Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



Samsung Milks the Galaxy S4 Further

Watch stocks you care about

The single, easiest way to keep track of all the stocks that matter...

Your own personalized stock watchlist!

It's a 100% FREE Motley Fool service...

Click Here Now

Samsung (NASDAQOTH: SSNLF  ) is by no means in a position of weakness in the smartphone space. Sure, its high-end smartphone sales aren't as robust as the company had expected, but the company still generates a very significant amount of operating profit from the smartphone market -- capturing a piece of the profit pie second only to Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) . What's interesting, however, is how Samsung continues to milk its prior-generation Galaxy S4 just ahead of the S5 launch.

It's the Galaxy S4...with faux leather
The company's latest variation of the Galaxy S4 is called the "Black Edition," in which the backs are covered in faux leather, something very close to what it outfits its higher-end Galaxy Note lineup with. While this addition to the Galaxy S family isn't particularly revolutionary, it does give consumers yet more choice. Part of Samsung's immense success in the handset market has been that it has had absolutely no problem pumping out variation after variation to see what eventually sticks.

On the whole, this is a nice addition to the Galaxy S family, although the timing is rather strange, given that the company is set to launch its next-generation Galaxy S5 at some point over the next few months. Does the company hope that this will meaningfully revive sales as a high-end/premium device, or is this simply broadening the S4 lineup so that the S4 becomes the second-tier phone that can effectively capture more of that mid-range share?

The Galaxy S5 is the one to watch
The Galaxy S4 Black Edition is unlikely to move the needle as a high-end device. The high-end smartphone market is seeing growth slow rather substantially, and it seems likely that Apple could continue to make inroads against Samsung's current lineup. That being said, while this model is unlikely to move the needle, the Galaxy S5 will be the one to watch.

Indeed, the next Galaxy S phone should include a fingerprint reader -- which Apple's Tim Cook said "intrigued" customers and drove a richer product mix -- as well as a 2K display, a lightning-fast Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM  ) Snapdragon 800, and likely a brand new software interface and industrial design. While this by no means guarantees that it will succeed in reclaiming lost share to Apple, it will probably have a solid window of opportunity until the larger iPhone enters the picture.

Foolish bottom line
While the Galaxy S4 Black Edition may excite some Samsung investors, it is unlikely to be significant. The real device launch from Samsung to watch is the next-generation Galaxy S5. It should be a solid phone, particularly if Samsung significantly improves TouchWiz -- and the new UI on the new Galaxy Tab Pro tablets is encouraging. That would be a win all around that is sure to cause headaches for all other high-end Android smartphone players, and perhaps Apple, too. 

Looking for the real winner in smartphones?
Want to get in on the smartphone phenomenon? Truth be told, one company sits at the crossroads of smartphone technology as we know it. It's not your typical household name, either. In fact, you've probably never even heard of it! But it stands to reap massive profits NO MATTER WHO ultimately wins the smartphone war. To find out what it is, click here to access the "One Stock You Must Buy Before the iPhone-Android War Escalates Any Further..."

Read/Post Comments (3) | Recommend This Article (0)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On February 03, 2014, at 2:12 PM, DanManners wrote:

    News flash.. We are not getting a big phone. We are only getting the usual upgrades on existing products.

    The great big innovation will be a new color for the 5C. That is big

  • Report this Comment On February 03, 2014, at 2:25 PM, Waldo wrote:

    This just in! Samsung now offers a phone with a Hello Kitty motif! BORING!

  • Report this Comment On February 03, 2014, at 4:31 PM, GaryDMN wrote:

    "no means in a position of weakness" - Are you forgetting legally? Legally they are in a terrible position, with a mounting number of patent infringement liabilities and a growing number of new lawsuits.

Add your comment.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2819913, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 8/30/2015 8:10:00 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Ashraf Eassa

Ashraf Eassa is a technology specialist with The Motley Fool. He writes mostly about technology stocks, but is especially interested in anything related to chips -- the semiconductor kind, that is. Follow him on Twitter:

Today's Market

updated 1 day ago Sponsored by:
DOW 16,643.01 -11.76 -0.07%
S&P 500 1,988.87 1.21 0.06%
NASD 4,828.33 15.62 0.32%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

8/28/2015 4:00 PM
AAPL $113.29 Up +0.37 +0.33%
Apple CAPS Rating: ****
QCOM $57.45 Up +0.09 +0.16%
Qualcomm CAPS Rating: ****
SSNLF $875.00 Up +25.00 +2.94%
Samsung CAPS Rating: ***