Galaxy Unpacked 2023

Why the Samsung Galaxy S23 series finds users even boring

More than a decade ago, Samsung bet its flagship Galaxy S smartphone to rival Apple’s iPhone. This gamble helped establish the South Korean giant as the standard-bearer of the Android camp. Thirteen years later, the Galaxy S series is still going strong but needs a rethink in a sea of ​​cookie-cutter smartphones from competing Chinese brands.

On Wednesday, Samsung will host an in-person event in San Francisco where it will unveil a new line of Galaxy S23 smartphones. The launch event will be a reflection of Samsung’s phone strategy for this year and where the premium smartphone market is headed, especially at a time when economic headwinds have made consumers aware of bulk purchases.

Samsung, the world’s largest smartphone maker by volume, is likely to unveil three smartphones in the Galaxy S23 lineup: the entry-level Galaxy S23 model, the larger-screen S23 Plus, and the high-end S23 Ultra. The new phones will have faster processors, improvements to battery longevity, camera upgrades and new colors — the same kind of incremental upgrades that have been offered for years now. Still, Samsung is expected to sell the new phones by the millions, thanks to its brand name, relationships with telecom operators, and clever marketing campaigns that entice consumers to pay more than $1,000 for a Galaxy S.

“There is no doubt that smartphone updates, be it Samsung’s latest Galaxy phones or Apple’s latest iPhones, have become so frequent that they almost get boring, but it is important to note that it is increasingly unrealistic to compare a new smartphone to its predecessor, or even A model from the same group is two years old,” Ben Wood, an analyst at CCS Insight, told

Galaxy S23, Samsung Galaxy S23, Galaxy S23 Ultra, samsung galaxy S23 release date, galaxy s23 price in india, samsung unpacked 2023 Samsung’s Galaxy S Ultra replaced the once popular Note series. (Image credit: Nandagopal Rajan/Indian Express)

Unlike in the past when consumers were persuaded to buy new phones by attractive features like screen size, better cameras, water resistance or improved battery life, these days people are in no rush to buy new phones unless their old devices are in need of an upgrade. “Consumers are holding onto their phones longer than ever,” he says. “The average consumer who is upgrading their phones will have a product that is at least three years old.”

This problem is not unique to Samsung; across the smartphone market. Those who haven’t updated their smartphones in the past 3-4 years may want to upgrade to Samsung’s new Galaxy S23 series, especially if they have an older phone and their batteries are struggling to charge or the devices aren’t getting new software updates. “Upgrading from the Galaxy S10 5G to the latest and greatest Galaxy phone is a huge step and, for these customers, will enhance their user experience,” he said.

Smartphones have never been more fun and exciting. The Galaxy S23 is unlikely to differ from its predecessor in terms of size and functionality. It would be faster and it might have improved cameras, and that’s it. Same for Apple. The latest iPhone 14 offers incremental upgrades over the previous generation model. There is not much to brag about in the entry-level model. Even OnePlus, which was once known for bringing high-end devices at a lower price point while keeping the hardware premium, has also become quite a hit recently. Its smartphones feel repetitive and lackluster, though it charges more for OnePlus’ flagship than it did before.

This is one of the main reasons why smartphones have stalled and not grown across major phone markets. Research firm Canalys recently revealed that worldwide smartphone shipments fell 17% year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2022. Analysts cite rising smartphone prices as one of the reasons behind the decline in demand for phones.

In the 13 years since the launch of the first Galaxy S, not only has the device changed radically, but it has also changed the high-end Android smartphone market. The Galaxy S was fresh and innovative, and that’s exactly what Samsung and Google needed to use in the iPhone. However, the Galaxy S lineup is not the only flagship Android smartphone series available in the market.

The Galaxy S23 arrives in a different environment when the smartphone market is starting to peak and competition from players like OnePlus and Vivo cannot be ignored. In fact, the South Korean company acknowledged the new reality last year and made changes to the Galaxy S lineup when it merged the Galaxy Note and Galaxy S series phones to create a new “Ultra” device. Samsung will repeat the same formula this year and bring to market the Galaxy S23 Ultra which will combine the high-end camera and performance seen in the S series with the powerful, built-in S-Pen from the popular Note series of phablets.

Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max 3 Based on preliminary estimates, Apple’s high-end iPhone 14 Pro Max has been well received by consumers. (Image credit: Nandagopal Rajan/Indian Express

The strategy is in line with what Apple is also doing with the iPhone 14 Pro Max. Not only does the Galaxy S23 Ultra offer “extra” features such as a 200MP camera and S Pen, but it is also important to increase sales of premium smartphones. On top of that, it’s usually the most loyal Samsung fans who splurge $1,200 on the latest model. Also, there has been a shift towards higher-end models as the demand for premium smartphones continues to rise in many markets.

As happened in the case of the iPhone 14 Pro Max, Apple’s high-end model saw stronger sales at the pre-order stage compared to other models in the iPhone 14 line. This is where the market is headed now. If Samsung is unable to maintain its competitive advantage, other handset players could grab market share, insiders and analysts warn.

“With the upcoming launch of new flagship Galaxy S23 devices, Samsung has an eight-month window to take the lead in high-end smartphones before launching the new iPhone 15 later in the third quarter of 2023,” explained Thomas Howson, Vice President. Principal analyst at Forrester. “I expect the main point of differentiation will center around an improved photo experience thanks to a potentially new 200MP camera and new brightness and night mode capabilities that are enabled by the phone’s enhanced performance.”

Galaxy S23, Samsung Galaxy S23, Galaxy S23 Ultra, samsung galaxy S23 release date, galaxy s23 price in india, samsung unpacked 2023 Samsung sees the future of smartphones in its foldable phone range. (Image credit: Shruti Dhabula/Indian Express)

But for Samsung, the Galaxy S line isn’t as profitable as it was a few years ago. The company is gradually building momentum for foldable smartphones, which will help Samsung differentiate its phones from the competition. This not only addresses the lack of innovation in the smartphone market, but also keeps Samsung ahead of Apple, its biggest competitor in the premium phone segment. Cupertino hasn’t launched a foldable phone yet, and until that happens, Samsung will continue to be the biggest foldable phone player on the market. Samsung itself aims to have foldable smartphones account for more than half of the premium smartphones it sells by 2025.

“While it’s the Fold lineup that grabs the headlines, the sizes are a fraction of the Galaxy S series devices,” says Wood. “The Fold’s sizes may be much lower, but the average selling price is higher than anything else, which makes it a very attractive niche,” he adds.