Samsung rewrites S7 launch details
Samsung Electronics Co is deploying a new strategy that’s being credited for making the Galaxy S7 smartphone a surprise hit since its debut inMarch: Releasing it sooner and pricing it cheaper.
Sales of the company’s top-end lineup are estimated to reach 9 million units during their first month on the market — or triple those of the S6 models in the same time frame last year. That’s prompting analysts to raise their projections for operating profit and revenue when Samsung reports preliminary first-quarter earnings onThursday, even as itsmarquee device with a wraparound screen is as much 8 percent cheaper than last year’s device.
The world’s biggest smartphone maker scrapped its practice of raising prices with each new model, a ploy long used by Apple Inc, as it tries to counter flattening sales growth. While Samsung’s chip and display businesses probably will suffer as a result, sales of the S7 devices are being energized by critical praise, a lull in new models from Chinese makers and the lack of an iPhone 7 to sway upgraders and first-time buyers.
“With the high-end smartphone market largely stagnated, the issue is no longer about what ‘Wow’ features the new phone has,” said Claire Kim, a Seoul-based analyst at Daishin Securities Co. “Rather, it’s about who can bring out the phone quicker.”
The S7 lineupwasreleased March 11, about a month sooner than the S6 models that went on sale in April 2015. The phones look similar, one with a 5.1-inch screen and the other with a 5.5-inch screen wrapping around the edges, yet the new models include a memory-card slot, waterproofing and a longer estimated battery life.