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Samsung renames smartphones, adds to confusion

Unveils first four models in an expected blitz of launches to take place at next week's IFA trade show in Germany


Published: 24 August, 2011

READ MORE: Samsung | Handset | Android

Samsung has chosen the IFA consumer electronics trade show in Berlin, which kicks off next week, as the showcase for its holiday season handset line-up. With the wildly popular Galaxy S2 yet to launch in the US, it nevertheless already needs to tempt European channels with new promises, especially with the 'iPhone 5' looming. As well as pre-announcing four new Android models, all of which will make their debut at IFA, Samsung has emulated Nokia's recent move to streamline its naming conventions to reduce confusion over its broad portfolio.

Samsung took a long time to move away from forgettable numerical labels for its multifarious handsets to more marketable brand names such as Galaxy for Android and Wave for its own bada platform. But the models within those families are diversifying too, and now a new naming structure will group all Samsung's smartphones into five classes, each identified by a single letter.

The top rank of devices will be the 'S' class, which stands for 'super smart' and will be reserved for the flagship products such as Galaxy S. Next comes 'R' ('royal' or 'refined', apparently), for phones which are heavy on performance and power, and often business focused, but have somewhat less multimedia wizardry than 'S' models. Next in line are 'W' ('wonder') phones, which Samsung describes as "high quality, strategic models" - this seems to translate to midrange smartphones such as many Waves. The 'M' ('magical') group are low cost handsets that still have a full OS and browser, while the 'Y' ('young') category covers low end products for younger users or emerging markets.

Even leaving aside the rather fanciful words for which the new letter classifications stand, the hierarchy remains far less clear than Nokia's. This is partly because Samsung seems to aim to introduce models in each class to its Galaxy range, which has been very effectively marketed as a premium smartphone family. So among the quartet of new handsets is a 'Galaxy Y', which appears to be a contradiction in terms - a Galaxy featurephone. In fact, this is officially a smart device, with Android and Samsung's TouchWiz user interface and Social Hub. It highlights the move of Android into the low cost areas previously reserved for proprietary featurephones or Java handsets. But it is almost certainly a mistake to spread the Galaxy brand so thinly, even if Android is stretching its tentacles up and down the device food chain. The Galaxy Y has an 832MHz processor and there is a 'Y Pro' variation with a Qwerty keyboard and the ThinkFree mobile office software.

The other two launches introduce a 'W' and an 'M' class handset to the Galaxy family. The former comes with a 1.4GHz processor, 14.4Mbps HSPA and a 3.7-inch touchscreen, plus Samsung's three media hubs, for games, social networking and music. The Galaxy M Pro has a Qwerty keyboard and optical trackpad as well as the touchscreen and is aimed at business users, supporting Exchange ActiveSync, Cisco Mobile and Webex, and Sybase Afaria.

Many other Samsung revelations - and more naming confusion - are expected in Berlin, including the next Nexus smartphone it will make for Google, which will be the first device to run the upcoming new Android release, Ice Cream Sandwich. This may well be the last Nexus to be made by Samsung, given Google's plan to acquire Motorola Mobility.

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Add Comment

Posted by deepakanillala on Wednesday 24th August, 2011

Way to go samsung..!!!! Waiting for the "Something Big"..!!!


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