Bad Timing Will Hurt Samsung’s Alpha Sales vs. iPhone 6

By Craig Galbraith Comments
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**Editor's Note: Click here for our list of July’s hottest selling smartphones to see how Apple's iPhone and Samsung’s most popular handsets fared against the competition.**

Maybe bigger isn’t actually better.

After focusing on high-end smartphones with displays of five inches and larger, Samsung has unveiled the Galaxy Alpha, a new handset with a screen that’s 4.7 inches — the same size we expect to see on the iPhone 6 when it debuts in a few weeks.

The Alpha has other similarities to its biggest rival; notably, an all-metal frame — and it will sport a sleeker look than the Galaxy S and Note line of phones.

“The Galaxy Alpha was built and designed based on the specific desires of the consumer market," said JK Shin, CEO and head of IT and Mobile Communication at Samsung Electronics. “With an entirely new appearance, the Galaxy Alpha focuses on both beauty and functionality combining a stunning metal frame and slim, light weight design with the same powerful hardware and features users expect from a flagship Galaxy mobile device."

Look for the Alpha to go on sale in September, most likely available at all major carriers in the U.S.

Rumors have circulated – and Samsung itself has dropped hints – of a “new design approach" for the high-end Galaxy lineup of smartphones. We got our first look at the changes recently with the launch of the Samsung Galaxy Alpha, which sports an all-metal frame akin to the iPhone. 

“I believe that Samsung’s Alpha shows that the company is shifting its design focus from a ‘bigger is better’ strategy to ‘better is better.’ This newer 4.7-inch flagship device built with finer materials is a preemptive strike to capture consumers before Apple’s new iPhones hit, and unlike Samsung’s larger phones, is more likely to appeal to consumers who want phones that fit easily in a pocket," noted 451 Research VP Wally Swain, commenting specifically on a ZDNet article. “The fly in the ointment, though, is that while the device is being announced in August, it won’t be available until the same timeframe as Apple’s expected iPhone launch, which may hurt its sales. We don’t know yet how Samsung’s marketing and pricing for the Galaxy Alpha will stack up against Apple’s new offerings, but at the very least, consumers will have a wealth of products to choose from when shopping for smartphones this fall."

Follow senior online managing editor @Craig_Galbraith on Twitter.

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