Can the Galaxy Note 3 be as successful as the Galaxy S4?
This is a Guest Post by Harish Jonnalagadda.
Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Note 3 to much fanfare last week. While most hardware details were revealed before the launch of the device via insider leaks, Samsung did manage to withhold key design elements, like the inclusion of a textured back that features faux leather. The Note 3 is lighter, faster and thinner when seen next to the Note 3, and comes with its own set of features, some useful, some gimmicky. In that regard, the Note 3 and Galaxy S4 are similar. Both mobiles feature a bevy of sensors that track everything from heartbeat to number of kilometres walked every day.
Unlike the Galaxy S series, the Note series from the very beginning has been targeted toward customers who are looking for a device that comes with a huge screen. While the Galaxy S4 is targeted as a high-end device for a wide audience, Galaxy Note devices have always been more of a niche offering. Therefore, can the Note 3 come close to the number of sales the Galaxy S4 achieved? Let’s find out.
What made the S4 sell so much?
Samsung was right on the money with the Galaxy S4, both in terms of getting the device out onto the market early and the marketing. While there is always a sense of excitement surrounding a Samsung flagship device launch, this year there was an unusual amount of fervour regarding the Galaxy S4.
When the device was finally announced back in March, there was a lot of renewed excitement about all the allegedly useful features that the device comes with. While most of them, like Air Gestures and Air View, turned out to be nothing more than a gimmick, Samsung did manage to enthral their user base. That, in addition to the fact that Galaxy S4 was available on store shelves a month after its announcement made it sell very well during the initial months.
Another factor that may have inadvertently aided Samsung might have been the delays encountered by HTC in getting the One out onto store shelves on time. The HTC One has been widely regarded by the tech media as a far better device than the Galaxy S4, but the Taiwanese manufacturer’s inability to get the device out in the market meant that the S4 had a smooth sailing for the first two months, during which it managed to accrue over 20 million sales. By the time the HTC One made it into the market, the Galaxy S4 had already won.
Can the Note 3 manage to do the same?
While Samsung may have enjoyed a lot of success with the Galaxy S4, the market scenario is very different now. Sony has just announced the Xperia Z1 at the IFA, and this device promises to be a winner.
Samsung did sell over 5 million Galaxy Note 2 units within the first two months of its availability last year. So there is a market for the Note 3 with its 5.7-inch full-HD screen. However, there is also the fact the Note devices have been traditionally priced more than the Galaxy S devices, mainly because they follow a different launch cycle than the Galaxy S devices. As such, the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 price should be around Rs. 45,000 (764 AUD), if not more. And by the time it launches in India, Samsung will decrease the price of the Galaxy S4 to somewhere around Rs. 35,000 (595 AUD), which would make it a very lucrative buy.
Hardware-wise, there is not a significant difference. The Galaxy Note 3 does come with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 SoC, which is faster than the Exynos 5410 SoC included in the Galaxy S4. The Note 3 also features a bigger 5.7-inch full-HD screen to the S4’s 5-inch full-HD screen. The Note 3 also features 3 GB of RAM to the 2 GB that comes in the Galaxy S4. A distinguishing facet of the Note 3 is the new stylus it comes with, and the smorgasbord of new software features that are included with the device to make use of it.
The Note and Note 2 managed to sell so much because at the time they were in a different league to their counterparts, the Galaxy SII and the SIII. The same cannot be said of the Note 3. While it does feature better hardware, it does not warrant its high price. That being said, the Note series has some of the most loyal fans, and most of them could in fact go for the Note 3 in lieu of the discounted Galaxy S4.