The Samsung Galaxy S5 Is Already Obsolete

With rumors swirling of an updated Samsung Galaxy F coming to intercept the Apple iPhone 6 launch in September, Samsung's Galaxy S5 flagship already seems obsolete.

Jul 5, 2014 at 3:00PM

One of the big problems with the recent Samsung (NASDAQOTH:SSNLF) Galaxy S5 launch is that, from day 1, it was already being made obsolete by the rumors of the imminent launches of more premium variants. This is in stark contrast to longtime competitor Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) which launches its phone products on a fairly predictable yearly cadence, so customers never have to fear unwittingly buying a product that'll become obsolete in just a few months' time. 

This lack of Apple-like product launch predictability -- particularly after the Galaxy Tab Pro fiasco -- could be causing undue trepidation among Samsung's customer base and may be negatively impacting Galaxy S5 sales. 

The Galaxy S5 "Prime" rumors didn't help 
Ahead of the Galaxy S5 launch, there was rumor after rumor spread about the internal specifications, display resolution, and chassis material of that phone. Shortly after the S5 launched, a flurry of leaks surrounding a Galaxy S5 "Prime" -- which promised a higher resolution screen, faster internals, and a metal chassis -- began to hit the news en masse.

Of course, a phone with the rumored S5 "Prime" specifications (sans the metal chassis) was ultimately launched solely for the South Korean market (known as the Galaxy S5 LTE-Advanced). However, even before that phone went for sale, there were already rumblings of a premium Galaxy F phone.

The Galaxy F makes customers' brand-new Galaxy S5s seem obsolete
The alleged Galaxy F -- which rumors suggest will launch slightly ahead of the iPhone 6 -- is set to pack a 5.3-inch 2560x1440 display, a Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) Snapdragon 805, and a metal chassis. Given that customers have now been inundated with these leaks and rumors, can you blame them for being hesitant to buy the Galaxy S5, even though the S5 is widely regarded as the best Android phone on the market today? 

Now, that's not to suggest the Galaxy S5 isn't selling well -- it's holding its own against the various Android offerings according to Kantar Worldpanel ComTech -- but in some regions, like Great Britain, the freshly launched Galaxy S5 is still being outsold by Apple's relatively old iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s.

Could the Galaxy F help fend off the iPhone 6?
If Samsung really does launch a Galaxy F alongside the next generation Galaxy Note in a bid to fend off the next generation iPhones, the question will be whether this will be effective. Frankly, it's unlikely that people are buying iPhones over the Galaxy S5 because the iPhone has an aluminum chassis.

Whether Samsung sells a phone with a chassis made of metal, faux metal, plastic, or bamboo, the odds are good that most users are going to put that phone in a leather or plastic protective case anyway. The chassis/physical design of a phone, at least at this point given how mature this market is, is a second order effect to things like the strength of the marketing message, the performance, app ecosystem, and quality of the included software. 

Foolish bottom line
Though Samsung continues to be a mobile powerhouse and generates massive operating profit, it's starting to become clear that the race to try to displace Apple at the high end at all costs is taking its toll. Samsung is apparently shortening the life-cycles of its mobile devices and keeps trying to pack in feature after feature in a bid to compete.

While only time will tell, it's possible that the mere thought of the existence of a Galaxy F is taking an undue toll on Galaxy S5 sales. 

Leaked: Apple's next smart device (warning, it may shock you)
Apple recently recruited a secret-development "dream team" to guarantee its newest smart device was kept hidden from the public for as long as possible. But the secret is out, and some early viewers are claiming its everyday impact could trump the iPod, iPhone, and the iPad. In fact, ABI Research predicts 485 million of this type of device will be sold per year. But one small company makes Apple's gadget possible. And its stock price has nearly unlimited room to run for early in-the-know investors. To be one of them, and see Apple's newest smart gizmo, just click here!

Ashraf Eassa has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple and Qualcomm. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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