Samsung Galaxy S4: industry reaction

Industry watchers pass their verdicts on how they think the Samsung Galaxy S4 will fare in the market.

Following the official launch of the Samsung Galaxy S4 yesterday, debate has been raging about how the South Korean smartphone maker's latest flagship handset will fare in the market when it goes on sale in the UK on 26 April.

Some of the new smartphone's features include HD Super AMOLED display and a dual-camera function that allows the front and back cameras to be utilised simultaneously.

Marco Veremis, CEO of mobile marketing firm Upstream, predicts the device will do well in developed countries, but may struggle in emerging markets.

"The Galaxy S4's entrance to the market will certainly challenge Apple's Western dominance. But how will Samsung fare in the emerging markets where the next billion consumers are up for grabs?

"While appetite for high-end smartphone devices exists here...brand desirability does not guarantee success.

"Our findings reveal that Samsung is currently the most coveted brand, however, the reality is less purchasing power means favoured brands are bypassed for devices with similar functionality but at a cheaper cost," he added.

Carphone Warehouse and Phones 4u have both confirmed that they will stock the device.

Graham Stapleton, chief operating officer at Carphone Warehouse, said the timing of the launch should work in the smartphone maker's favour.

"Samsung has the timing spot-on with a late April launch, [with] 4G coming to more UK networks this summer means that interest in new devices will be building considerably," explained Stapleton.

"We're anticipating a massive amount of customer interest in this handset and expecting our stores to be busier than at the height of the Christmas period," he added.

Scott Hooton, the chief commercial officer at Phones 4u, added that the Samsung Galaxy S4 has received more pre-registrations than any other smartphone launch for the firm this year.

"The Samsung Galaxy S4, has exceeded our expectations in terms of technological innovation and form factor and we are extremely excited about its arrival at Phones 4u," he said.

However, while the product's launch will give phone retailers a boost, Mervyn Kelly, a network specialist for Ciena, said network operators could struggle to cope with its data demands.

"When presented with devices as powerful as the Galaxy S4, operators must assess how they can develop their networks to support the unavoidable rise in bandwidth demands, while keeping their cost base low, " he explained.

Meanwhile, Jan Dawson, chief telecom analyst at Ovum, said the Galaxy S4 is a worthy successor to the S3, but Samsung will face a new set of challenges with its release.

"Samsung appears to be trying to kill the competition with the sheer volume of new features [and] there should be something here for everyone, even if most of these new features won't be used by most users," he said.

"For now, Samsung can likely rely on its vastly superior marketing budget and the relatively weak efforts of its competitors in software to keep it ahead," he continued.

"But competitors will catch up (as Samsung has caught up in many ways with Apple) and Samsung will need to continue to stretch," Dawson added.

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