab, during the second half of the year. The company is expected to unveil the device ahead of the IFA consumer electronics conference in Berlin later this week.
The risk Samsung faces in the breakneck smartphone market--where it has pledged to triple sales this year--is that its smartphones will be drowned out in the market by new offerings from Motorola (NYSE:MOT), LG, HTC and others. "Not having a high-profile offering for the winter holidays usually hurts a company," Shiv Bakhshi, an analyst at Mobile Perspectives, told Dow Jones. "Samsung is no exception."
- see this Dow Jones Newswires article (sub. req.)
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