Samsung Quietly Releases Galaxy Alpha Smartphone

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Aug. 14 (Bloomberg) –- Technalysis Research Founder Bob O’Donnell and Engadget Editor-In-Chief Michael Gorman discuss Samsung’s release of its new Galaxy Alpha smartphone and how it compares to Apple’s iPhone. They speak on “Bloomberg West.” (Source: Bloomberg)


Joining me, michael gorman.

They just released this secretly, just a press release on their website.

Not a lot of fanfare.

What is your reaction?

It looks like a decent phone.

It is kind of what we would expect.

It just shows how often samsung really does -- i hate to say it -- slavishly copy apple.

If you look at the look of the general phone, it's very much like what we have seen apple do.

It will be interesting it -- to see if apple will do a bit of a twist where it might be a bit more curved.

Samsung will be a step behind.

It is plastic on the back, to be clear.

It is metal on the edges and plastic in the back.

It will still look and feel very nice.

It is a big challenge trying to compete these days, because these phones are big -- are getting to be so similar.

In the news that i read, is it a flagship phone?

It has some flagship specs.

The cameras not as good as the galaxy s5, for example.

But i still think they -- i still think the flagship phone is the galaxy s5. the screen is not as big.

I assume that was made for battery purposes.

It is using less power because of the thinner chassis that they have put in the phone, and they've had to put in a smaller battery.

That is a concern.

From a hardware perspective, it looks like a hot -- like a flagship.

It fits in a bit better with what we have seen from lg and, of course, apple.

The question is, why echo we know they have been -- why?

We know they have been struggling in market share.

They are giving it the galaxy name.

Why bother?

Why not try to make the s five better?

I think what they are trying to do is sit into more segments.

As the smartphone market has matured and started to fill up the market, the need to really subsegment to a degree we have not seen before.

Now virtually everybody in the u.s., for example, everybody arnie has a smartphone.

You are talking about getting people to upgrade.

-- everybody already has a smartphone.

You're talking about getting people to upgrade.

They will be very specific in their choices.

Error all of these minute differences.

-- there are all of these minute differences.

Again, they are trying to fit in between these different markets.

Unlike the u.s., many other parts of the world do sell unsubsidized phones.

They actually have to hit different price points.

That is part of what they're doing with this as well.

Is samsung doing too much?

Samsung has always done the shotgun approach.

Throw a bunch of stuff against the wall and see what sticks.

This seems like a continuation of that.

It is kind of like copying what apple has done.

Have seen where these other hardware manufacturers have would've bigger focus on a premium look and feel to the hardware.

That has long been a criticism for most people with samsung's phones.

It has not heard them before, but now that they have seen their sales drop, they are like, we got to try something, so maybe this better, more beta for hardware will do it.

There has been some discussion about the glass.

Samsung uses corning and apple uses sapphire glass.

What is the different?

All i want to know is whether it's going to break.

Sapphire glass -- and it's not technically glass.

It's kind of a sapphire crystal.

It's more scratch resistant, and theoretically, potentially more brick proof.

We will -- break proof.

We will see what happens in the real world.

And you say sapphire, everyone think it is a jewel.

It is chemically manufactured.

Nevertheless, it is one distinguishing point.

When we think about the smartphone market in general, most people in the u.s. have smaller screen phones.

A 4.7 is on the large size for the u.s. market.

That will be important, because not every one has made that transition.

Apple will drive a lot of transition with that.

I just did a survey of 2500 people around the world on things they plan to purchase in the next year to all kinds of gadgets, and number one by far was large smartphones.

That is what people are looking for.

A 4.7 inch screen, to me, having been using an iphone, mostly seems reasonable.

5.5 seems just too big.

How do you think the new iphones will do compared to the new options from samsung?

For me, it is about hand side.

The sweet spot with the iphone and why it has been so popular with women in particular is the smaller size.

When my girlfriend was shopping for a phone, she had no allegiance either way, but it was uncomfortable for her to hold a wider phone.

She got an iphone because it was more comfortable and she could fit it where she wanted it to be.

I expect apple to go bigger, but i don't think we will see anything over five inches.

Just because i think you get into a moribund niche market.

-- more of a niche market.

I think that is a better sweet spot.

It lets people see video on their phone.

People have been clamoring for bigger screens to do media and that stuff.

I think that is probably where we will end up.

What do you think echo we will certainly see the 4.7. the 5.5 is interesting.

Again, apple needs to grow another markets, notably china.

In china, the 4.7 is actually not so big.

It is kind of on the smaller side.

They like five plus.

Part of the idea is, let's build products we can sell around the world.

Yes, maybe they are a smaller piece of the market in the u.s., but they might be significantly larger in other parts of asia where they want to grow.

We will see a samsung sneaks in anymore announcements.

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.


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