There are 2 more weeks to go until MWC, and we already have a leak for what looks like will be a Galaxy S 2 Plus phone that will be unveiled by Samsung there. Some believe this is not the Galaxy S 2 Plus because it doesn’t fit some benchmarks, but unless the picture is fake, this looks exactly like a Galaxy S 2 Plus would look like.
This trend for Samsung worries me a bit. They are messing with a good thing, which was releasing one great phone every year, and are starting to offer a new model every few months with a few improvements. This can only mean that once the Galaxy S 3 is unveiled just a few months from now, it might not look as spectacular, specifically because they’ve been releasing every single technological improvement that might make the next-gen Galaxy S be head and shoulders above the previous version.
Also, other rumors say that Samsung might at least announce, if not release, the Galaxy S 3 in April. An April release is certainly possible, but in the light of releasing Galaxy S 2 Plus in February, if not later, it would seem crazy to release them with such close launch dates. Even if it’s in June, it would still seem pretty close.
I’m not completely opposed to the idea of having a Plus version at exactly the middle of the lifecycle for a phone. Google does it, too, with 2 major versions of Android per year, and chip manufacturers do it, too (if not more often, which I also find pretty crazy – there’s no reason to release a chip with +200 Mhz every 3 months).
So the point is, I could see how this would work out, if say Galaxy S 3 gets released in June, then a Galaxy S 3 Plus in December, which would have everything upgraded by 30-50%, but keep most of the looks the same (it just needs to be a beefed up version for those of us buying it late in the lifecycle), and also come with a newer version of Android than the original, which should be mandatory.
This should be good enough for new buyers who are looking at competing offerings as well, and the original just doesn’t seem as powerful anymore, while in the same time it doesn’t completely annoy the original buyers, because the improvements are not that great to warrant getting the Plus version, and they would be better off waiting for the next major release another 6 months. Then, release the Galaxy S 4 in June 2013, which should be about twice as good as Galaxy S 3 in everything, and also has the latest major version of Android. And then continue this cycle.
The Galaxy S 2 Plus rumors seem to be almost on par with what I’m asking for, considering it’s supposed to feature Android 4.0, only a slightly changed design, and most likely a dual core 1.5 Ghz Exynos 4212 (30% faster CPU, 50% faster GPU). There’s just that problem I mentioned in the beginning. The timing is absolutely terrible. This should’ve been announced in November or December, at least in the rest of the world. I guess the US launch completely messed up their launching plans, too. But if that was the case, then they should’ve just discarded the GS 2 Plus, and start this process with Galaxy S 3.