Samsung has just announced that they’re going to bring a Hello Kitty branded Galaxy Y to the German market. The entry-level smartphone will be priced at 230 Euros, and for that amount of cash you’re going to get a 3-inch screen that pushes a meager 320×240 pixels, Android 2.3 Gingerbread, a 2 megapixel camera that’s probably useless, and … not much else.
How much does a Galaxy Y cost in Germany without the Hello Kitty logos? According to Amazon DE: less than 120 Euros. In other words, you’re paying more than double the cost of the phone for what’s essentially a coat of paint and a pretty theme.
But you know what, this thing will probably sell like hotcakes. Branding has the power to make people do things they wouldn’t otherwise do. People have no problem buying an outfit that costs more than 300 Euros, so this device isn’t exactly pushing the boundaries of irrational behavior.
Are more and more companies going to start producing branded smartphones? We hate to tell this, but this trend has already come and gone. Puma released a phone in 2010 that was made by Sagem. Adidas released a phone in 2007 that was made by Samsung. TAG Heuer has a whole range of insanely expensive phones. Do you guys remember the D&G Motorola RAZR from way back in 2006?
Like we said earlier, branding makes people do thing they wouldn’t otherwise normally do. There are folks out there who are more than willing to throw money at anyone selling who will them anything with a certain logo that’s prominently displayed. Say what you will about those kind of people, but they exist, and it’s a company’s fiduciary responsibility to advantage of that character flaw.