It took an exploding phone for Samsung to do what it should have done ages ago

Until the Galaxy Note 7 became a fire hazard, Samsung has had two flagship lineups on the market since 2011, when the original Galaxy Note came out as a larger, more powerful upgrade to the Galaxy S2. Every year, the company introduces its newest hero device, in roughly four different color options. But as we regularly see, Samsung never makes it a point to make all those color options available in every market. The same goes for the higher storage models of Galaxy flagships, although the lack of storage options has never been a huge problem as more than one storage variant is mostly a new thing in Samsung’s smartphone lineup.

Apple, on the other hand, handles this perfectly. Every new iPhone becomes available in every color and storage option on the first day in every market where it goes on sale, and while it’s natural that some of these color and storage variants go out of stock due to high demand, Apple ensures that it puts them all out on the market. Yes, this can be attributed to the fact that the Cupertino company has only a single new iPhone (and, since 2014, two new iPhones) to sell an entire year, but it is nevertheless a good thing when it comes to consumer choice.

Sadly, it took an exploding phone – and the huge task of making do with a single flagship the entire year – for Samsung to do what it should have been doing for many years. Soon after ending production of the Galaxy Note 7 and announcing a global recall, Samsung announced that the Galaxy S7 edge would soon be coming out in Blue Coral, the attractive and extremely popular new color that was introduced with the Note 7. Initially, it looked like the Blue Coral S7 edge would be exclusive to a few markets, but we are now seeing the new color option appear in different markets with each passing day.

Then came the new Black Pearl S7 edge with 128GB of storage. We thought it would be exclusive to South Korea, but it has already gone on sale in India and should be making its way to other markets in the coming weeks. There are still a few countries where Samsung hasn’t launched the new color options, but it has certainly opened up availability to a wider audience than it had before the Note 7 was confirmed to be a ticking time bomb and taken off the shelves.

The Blue Coral Galaxy Note 7

Why doesn’t Samsung always put every color option up for sale right on launch day? Well, the biggest reason we have heard is that the decision is taken based on consumer preference for a particular color in different markets (for example, India and Dubai were one of the few markets where the gold Note 7 was launched instead of the Blue Coral variant). Going by consumer preference certainly makes sense – it wouldn’t be a good financial decision to, say, launch the white variant of a flagship in a country and then see it sitting on store shelves because a majority of the consumer base prefers its smartphones in one of the other available colors.

I completely understand Samsung’s reasoning, but I think the company has been rather unfair with its customers. If I’m paying top dollar for a flagship smartphone, shouldn’t I be able to choose from every paint job (or storage variant) available? It doesn’t matter if the masses prefer a particular version – those in the minority with different tastes should also be catered to when it comes to spending upwards of $800 on a product. Why should a consumer in one market not have access to options available to consumers in other markets? We’re all paying a similarly high price, and it’s time Samsung started treating everyone equally.

The Galaxy Note 7 fiasco has caused a lot of problems for Samsung, but I can’t help but feel that the incident has also brought with it something positive. Right now, it’s the fact that Samsung is making more color options for the Galaxy S7 edge available to more people, even though the move isn’t useful for anyone who has already bought the device. The regular Galaxy S7 would also benefit from the same – the S7 edge might be more popular, but shouldn’t those opting for its flat sibling also get the same treatment?

Maybe the company is using the “one step at a time” notion here, but it would be great to see Samsung taking a leaf out of Apple’s book (one that actually matters) and making available every  color option in each and every market where its future flagship smartphones go on sale. You know, make it a trend instead of doing it only when the need arises.

What do you think?

Opinion 38
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38 Comments

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2Terrible
8 months 27 days ago
2Terrible

Abhijeet…The last comment alluded to your misrepresentation of the Note7 ‘exploding’ as being sensationalistic. You chose to double down by not correcting the inaccuracy, telling your readers that, just like the title of your piece, you are more interested in grabbing the headline as opposed to true journalism.

Samsung providing more color options for its product lineup, is in no way associated with the Note7. Samsung has been, and probably will continue to be, consistent about being inconsistent with its products until it stops trying to become Apple.

Abhijeet M.
8 months 27 days ago
Abhijeet M.
Ah, yes, I do accept that the headline is a bit sensationalist, I chose not to use the word explosion in the story itself as a result. As for the color options, it is clearly because Samsung now has to sell the S7 edge, the timing of it is just too right for it to be something other than a decision made after the Note 7 got removed from market. I feel that if Samsung really must keep taking inspiration from Apple, it should at least do it where consumers get an advantage. Like rolling out regular monthly updates in… Read more »
mustaka
8 months 27 days ago
mustaka

There had been not a single instance of explosion. A few batteries caught fire due to excessive heat, that’s all. This lie being repeated by a site dedicated to Samsung products is completely unfortunate.
And there is nothing wrong with producing more than one flag ship. Note series has always been a bit improved but mainly S-Pen version of the same year’s S series device. According to your illogical logic, S7 and S7 edge too count as more than one flagship device. I have not seen anything more absurd than this article for a long time.

Abhijeet M.
8 months 27 days ago
Abhijeet M.

Like I told someone else, nowhere do I say that Samsung should only produce one flagship, only that it is having to make do with one flagship right now because the Note 7 is no longer there. Maybe read the thing properly?

mustaka
8 months 25 days ago
mustaka

It is your headline; “It took an exploding phone for Samsung to do what it should have done ages ago”.
What should it have done ages ago then, if not one flagship every year?
If you meant something else with it, then ok, I took it wrong and sorry.
But it still mentions “explosion” as if it were a fact.

mtb262626
8 months 27 days ago
mtb262626
Personally for me I don’t care if they do away with the note line as much as I like the note models as long as they introduce the S Pen into the S line and the and they up specs and storage needs to be a minimum off 64GB with expandable storage up to 256GB. As for colours well I kind of do wish they would release all the colours at the start in every in every market that way people would get to choose the colour they want right from the start instead of having a buy a colour… Read more »
maccyb
8 months 27 days ago
maccyb

That’s just semantics right there. If you introduce the sPen into the S8 line, probably on the bigger model, well you’ll have a Note8, just a different name.

sammobilerockz
8 months 27 days ago
sammobilerockz
I would have to disagree on both the points with you Abhijeet. 1) Releasing different colors and different storage capacity models in all the countries. ——–>I strong believe that this isn’t due to Consumer preference. It is due to the fact that estimating the demand for Samsung phones is quite hard as there is a huge product diversification ranging from entry to mid range to upper midrange to flagship. 2) Single flagship an year ——–>You must be kidding me right? You want the Note series to be banished? It might not have as many sales as its ‘S’ counterpart but… Read more »
Abhijeet M.
8 months 27 days ago
Abhijeet M.
I never said they should start launching just one flagship, only that they had to do make do with it in 2016 because the Note 7 is no longer on the market. I love the Note series myself, and one exploding device is no reason to kill the entire lineup. Also, it might be hard estimating demand, but as a consumer I want all the choices that people in other countries have. Same goes for software support: Samsung updates devices regularly in some markets but not so in others. Apple, on the other hand, makes no discrimination of this sort,… Read more »
sammobilerockz
8 months 27 days ago
sammobilerockz
I’ll have to agree with you on the Software support – The Marshmallow update never made it to my S6 Edge till S7 was in stores, where I live, in spite of other countries getting it. I like the public beta update this time though. The build will get sufficiently tested before it hits all the devices. I even liked the Marshmallow build on the S7, when compared with my S6 edge – build on S7 made the UX to be buttery smooth – with Nougat, it should be even better. I feel jealous of you guys for being able… Read more »
Abhijeet M.
8 months 27 days ago
Abhijeet M.

Yes, here in India the Note 5 got Marshmallow on the same day the S7 and S7 edge were launched. Samsung clearly also holds out on updates till the time is right, which is another slap in the face for anyone buying a flagship phone.

sammobilerockz
8 months 26 days ago
sammobilerockz
The idea is the Android OS iteration exclusivity for the new flagship. Its got to do with the launch time of Samsung’s flagship vs the new Android OS iteration release time. Considering the new Android OS iteration release date, it would have been ideal for Sammy to launch its flagship every year some time may be during the Mid November -> i.e. a month or so post the new Android iteration release date considering Mid October to be the release date(Nougat being the exception which released a little early). The new flagship will any way be released with the latest… Read more »
DejanKruljac
8 months 27 days ago
DejanKruljac

They should bring back Emerald Green for all new high-end devices..

LIVEFRMNYC
8 months 27 days ago
LIVEFRMNYC

That’s my dream color!! I was pissed off when I couldn’t get it for the S6 Edge in America.

friss
8 months 27 days ago
friss

very well said, samsung please launch all colours and storage sizes in all market, I am the buyer, i have the right to choose! Please don’t introduce inequality and discrimination for Galaxy S8. Secondly, for god sake, please reduce the number of variant for a particular model thus making software update easier and i am still waiting for the day that an update will be issue globally like Apple does, everyone get the same update on the same day!

jjcommonsense
8 months 27 days ago
jjcommonsense
As somebody who used to work at Best Buy, when apple would launch their phones, if a particular color was sold out, the customer would often take their second or third choice and more phones would sell….. some were die hard fanatics about that rose gold and could only have “that color” but that was mainly because it was new…. but either way, most people who wanted the phone on launch day or soon after just wanted THE PHONE and knew they would be putting it in a case so they’d make due with what they could get…… Samsung on… Read more »
eHoolie
8 months 27 days ago
eHoolie

I just wish they would limit the total devices they made. We don’t need every letter in the English alphabet. Well written op. piece btw.

mantaka
8 months 27 days ago
mantaka

128 Gb should be a default with S8 or NOTE8. I got a S7E because it was to good to pass on after the Note7 fiasco. Will be selling it and getting NOTE8 if it’s worth it. Now I want a big ass screen, 8GB RAM, best CPU and best camera, big ass battery. Also new Sd card format if supported and + as a gift for preorders would be cool, but only can wish 🙁

jorgeh13
8 months 27 days ago
jorgeh13

What a waste of a perfectly good title . You could have used this article to say something useful like “it took exploding phones to teach them to do something they should always have done and that is always use removable batteries.” But no …. useless puff piece over colours… Awesome.

Abhijeet M.
8 months 27 days ago
Abhijeet M.

Removable batteries aren’t coming back, and that’s something you have to live with. I personally see no need of removable batteries with the advent of fast charging and portable batteries (although it is certainly useful for those who are often travelling), so this opinion piece doesn’t make a point about those. Color choices are also rather important as you have to see your phone everyday, and it makes no sense for Samsung to limit color choices for consumers.

SAMgalaxyXXX
8 months 27 days ago
SAMgalaxyXXX
Yes but there’s no denial that the use of the “exploding” word has more to do with what actually (supposedly) happened to Note 7 which was a battery issue not a colour issue. Removable battery is gone for sure but it’s the most user friendly way of dealing with battery life, in the short and long term, despite quick charging and portable batteries. Remember that batteries don’t self regenerate so they way we use our phones nowadays (we can’t practically even breath without them next to us) means that the battery wears out drastically before a year. Quick charging is… Read more »
maccyb
8 months 27 days ago
maccyb

I’m a heavy user and have never had a battery wear out after a year, even a removable one. It’s not an issue even after 2 years and if you need or want to keep a phone for longer, Samsung service will do a professional job of installing a new battery.

SAMgalaxyXXX
8 months 27 days ago
SAMgalaxyXXX

Yeah I know in that in YOUR particular case you probably have a self regenerating battery, no surprise.
I don’t want to have to think about what available time I have to travel to a Samsung store (not near to where I live) or any other repair shop to do so if I can avoid it.

SAMgalaxyXXX
8 months 27 days ago
SAMgalaxyXXX

“Cheap Crap”
Well if you call the S3 a cheap crap barely 2 months after it was released and the Note 4 3 months after its release maybe.
You don’t probably believe what you are saying yourself, you just want to stress yr opinion as valid over anyone else’s.
Remember almost 2 years ago when you came here to write those long non sense essays with your “well based” explanations supporting Samsung’s decision to ditch Micro SD card on the S6?
How could you say that a battery doesn’t wear out and especially after 2 years of heavy usage?

maccyb
8 months 27 days ago
maccyb
I didn’t say the S3 was cheap crap, I said you may be accustomed to buying cheap crap. There’s a difference. However technology moves on, and having owned all the Notes myself, I can say that in my opinion Notes and S versions before the S6 and Note 5 definitely had a much cheaper look and feel with the plastic build. It can’t be denied. It was only when Samsung improved the build quality, including sealed in batteries that sales really began to take off. I’m sure that after 2 years batteries will wear out, I don’t keep a phone… Read more »
SAMgalaxyXXX
8 months 27 days ago
SAMgalaxyXXX
“It was only when Samsung improved the build quality, including sealed in batteries that sales really began to take off”. Really? Do you see that your thing is to argue for the sake of it just to put your thoughts over anyone else’s? What happened to the S6 sales after the improved “premium” (build quality?) look you are talking about? I don’t keep phones for over 2 years either but I don’t throw them away either. I past my old S3 to my nephew with 2 brand new batteries and the charger and I MIGHT do the same with my… Read more »
maccyb
8 months 27 days ago
maccyb
S6 and S6 Edge sales were a huge improvement on S5 which was a disaster, though they did make a mistake not including Micro SD card expansion which stymied sales somewhat. But look at S7 and S7 Edge. By far the biggest selling smartphones of 2016, and Note7 would have joined that list only for the fire problem. The fact is that nobody cares about replaceable batteries. The two premium brands, Samsung flagships and iPhones don’t have replaceable batteries and they are the two biggest selling brands by far. They won’t bring them back to win a few customers but… Read more »
SAMgalaxyXXX
8 months 27 days ago
SAMgalaxyXXX
I’m not denying the S7/S7 edge have been a huge success this year and I’m glad for it but I don’t think they (both combined) have beaten the peak sales of the plasticky S4 (alone) so far. S6/S6 edge/ edge + weren’t a huge success compared to S5. The S5 didn’t fulfill the expectations based on the high sales of S4 however it sold way more than any other android manufacturer that year.  ” The two biggest selling premium brands by far, Samsung flagships and iPhones don’t have replaceable batteries” They have been the two biggest selling smartphone companies since… Read more »
maccyb
8 months 27 days ago
maccyb
The S4 did very well, despite its plastic finish as it was offering the best Android experience, but many are doing that now, an S4 today wouldn’t sell at least as a flagship. However over its lifetime it did sell 40 million units, but according to Android Authority the S7 Edge hit 26 million by the end of June last year, and I imagine by the end of 2016 when the next 6 months figures are released it will probably knock the S4 record easily, and if you include the standard S7 well its already done it by a wide… Read more »
SAMgalaxyXXX
8 months 26 days ago
SAMgalaxyXXX
As far as I remember from the statistics of that year the S4 sold between 45-50 millions. Of course 2015-2016 have been a lot more competitive. Samsung won’t say anything less than S7/S7 edge have been their most successful phones whether it’s true or not so far without clear statistics and given that they are indeed selling well, they need to keep the hype (and I’m not questioning or denying anything, I’ll be happy if true). I’m going to put it this way to end this discussion. If I had the chance to chose between a new Note with all… Read more »
maccyb
8 months 26 days ago
maccyb

According to Samsungs own figures it was somewhere just above 40 million, but whatever, the S7 series is doing better. But you are right about personal preference and the fact is if Samsung released a Note 4 today, not many would consider it a flagship by today’s standards. Of course you can still buy a Note 4 today if you want. $420 on Amazon. You can even get a waterproof case for $25. 🙂

SAMgalaxyXXX
8 months 26 days ago
SAMgalaxyXXX

You didn’t get my point. I have a Note 4 already and don’t need another one.
I’m talking about a new Note with similar hardware to Note 4 (for removable battery) but the software of Note 7 including the camera and the screen quality.

maccyb
8 months 26 days ago
maccyb

No I got that, but my point was it won’t sell as a flagship phone today. It would sell for $400, as a mid range phone, even with Note7 software. It’s not a flagship now.

SAMgalaxyXXX
8 months 26 days ago
SAMgalaxyXXX

I don’t see why not but end of discussion. Have a good day.

maccyb
8 months 26 days ago
maccyb

It will sell for the price it is today.. 🙂 You have a good one too.

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