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    No Galaxy S22 FE this year may spell trouble for Samsung

    Opinion
    By 

    Last updated: October 14th, 2022 at 19:04 UTC+02:00

    With no Galaxy S22 FE coming out this year, Samsung may have created a void in the upper-mid-range smartphone segment and pushed itself into a corner. And with companies like Google covering the price segment that Samsung does not, the latter company might be facing the risk of losing some of its customers, if not globally, then at least in a few key markets.

    Samsung brought back the Fan Edition series during the COVID pandemic. The Galaxy S20 FE was a response to declining global smartphone sales and customers becoming more reluctant to spend money on flagships. The Galaxy S20 FE was followed by the Galaxy S21 FE a year later, but Samsung decided to pull the plug on the Fan Edition series this year, so we didn't get a Galaxy S22 FE.

    But although the lockdowns are over, the economic situation hasn't improved over the past couple of years. In fact, it appears to be getting worse, and many people make do with limited budgets as the cost of living has increased. In theory, this would've been the perfect time to cover the ~$600 market segment with a new Fan Edition device, but Samsung decided otherwise. Its primary focus is on its premium-priced Galaxy Fold and Flip phones and the Galaxy S flagship series, whose Ultra models fill the gap left behind by the Galaxy Note's demise.

    Samsung's ecosystem isn't powerful enough to keep people tied

    To a degree, Samsung wants to follow in Apple's footsteps in that the company is trying to emphasize its ecosystem, services, and experiences, which is why it created the E&I Lab last year. It's seemingly hoping that its flagship phones, expensive as they may be for today's economy, will retain high sales figures because of the ecosystem to which they belong. Apple does this with its products, and iPhone customers are still willing to pay a premium in order to remain in the ecosystem.

    But the reality is that Samsung has yet to create this invisible tie with many of its flagship customers. As long as they can live without the One UI experience, Galaxy smartphone users can freely switch to almost any other device whenever they want without losing much in ways of user experience and ecosystem. Samsung hasn't tied these customers to its product range with interoperability, and while this may be considered a pro-consumer move, in reality, it shows that Samsung has yet to figure out a way to offer more value through its various product ranges and services.

    To be fair, Samsung's mobile business relies on Android, which has an open philosophy, and therefore, it's more difficult to create a closed loop as Apple did. But perhaps this may be precisely why releasing a Galaxy S22 FE this year could have helped the company satisfy its customers who may no longer be willing to spend flagship money for the Samsung experience. As long as they can look past One UI and the top-tier build quality of Galaxy devices, they won't lose much in terms of services by switching to a different brand. The void left behind by the lack of a Fan Edition device seems dangerous in this economy and may have left Samsung in a difficult position.

    We'll have to wait and see if the company has any plans to mend this with the release of the Galaxy S23 series next year. But as it stands, Samsung customers are more or less shoehorned into buying a Galaxy A phone or paying a premium price for a Galaxy S or Z flagship. There doesn't seem to be any middle ground between these devices, and in the current climate, this could spell trouble for Samsung.

    OpinionPhone Galaxy S22 FESamsung Electronics

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