Report: Samsung To Discontinue Its First Metal Phone
Samsung Electronics Co. appears to be phasing out its first metal smartphone, the Galaxy Alpha, to focus on selling the Galaxy A5, a mid-to-low-priced device. The Korean news source ET News said Samsung will stop production of the Galaxy Apha once its current stock of the materials is sold out, and will push the newly announced Galaxy A5 set as its first release for 2015.
The Galaxy Alpha was officially unveiled in August, and was then considered to be a possible “iPhone Killer” as the phone comes with brushed aluminum metal edges that look similar to those on the iPhone 5 and 5s. It is 6.7-mm thick with a metal chassis, making it Samsung’s one of the best looking phones yet.
The metal-branded device did garner a lot of public attention because of its premium design, but couldn’t fare against other powerful devices of its category, thanks to its hefty price tag and the disappointing battery life.
Now the South Korean electronics giant seems to have changed its course and focus on low-cost smartphones, which comes as no surprise considering the fact that the company is currently facing more competition from vendors, such as Xiaomi, Huawei and OnePlus in emerging markets.
However, Rod Hall, a telecom and networking equipment analyst at J.P. Morgan, isn’t convinced with Samsung’s new approach and thinks the brand is worth more than fighting off the lower tier phone competitors.
“We see this about face on strategy as yet another sign that Samsung is not quite sure what to do about Apple in the high end,” said Hall. “We also note that losing the high end and opting to go after lower tier phone markets has never been a good strategy in the mobile industry — just ask Nokia.”
Coming back to the Galaxy A5, the phone was launched in China in November. It shares a similar design as that of the Galaxy Alpha, and has specs that also match, in fact in some areas, outdo the Alpha’s. For example, the A5 features 2300 mAh battery capacity compared to Alpha’s small 1860 mAh battery, and packs a 5 megapixels front-facing camera than Alpha’s 2.1MP camera.
Sources tell ET News that Samsung will launch the A5 in South Korea in late January or February, however there’s no word on whether the phone will be released in the US or any other markets just yet.
Samsung has not officially said a word about the discontinuing of the Alpha. We will update you as soon as we learn anything regarding this story. Still then, stay tuned!