Samsung will make 25-30% fewer phone models in 2015

by: Eric McBrideNovember 18, 2014

samsung galaxy s5 smartphones color options 8

It’s no secret that Samsung is experiencing its fair share of financial woes lately, and, as smartphone sales didn’t reach the numbers that Samsung hoped for, many feel that it’s time for the company to rethink its strategy a bit.

It seems as if Samsung may be doing just that, as executives have confirmed that Samsung will produce 25 to 30% fewer smartphones models in 2015.

Samsung stated that they want to “increase the number of components shared across mid- to low-end models, so that we can further leverage economies of scale,” which is realistic for Samsung considering the amount of components that Samsung directly manufactures.

Samsung didn’t say exactly which models they would wind down/stop producing, but it would make sense to assume that this move would allow for focus on flagship devices, and possibly less focus on Minis and Megas. It would also appear that Samsung is under a bit of pressure to find a solution as quick as possible, which the head of the mobile division most likely felt after recently taking a massive pay cut.

While Samsung certainly needs a change in strategy, I personally wouldn’t be so quick to count them out. The Note line is still very solid, and while the S5 didn’t go where they wanted it to, sales-wise, the numbers certainly weren’t bad. Samsung is also already working on getting Android Lollipop up and running on their current phones and continues to release services to compete with the likes of Apple, so don’t rule them out just yet.

Do you think this shift in strategy will be a good thing for Samsung? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

  • Mark

    I think that this is the right move for them! Hopefully with them reducing the number of variations of devices they can concentrate more on properly updating current devices. Also they will have more time to work on that God awful UI they call touch wiz.

  • Jasmeet Singh

    Samsung clearly lost the budget smartphone battle to motorola..but motorola has also shifted some focus on high end smartphones too.The fast updates and stock Android beauty will make samsung loose this Battle too as nexus 6 helped motorola to recover its weak point- Camera.RIP samsung

  • Junaid Ansari

    Dear Samsung.

    I feel that instead of 30% you should double that number to 60%. Stick with the S and the Note line with the current design of the Alpha and Note. You have great hardware. Probably the best in the smart phone industry and your physical aspect of that hardware after checking out the Note 4 and the Alpha has stepped up quite a bit. What you need to focus on is your over bloated Software. Try stock android or something like what Motorola does. This way you will gain back a lot of the market you lost. My first android Flagship was Galaxy Nexus and although it was a Nexus it was still a Samsung phone and I loved it so please. Take some notes and please please please! Get rid of touchwiz into something more simple and easy to use.

    An android user who cares.

    • [S]unjay

      “. What you need to focus on is your over bloated Software. Try stock android or something like what Motorola does.”

      Terrible advice. Motorola’s approach to software is actually quite bad. Stock Android is bland. there aren’t any many or any cool features that the competition doesn’t sure. Sure, they added always listening and that black screen for notifications but that isn’t much. TouchWiz has made Samsung able to differentiate themselves from others in the industry. It has so many features that Stock Android can’t compare. You can’t get a similar experience anwhere but you can get a similar stock Android expereince everywhere. The general consumers love Touchwiz and all of it’s features. The only people who want stock Android are nerds on the internet and Samsung does not make phones for the minority. I know a guy who had someone flash Cyanogenmod on his S4 without his consent. He asked me to remove it because all of his features were missing.

      • chaoslimits

        What people want is a phone that just works. My stock Moto X 2013 rarely misses a beat but my friends with stock S5s frequently complain about “complete freezes”.
        Yes Samsung makes great features; I like several of the ones on the S5. However, they need to disentangle the features from the android framework. Also making their UI a theme (optional) would be great.

        • Emmanuel

          Well, there you go.. “What people want is a phone that just works”…. NOT “What people want is stock android”.. Samsung does not need to get rid of touchwiz they need to optimize it problem solved.

    • Grundyman26

      I mean no disrespect , but what would the Note be without Touchwiz?

      • Junaid Ansari

        No, you’re right. But Make it more simple to use. I had a Note 3 for a bit and didn’t like how messy it was. To each their own I guesss.

      • It would be an actual usable Android phone. Touchwiz and all the other shit that they lay on top of stock Android is bloat and just bogs the device down.

        • Grundyman26

          Then you’ll give up what the note is all about

    • crutchcorn

      ^ This guy!

    • Emmanuel

      Hypothetical: If touchwiz were really fast and just as smooth as stock. With all it’s “enhancements” would people want to get rid of it asap? would there be that huge urge to get rid of it?

      What I’m saying is, Samsung does not need to get rid of touchwiz. Keep touchwiz but focus 200%, 300%, 500% of their attention on optimizing it. If Samsung can achieve stock android level of optmization, efficiency and fluidity, I won’t even be surprised if it is hailed the best oem skin out there.

      ….and oh.. the design as well… but that’s a different story.

  • mistermastermind

    Note line, S line, Alpha line, Note Tablets, and then 2 mid-rangers (perhaps those won’t use touchwiz but instead capitalize on the optimization of stock android in order to have a better running phone with mid-range specs)

  • Anthony Wayne

    Totally agree, and i work for Samsung. Focus more on flagships, Note, S, and Alpha series. Phones like the Zoom, Mega and Mini series should be done away with.. Focus on more metal-framed phones, better designs. I personally dont mind touchwiz, but I do believe the bloatware should be kept to a minimum, allow customers to download what they want from the Galaxy App store instead of forcing it on them from jump.

    • mistermastermind

      the mid-range devices should have the least bloat to optimize the OS, i think

      • Anthony Wayne

        I think they should all have the same amount, let the consumer choose what he or she wants from the Galaxy App store. Things like Scrapbook, and Sketchbook are cool, but who really uses them??

      • [S]unjay

        Yes, they do have less bloat.

    • Dimitar Gospodinov

      I think the experimental models should continue (like the Zoom, Round etc.) but all the Grand, Duos, Core should go away. It’s good somebody to try something differend from time to time we should remember that the Note was an experiment once right?

      • Anthony Wayne

        Those are more so lower end/prepaid phones..those should stay in my opinion. Samsung has been going to put out so many flagship devices, it kind of backfires. Last year, on all major US carriers they released the S4, S4 Active, S4 mini, S4 Zoom, Galaxy Mega, Note 3 all within a 6month span. Many of those dont really have much of a purpose, especially in today’s setting. Take the mini for instance.. If you’re going to use the Alpha as a smaller variation, why keep the mini?? Or the Zoom… Why make a Galaxy Zoom if youre gonna have a Galaxy Camera??

        • Dimitar Gospodinov

          Oh sorry I take the Zoom and th Camera as the same thing (only one should remain if the market wants it)…
          I generaly agree with you I just think that the real experiments should continue. There is no real need for 100 mid rangers…
          Samsung tryed to throw stuff at the wall and see what sricks and maybe thay saw it now. I guess will see too next year…

  • MasterMuffin

    So that’s like 300 models? :P They should have done this before their sales started dropping quarter after quarter

  • Gaspar Inostroza Perez

    I hope they learn a lesson now. They need to stick to the S-line and Note-line (high-end), and create a decent mid-range/low-end line, with good prices and good specs because, to be honest, Samsung’s mid-range/low-end devices overpriced junk. Stick to AMOLED and continue with a more premium design. Overall, Samsung’s hardware is among, if not, the best Android hardware. But the software? That’s the problem. Too much bloat, the design is not pleasing to the eye like stock Android, Sense or Sony-UI, slow updates or none at all, lag and bugs, etc. They need to fix that and go for a more stock experience. This would help them to compete to the simplicity of iOS and Apple’s echosystem, which is the biggest threat.

  • systemupdate

    Make 5% of the models and put the money from the other phones into great manufacturing and timely updates.

  • Jimi

    How about stop trying to detach itself from Google and give up on Tizen? Android & iOS are successful bc they offer more than just great operating systems. I understand they tried to cut the dependency from Google but come on…. Focus on your own strength instead.

  • Armaggedon16

    20-35% is way to less.

    Samsung should only make S,Note,Grand,Mega,A going forward and cut it with all the duos and neo and mini crap

  • James

    I don’t think touchwiz is the issue. For the users who are less experienced with technology, I think it offers great functions. Its color is pretty fugly though.

    I left HTC for S3 bc HTC was slow at updating phones at the time. I left S3 for Nexus 5 for the same reason. I can’t stand being always one version behind the newest android. That just me.

  • Amin Armani

    Who cares? Now just let them have the taste of their own medicine. So they’ll see where to improve (a lot).

  • Blowntoaster

    There should be:
    an S6 (one model, maybe a mini and a GPE)
    a Note 5, Edge, and no Neo’s
    the A (Alpha) line with 3 models max of various sizes n performance.
    three Galaxy Tabs in 7, 8 and 10.1 inch sizes, ,,made of plastic (cheap, accessible tablets)
    Note or Tab Pro/S line in three sizes, maybe a 12.2. made of more premium materials (top spec IPad killers)
    only one Moto G competitor (720p, quad core Snapdragon 400 or similar, 8 mpx camera, 1GB RAM) – Touchwiz lite (if such a thing exists or can be done)
    Only one Moto E Competitor (Snapdragon 200, 5 megapixel camera, 1GB RAM) – Touchwiz lite…

    Drop the Grand, Mega, Neo, Pocket, Young blah blah blah….ranges. all of them.

  • KKKoreanDude

    Samsung, would make fewer phones????????????? why would anyone think Samsung would make fewer phones????????????????????????????????????????? I mean why??????????????????????????

  • crutchcorn

    THANK GOD. Now can we get this number even lower???

  • Eric McBride

    LOL :-) One of the many joys of writing these articles is reading some of the comments that literally make me laugh out loud and at the same time think “that’s a damn good point” on a daily basis.

    You guys never let me down:-)

    And I agree with the general consensus here. I think HTC learned the hard way on releasing too many devices and are working to reverse the damage done. Let’s see if Sammy can do the same.

  • abazigal

    I don’t think Samsung gets it at all. They sold more devices, but average profit per device fell, meaning that fewer people are buying their high end devices.

    Building fewer varieties may help lower their costs but it may not necessarily help them sell more devices (not that it helps, selling a ton of cheap phones at next to no profit still nets you very minimal profit).

    I am convinced that Android is still the root cause of the problem. For all the benefits people claim Touchwiz has, I don’t think it is sufficiently differentiated. It’s still Android under the hood, with access the same google services and play store.

    I think Samsung will have to be content with ever-decreasing margins in its future, since it doesn’t look like they can wean themselves off Android.

  • Mike Bastable

    Having recently used a Samsung phone for three months, of testing, i actually think that TouchWiz is their major advantage, for most users it
    is so comprehensive and easy to learn, that they will never switch. Samsung changes this at their peril, it is what their customers expect.
    I previously said that TouchWiz was weak and outdated but on the newer handsets it was intuitive and useful, though resource hungry.

    I wont however be switching from my LG loyalty yet, the G3 and the G2 are just soooooo smooth and great value too!

  • Emmanuel

    think otherwise, I think it’s good to offer a lot of options but the problem with Samsung’s options is that they come with different names even with the same specs…which get painfully confusing. Samsung needs an efficient naming scheme instead. How about something like this?

    Pick one name for mid-rage, and low end plus the S and Note line for the high end
    …and then for the mid and low end.. just add numbers corresponding to screen sizes

    Something like this:

    high end : note and S

    mid range : Galaxy Ace 4,5,6 (all same specs but with numbers corresponding to screen size)

    low end : Galaxy Y 4,5 (again, same specs but with numbers corresponding to screen size)

    Same wide range of options for consumers but a simpler, easy to remember, easy to understand naming scheme.

    And for annual updates? just add the year
    Galaxy Ace 4 2015
    Galaxy Ace 5 2015
    Galaxy Y 4, 2015
    Galaxy Y 5, 2015
    and so on.

  • johndestacamento

    I think Samsung should continue to compete against the top dogs. Just because they hit a big bump in the road doesn’t necessarily mean it’s permanent damage. I was a production control analyst so my opinion would to suggest trying to cutting costs in manufacturing and costs of goods. I’m sure they still have room to streamline production and improve the management structure. Developing hardware and fabrication partnerships is another strategy that should be considered.

  • johndestacamento

    If you look at Samsung’s Mobile line up, it’s fairly huge. Stay with Note Series, Galaxy S Series, and either stick with Alpha or the A3, A5 Series. I think enhancing the Mid-range line-up is a smart move. Even though their product can compete with Apple and all the big boys, they still need to compete for China and India. Geez, just those two countries is 2/3rds of the population!

  • Random

    Good move.
    They should focus on Software & h/w & i think they’ll outsell any android devices.
    They probably have enough money to do these experiments in Tizen OS.

  • skywalker

    please keep the Active series, really love the rugged phones

  • jack

    Im glad they will stop making sooo many phones. Im a fan of Samsung’s hardware cause they make the best IMO, but they suck at software. Im very glad they are experiencing financial problems because I don’t want them taking over android as the main OEM or competing with google using Tizen.
    A true Android geek who had an htc dream or so called G1 running cupcake 1.5 and loved Android to this day.

  • pyr0bee

    Keep the note(maybe edge depending on sales) , S, Alpha and Duos. Get rid of grand, zoom, round,mega etc.5 handsets in the lineup is plenty. In addition, stop releasing the same phone with upgrades specs 3month after initial release.

  • Sunny Choudhary

    i would rather say that samsung should upgrade their existing smartphones with newer android version like grand series .

  • welshblood

    Stop using “Galaxy” on everything! Keep the name for the flagship models only.