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PHONES / INDUSTRY

Want A Samsung S4? Join the queue!

By Oonagh Reidy | Friday | 10/05/2013

S4 is going like hot cakes

Well join the queue - in Samsung's Store in Sydney anyway. 

We visited the flagship store on Sydney's George St yesterday afternoon to find a steady queue forming at 5pm behind what appeared to be a specially set up Galaxy clinic, attended by two Samsung staffers.

It appeared consumers - whether they wanted to buy an S4 or had an issue with their Galaxy phone - were forced to join the queue

However, we were told by employees that the store still had the S4s in stock in both colours. 

Samsung Galaxy clinic

But it's not all about Samsung's new 5 inch S4 "life companion" with all its new software bells and whistles - like S Health, S Translator and even the ability to scroll pages with your eyes. 

Samsung also was selling older models including Galaxy S II, S III and Ativ S. Recent analysts figures show Samsung market share expanded further in first quarter 2013. 

The worlds biggest phone maker set up an S4 kiosk in Westfield Parramatta in Sydney's western suburbs as it pushes the hero smartphone into the hearts and minds of Aussie consumers. No word if there are similar kiosks elsewhere. 
The Galaxy queue at Samsung Store, Sydney at 5pm yesterday

Hot or Not? 

The phone is also a hot product at Telstra, who is selling a slew of other devices including HTC One, the new BlackBerry and LG Optimus G, alongside the Galaxy hero.

In fact, HTC One, the company's new 'superphone' was given far more prominence over rivals at the top of Telstra's smartphone counter display, as HTC puts big marketing bucks into pushing its make-or-break device (hell, HTC's CEO has even pledged to quit if it doesn't do the business). 

"As expected, we've encountered huge levels of customer interest in the new Samsung Galaxy S4" a Telstra spokesman told CN. 

"Whilst we don't give out specific sales numbers, it's clear that it will very quickly become one of the most popular smartphones on the market. " 

"Given the excitement following its launch at the Opera House, we made the decision to open our icon stores in Melbourne (Bourke St) and Sydney (George St) an hour early [on the first day of sale] to help cater for demand."

However, there was little excitement anywhere at the Telstra flagship store on George St - just down the road from Samsung - which appeared to be very quiet when we visited it, yesterday afternoon. 

This was in contrast to the Samsung Store, which is selling the whole 'Samsung experience', with Galaxy Note phablets, LCD's and Ultrabooks all on display, where consumers were pouring over its technology.

One of Australia's biggest retailers JB Hi Fi also confirmed the S4 will be one of its big sales drivers this year, along with HTC One in a presentation to investors, last week. 

When CN contacted Samsung Australia about sales numbers it said: "unfortunately we don't disclose local sales figures."

The Apple Divorce 

The new glossy S4 is also said to be enticing a lot of ex-Apple loyalists over to the Android platform. 

One ex-iPhone 4 user spoke to SmartHouse about moving over to an S4, having never owned an Android device before now. 

"I think the big difference is its physicality; how thin and light it is compared to an iPhone 4. It's got whole bunch of features I've not yet explored."

"Coming from a Mac background it's been more difficult to integrate into the rest of my digital life," he admitted.  

"But it's still better" the impressed Galaxy S4 owner added. 

But nothings perfect. 

For all its bells and whistles (and there's plenty) the S4 is said to be a major juice guzzler. In fact, its battery life is said to be worse than its predecessor S III, tests indicate. 

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