Samsung S4 is a nice phone but lacks the wow factor S3 had.

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The 5 inch Samsung Galaxy S4 released today in New York has more software – S Health, Dual camera, Group Cast, and tools like  eye scroll and hover feature – than we’ve had hot dinners.

But analysts warn many of these new innovations may never be used.

“Overall, there are lots of features, but based on past experience most people will never even find them on the device.”
says Jan Dawson, chief telecom analyst at Ovum.

“As anticipated, the device features a slightly larger screen, an improved camera, and beefed up processor power and memory. The company also augmented various features previously available, including its eye-tracking capabilities.

However, it be a winner for the Koreasns, Ovum analyst believes.

“The Galaxy S 4 is a worthy successor to earlier members of this line, and will doubtless sell well.”

Where do we go next?

But as the S4 launch shows, Samsung faces key challenges says Ovum, namely, having innovated rapidly how they will improve its devices when existing phones – like S 3 – are still top of their class?

Samsung now faces essentially the same challenge as Apple did after it release the iPhone 4 – where to go from here?

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Another major challenge will be how to set Samsung’s devices apart from the army of other phones on Android, from LG, HTC, and Sony all of whom are releasing mega-specced smarties.

 “As rivals such as HTC and Sony up the specs of their devices and provide ever better hardware, it becomes more and more important for Samsung to differentiate on software and services. ” warns Dawson.

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The improvements to eye tracking and the additions of S Translator and the hover feature and so on are good steps in this direction, “but they can be seen as gimmicks rather than game changers,” says the anlayst – something which this writer agrees with.

 “Samsung appears to be trying to kill the competition with sheer volume of new features – there should be something here for everyone, even if most of these new features won’t be used by most users. “

The Galaxy maker also has a “vastly superior” marketing budget and the relatively “weak” efforts of its competitors in software to keep it ahead.

“But competitors will catch up (as Samsung has caught up in many ways with Apple) and Samsung will need to continue to stretch” Ovum warns.


It also needs to build a stronger set of content offerings that cross its various platforms and has recently partnered up with Foxtel, Quickflix here-  so that it can extend its leadership into the tablet space, and give consumers a reason to buy into an “all-Samsung” experience – similar to Apple, say analysts.

“This is Samsung’s time right now,” said Gene Munster, an US based analyst at Piper Jaffray.

“They are clearly gaining more attention this time around than they ever have.”

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