Would a Galaxy S4 failure be good for Android?

March 7, 2013

    galaxy-s4-unpacked-new-york-livestream-invitation-2

    We all know it’s coming. The Samsung Galaxy S4 event is right around the corner. The Galaxy faithful are chomping at the bit, while the rest of the world waits in curious anticipation. We’ve already told you how this could be nothing but a failed fireworks show, but what if it just falls flat? What implications does a failed Galaxy S4 have for Android? It could be good… but it could also be a disaster.

    Why it would be bad

    Failure is never an option, but this fervor surrounding the Galaxy S4 is perhaps too much to live up to. At this point, we expect it to make coffee for us in the morning. We want for too much, and expect even more. We need to slow down a bit to accept what the device is. We’re not doing ourselves, or Android, any favors by going wild with anticipation.

    The S4 is still Android

    As much as the Samsung fanboys drive some people nuts, the S4 is still going to be Android. The Galaxy S3 accounts for a huge portion of Android sales, and the S4 shows no sign of slowing that trend. Toss in the Note 2, and other Galaxy devices, and Samsung is a juggernaut. The Galaxy devices are the first Android handsets that people actually anticipate on a large scale, even more so than the Nexus line. All that desire for one line still leads back to Android, and that’s good for everyone.

    samsung-android-logo

    Market Share

    With Samsung being such a large part of Android sales, that also means it comprises a huge portion of the worldwide market share Android dominates. If more people have Android, more developers will make cool apps. More movie studios and record companies will get media to the Play Store. More features will be added, and more awesome devices will be made. It’s a cyclical symbiosis, but an important one. Without a strong Galaxy device, it may be like taking a step back for Android.

    Why it would be good

    Samsung is pulling further away from Android all the time, so maybe a failed device would be a good thing. A big slice of humble pie may show Samsung how fortunate they are to have the success they enjoy with Android. Samsung is a big part of the current Android landscape, but they have a few other contenders willing to take their place.

    Proprietary nonsense

    All this S-Beam and S-Voice stuff is just S-illy. With Samsung making features available only on their devices, it closes the door slowly on what got them there. It’s a bit myopic to think the world operates on Samsung, or to make it an “us or Android” fight… and make no mistake, they are doing just that. Consumers are more often than not turned off by features that won’t work with other devices, meaning that course of action may end up backfiring.

    Samsung-Galaxy-S4

    Identity theft

    Galaxy is more searched for than Android, and it makes us wonder if Android is losing itself to the biggest partner it has. The Galaxy line is full of great devices, but they don’t define Android. It speaks more to a great marketing strategy than anything else, this search conundrum. I’m sure people search for “Kleenex” more than “facial tissue”, also. Consumers sometimes are unaware of the difference, though. Technology is a tricky thing for most people, so the concern is that “Android” will get lost in “Galaxy”. Our beloved OS is nothing to sneeze at, but Kleenex is.

    Tizen

    While Tizen, a new OS Samsung is heavily invested in, is targeted for the Asian market, it does show Samsung’s true desire. They want to move away from Android to start their own ecosystem and operating system. Tizen is the biggest indicator that, ever so slowly, Samsung wants to break away from Android. Samsung, in many ways, is a Trojan Horse inside of Android. Many believe Tizen is a bad idea, and Samsung should stick with Android. An S4 failure may show them just how important Android is, and how tough it can be to make it on their own.

    times square samsung galaxy s4 launch billboard (1)

    Conclusion

    How do we define “failure” when it comes to the Galaxy S4? It’s a hard metric to gauge. On one hand, we expect an S3-like adoption, and the fawning over the device like we see with the Note 2. The other side of that equation is not so simple, though.

    People may love their S3 or Note 2… but they’re probably under contract. Is the Galaxy S4 going to be so great people will want to break their contract to get one? Probably not. Over time, it will be the natural upgrade path for many, but it has some stiff competition. Excellent Android devices are released all the time, so standing out becomes much more difficult. Samsung is also pretty defiant about their product line, and that may turn some away from them.

    Will it fail? That’s doubtful. It will be a very good device, and turn a lot of heads, but it could leave us all wanting. When you create such a frenzy, and there’s no blood in the water, the sharks will find another source of food. The biggest benefactor to a Galaxy S4 failure may just be all the other Android manufacturers.

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    Comments

    • Martin

      Without Samsung, Android is DEAD. Android needs a mayor global player like Samsung. Deal with it and all Samsung’s stuff threw on Android. A S4 failure would be a good thing for iOS, Windows Phone and Blackberry, but not for Android.

      • cycad007

        Wrong! Without Google, the Galaxy S4 has no compelling ecosystem to go along with its great hardware. Want an example? Try “Sony”. Great hardware…lousy software.

        • http://androidtrainningcenter.blogspot.com/ Sameer

          Agree

      • Sea ttletech

        Android wont be dead without samsung. Phone hardware advantages have leveled off

        • hrgzaf

          It won’t be dead, but it won’t be the top as it is now.

          • Sea ttletech

            It that happened another manufacturer would take its place ie LG HTC SONY Lenovo Huawei

            • yungqb7

              You can cross LG off that ie list of yours lol

            • Sea ttletech

              Nope, the general reader consensus would say they hate lg. Which they have reason to.( Bad updates,bad software) But don’t forget LG has a good team. ie LG PRADA LG Chocolate. The front of the new LG Optimus G PRO might look like a note 2 ripoff . But the sides and back don’t. Plus it’s narrower than the note2 and is 1080p. I expect LG to be one of the greatest gainers.

            • Sea ttletech

              LG Optimus G Pro

              5.5″ 1080p
              Snapdragon S600!
              Narrower than the Note 2 BIGGEST WIN!!
              Near bezeless!
              Bigger battery and lighter than the Note 2

              What phone is better?

            • trob6969

              Yeah, the S4 better have something big up-it’s-sleeve to take my money over the LG Optimus G Pro.

            • yungqb7

              I have an LG phone, can’t wait to get rid of it. Updates is pretty much a foreign concept. I’ve owned the LG Chocolate 2 :-P
              Hence the reason why I’m jumping to team Samsung

            • yungqb7

              I have an LG phone, can’t wait to get rid of it. Updates is pretty much a foreign concept. I’ve owned the LG Chocolate 2 :-P
              Hence the reason why I’m jumping to team Samsung

            • 123

              Nate Swanner5:54 AM+
              3
              4
              3
              Reply
              The fanboys for Apple and Samsung are one in the same. I am really, really hoping we see some lines outside of stores for the S4. I will have a field day with that one.

            • 123

              Nate Swanner1:33 AM (edited) – Public
              This made me laugh first thing this morning
              This is from some aggregate internet “news” site. There is nothing more to this than what you see, and the title links to the article.

              My favorite parts:
              Don’t click the link.
              the stupidest thing on the internet right now.

              But, my most favorite part is that, grammatically, “most stupid” is correct. Stupidest sounds… stupid.
              I love you, internet.

            • NATE SWANNER BROTHER

              NATE SWANNER

              Android is my life, plain and simple. I actually live by our Mantra of “Eat. Sleep. Android”! Following the trends is entertaining, but asking the tough questions and pontificating the ins and outs of major moves is what really drives me.and i’m the fat man n crap sony n htc fanz..anti google but still have google plus n make positive for google article

            • Sea ttletech

              I’ve responded to him in his new article

              The Chromebook Pixel project: Chrome OS

            • 123

              noe the fat man

              ( NATE SWANNER)

              very happy

              calp..clap..clap..

            • http://www.facebook.com/stonemirror David Schlesinger

              “ie LG HTC SONY Lenovo Huawei”

              Apple!

      • iWant_GSIV_or_MotorolaX

        the answer:
        hi-end made in USA Motorola Xphone.
        from Google.
        pure Google services.
        pure Android.

        SAMSUNG = tech innovations.
        it’s the tech power NO other OS/platform/company has. It’s a power of POSSIBILITIES for Google, Motorola and Android. It’s tech innovations for the whole industry.

        SAMSUNG is able to manufacturer EVERYTHING. While Apple buys everything.
        SAMSUNG can manufacture everything at enormous scale.

        Google these things
        Galaxy Skin
        SAMSUNG Flexible displays
        SAMSUNG transparent display

        Other manufacturers struggle because they make products supposed to struggle.

      • http://www.facebook.com/hill3829 Kevin Hill

        One is not a parasite of the other. Samsung needs Android to properly attract customers and sell there phones and Google needs Samsung to make Android well adopted. It’s a symbiotic relationship.

      • http://androidtrainningcenter.blogspot.com/ Sameer

        Plenty of company are there who provide good hardware e.g sony, HTC. But they are just a box without software. because of Android Samsung touch a new high as well as HTC and Sony

    • http://twitter.com/chas0o Chase

      Samsung and Android is a homogeneous relationship. Only until recently, has Google been forced to acknowledge the share Samsung holds in their ecosystem. That said, a failure from Samsung in the Galaxy S4 would be impossible to guage. It’s not up to us really. It’s up to their shareholders and what the analysts have forecasted.

    • Sea ttletech

      Nate. Its a double edged sword. Manufacturers make their profit off the hardware. Google bringing out the nexus 4 at basically cost was a slap in the face to all their partners. Google buying motorola and bringing the x phone with android 5.0 is showing favorites. I know this is android authority but alot of people dont realize android os will become less and less important as other linux based os’s come into play

      • Carl Wouters

        I love it how some people really believe that other linux based OS’s have a chance. imo if even Microsoft and BB can’t get a decent marketshare, what would an OS like ubuntu be able to do… I never see them reaching a bigger market then 2%. The apps mean everything, do you really believe that most developers will build apps for 5 platforms?? People buy where the apps are and the apps will only come where the people are… Also what do you mean with the X phone coming with Android 5.0, give me some links and btw Android is open source, everyone can make a phone with the latest released software. The problem is that at the moment all phone makers choose to take months before updating. The moment Sony or HTC start putting vanilla Android on their phones, I will buy them in one heartbeat, but because of this only nexus devices for me.

        • Sea ttletech

          You are aware that android is linux based. Are you also aware that android apps can run on Tizen. Also have you heard of forking an OS ie Amazon? Software OS development is now the prime objective of most cell manufacturers.

          • http://www.dsaif.com/ Saif

            They can fork but can’t access Google Apps & ecosystem.

            • Sea ttletech

              It maybe hard for you to believe but you can get google apps in other places besides the play store.

            • http://www.dsaif.com/ Saif

              You and I know that, normal users don’t

            • Sea ttletech

              Your arguement was that they can’t access google apps.
              But if the user was using a different os, there would be an app store icon on their phone.

    • michael sanchez

      Android authority starting to sound like a if an boy. Really tires of your negative outlook so much.

    • Jelly Bean

      Serves Samsung right! They are bullying other manufacturers out of the market. I’m getting either Sony or HTC to replace my GS3 plastic crap.

      • Vivghkl

        Yep, highly doubt you have a Samsung, peasant fanboy. Those two companies are being outmaneuvered by the witty South Korean giant. HTC, dying, Sony, like what do they make that is really special or game changing in their phones? Waterproof/Bravia engine? Tell that to the casual consumer, the usability counts and Sony is just plain boring and unintuitive to use, at least HTC is trying hard with their blink feed although both don’t really have anything that benefits the casual consumer, who is king by the way when it comes to these companies’ marketshare. Plastic, yeah, that seems to be the only argument you peasant fools are able to make.

        • Jelly Bean

          I thought this was Android Authority, not Samsung Authority. Samsung are damaging other Android makers, behaving arrogantly towards competition, squeezing them out. I don’t like bullies. My GS3 is getting boring, and TouchWiz and Nature UI is incredibly ugly compared to HTC One. Enjoy your Tizen GS4, lol.

        • http://www.facebook.com/ashad.mamood Ashad Mamood

          Classic example of a arrogant Samsheep! Sony was here before Samsung and will be here for a long time!

      • gthx

        Bullying by? As far as I know, the ones who’s getting their ass sued so much by other companies is Samsung…

        • http://www.facebook.com/ashad.mamood Ashad Mamood

          Because infringing patents is a crime. Are Samsung exempt from paying royalties? They copy and steal ideas all the time!

          • Anonymousfella

            dont you have anything else to do other than post such comments on every s4 or samsung related article?

    • Tom

      Last 10 days androidauthority is talking BS all the time..
      Its time write serious stuff. I was pissed when I read article about S4 and new render
      when author of that thread said bunch of shit…And ofc he apologized when we all discovered that it was fake and stolen render.
      This article is the same as Iphone story so I dont see the reason to go with Samsung.
      Writing article putting your personal opinion instead of article is..

      No hard feelings, I want article not your personal vendeta bs…

    • fangirl

      Without s3 there was actually less people using Android. S3 introduced android to people who didnt know about android. But those who now are comfortable with android will want more. At the end of the day, the best product comes out of the market, not the one that is currently dominating the market, otherwise the iphone 5′s shares wouldnt drop.

      • Bone

        Absolutely spot on. Samsung’ introduced Android to insane number of clueless people giving the whole OS class and reputation of something premium; without the attention Samsung brought to the platform, others could not be building great campaigns, because Sony and HTC would be busy advertising ANDROID not the Exmor RS, waterproof body or Ultrapixels, not to mention the ad money Google is getting.

        Samsung is great for Android.

        • gerson saldana

          really because every single great innovation samsung creates is aimed to benefit samsung, not android. most people who visit this site are here due to loving the android platform not samsung products.

    • hddga

      I don’t get it, why are you guys hating on Samsung so much? It’s not like you guys have no choice in buying a phone. The reason Samsung sells is because it’s GOOD, better than the competition. HTC One has so much potential and yet it won’t sell well because there’s hardly any marketing at all. I have not even seen one commercial on HTC one in my country. Other companies should really step up their game and invent something extraordinary, maybe software-wise, if they want to remain relevant.

      • Vivghkl

        Jealousy or because Samsung has reached Apple like status. Either way their opinion is irrelevant, small people talk. They are restricted to one handset whereas I like to try every phone maker’s flagship handset regardless of what their name is, from LG to Huawei to POS Sony to even hated Nokia. One thing i’ve learned from using a variety of handsets is that only the Lumia the more exciting innovative handset compared to Sony’s boring xperia line up and HTC’s ailing look Sense UI, which will change with Sense 5 but meh. It’s all the little things in the UI usability that counts, and that’s where Samsung has put so much thought into their feature portfolio whereas for the others, it has become nothing more than a willy waving contest to see who has the best specs, it isn’t like that anymore.

        • http://www.facebook.com/ashad.mamood Ashad Mamood

          Samsung’s line is the boring one! They peddle the same crap with a bump in specs and Samsheep flock to it!

      • Sea ttletech

        HTC currently cant afford commercials. Their CEO is either clueless or arrogant. They have all the key components to make a great phone. But they choose to “retarded” and not give what the people want .( MicroSD slot and larger battery) Case in point HTC buys a stake in beats audio for 300 million sells it back for 150 million !

        • trob6969

          Yep…ever since the original EVO HTC has set the standard for smartphones. Every other company implements features AFTER HTC brings them to market. HTC just made the huge mistake of not promoting it’s devices’ industry-first features. Now that the company is starting to realize how important marketing is, it now wants to limit features! WTF?!…dumb!

        • EvilBadger69

          Your statement is a little misleading – HTC sold back *half* their stake in Beats. They still own ~25% of the company.

    • Zombieman

      It’s comparable to Dell, Acer, HP. They’re not Windows. Nor is Samsung Android. Silly premise.

    • synot

      Nate Swanner you are full of it ,SAMSUNG is the one that made Android famous.

    • Benedict Chong

      Samsung is only lucky that Sony was in the downturn during that period and their technologies are all originated from the Japanese, they are also lack of the refinement which the Japanese have so I doubt Samsung will stay long in the market.

      • Sea ttletech

        Wow get your facts right.
        Downturn? How about Sony was arrogant and wanted to sell us old technology at current prices.
        “All technology originated in JAPAN” You just proved that you have biased opinions not facts..

    • http://www.facebook.com/ashad.mamood Ashad Mamood

      Yes! It would make it so much better!

    • taz89

      The exact same things were said towards the s3 reveal.. People were expecting a lot and saying that it will fail because it won’t live upto expectation etc but we know what happened… The s3 didn’t really do much more than any other high end android phones and the s4 will most likely be the same which iis too say it will be on par with other devices… I already know non techies who are waiting for the s4 just as I know people who wait for each and every new iPhone… Some people just don’t care if they have a 2 year contract or not cause they just want the next new thing. You say android is not being as searched much but it seems like Google are not exactly doing the android brand any favor, they call there devices nexus phones and not android phones, they changed the app store from android market to Google play store.. It seems like Google are themselves not doing much to make android a brand and maybe it’s for the best which we don’t know of… It seems like everyone wants Samsung to fail, if you don’t like a product don’t buy it but there’s no reason to want it too fail… As far as am concerned Samsung succeeding is bringing people from other platforms to android as well bringing the mainstream which had made apple successful which is only a good thing for android. Ie HTC one is a great phone, had a play with the dummy and imo is the best looking and feeling device I have ever seen and it could have been my next phone but no sd slot no purchase for me.

    • Step666

      Further proof that any idiot can find a soapbox on the internet.

      The “Proprietary Nonsense” and “Tizen” sections particularly show a complete lack of any knowledge or insight in the field.

    • tech freaky

      fuck u NATE SWANNER we all love samsung and its products who are you to tell s4 is going to be a disaster ,its going to be the best mobile of the year dont repeat these kind of posts if so i will kick your sick ass,,i hope you got it.

      • anti_techfreaky

        You’re a freak alright…a freaking rude idiot! :p

      • http://www.facebook.com/ashad.mamood Ashad Mamood

        Bah bah! Samsheep

    • http://twitter.com/MysteryMannnnn Mystery Man

      you guys write some stupid articles. first suggesting a company with 100 billion in cash will fail if its iWatch doesn’t sell. now saying galaxy s4 failure would be good for android. -_-

    • http://androidtrainningcenter.blogspot.com/ Sameer

      I am not agree with people who think, S4 may fail. Its going to b highly capable, strong and most innovative device

    • OBEY

      For a change.

    • Ivan Budiutama

      Samsung by far is still the one to offer the best android experience. By experience I don’t mean merely having the latest Android version on their flagship and implemented it nicely, but also distribution and service center are by far still the best, even in remote country like mine. But yes, Android world is vast. Chinese handsets offer a great range starting with a cheap knock-off to a very original like Lando X02 for example. The problems with these cheap, nice Chinese phones are the fact they are extreme rare outside China and due to their “problem” with Google some of them come without any Google App pre-installed means you cannot access Play Store, Gmail, etc,etc without flashing the app.

      So, IF in any case S4 will be the downfall, it will not be because the build quality, people don’t give a sh** about build quality otherwise S3 and Note2 won’t be selling like hotcakes. S4 downfall will not be caused by OS adaptation, S3 and Note2 again indicated that Samsung has no problem adapting the newest OS on their (new) handsets. So if there is any “hole” to Samsung’s downfall, it will be Tizen, people are free to say any conspiracy behind Tizen, but for me their separated focus on 2 different OS might cause a “less” impressive build on S4, might be the best features are saved for Tizen despite the real reason behind Tizen.

    • Cao Meo

      As big as Samsung is, I think other Android OEMs will fill the vacancy left by GS4 very quickly. As we can see from stats, Samsung can not slow the iPhone, it just cannibalizes other Android OEMs’ sales.

    • whatsittoya

      Im eagerly waiting for the S4 as much as im waiting for the Google/Motorola phone. Im going to have to rob a bank to get my hands on both these devices lol. (PS just kidding about the robbing bank part)

    • http://www.facebook.com/kunatiabhi Abhishek Reddy Kunati

      S4 is gonna rock, no doubt discusion finished!

      • http://www.facebook.com/ashad.mamood Ashad Mamood

        Samsheep

        • Hellboy

          Bitterness.

          • Anonymousfella

            Dont mind him…he trolls on every s4 related article

    • Truth-hurts

      Is it me or doesn’t blinkfeed resemble the sony timescape feature cause it looks awfully similar to it so sense 5 with blink feed isn’t for me it looks to close to timescape. Fact is ppl buy what they like i bought my girlfriend a S3 and yet she’s in love with my Xperia TX it all comes down to the customer for me i can easily use any top end android device cause i’m comfortable with it 1 and 2 take away the skins and the experience is always almost the same just boils down to who customizes their software the best and for now it is Samsung doing it. One more thing stop talking about feature’s like s-voice and such things cause the average user doesn’t use these things and it’s all marketing gimmicks that fanboys come on these sites to use as ammo in there pointless wars ppl buy what they like most of the times as long as they can afford it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/mayowa.ajao.961 Mayowa Ajao

      I believe Samsung will want to take out its competitors by playing the 3D card with GS4. Watch out for this…….

    • asdfgh

      No. When the S4 fails, all the people will go either back to the iPhone or chnage to something new like windoes phone.

    • http://www.facebook.com/Maimutul Serban Alexandru Manea

      C’mon man, S-Voice is silly, but S-Beam isn’t…it’s amazing.

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