Should the Samsung Galaxy S7 release come before MWC?
Samsung tripped up a few of us last summer when it decided to release the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6+ ahead of IFA. Traditionally, Samsung’s release cycle has been Barcelona/Berlin and why not? The entire mobile news world is already on site – it saves a bundle on catering. But last summer, Samsung released its large flagships a month earlier than usual, and some rumors indicate it may do the same with its plans for the Galaxy S7 release.
Just recently, our own Joe Levi asked the question, would Samsung be better off releasing early? Well, we in the weekend debate club can’t just let a question like that hang. Let’s answer it!
Stick with the formula
First of all, there are a lot of rumors either way, so let’s talk about an early release for Samsung. As Joe correctly points out, the Galaxy S7 has been under construction for some time now. There has been planning, and bevy of meetings, testing, etc. The Galaxy S7’s release will be the culmination of months and months of work. Make no mistake, this phone will not come out until it’s good and ready. That being said, Samsung should be winding up its months and months of work and should start planning the release of arguably one of the biggest devices of the year. It’s not like you can throw together an event at the last minute and come out on top. Then again, even planning an event can go horribly wrong for Samsung.
But launching the phone while at MWC will have brought the entire mobile technology world to them at a time when the world is clamoring for new and great tech. This is called “striking while the iron is hot”. With the world at its fingertips, Samsung is virtually guaranteed to be covered by every media outlet from Hong Kong to Hollywood and seen by millions of viewers and readers around the world. MWC is a really, really great time to introduce a phone.
Don’t change a good thing
After all, it has worked remarkably well for the GS5 and the GS6. In fact, the last time Samsung tried to release a Galaxy phone by itself, it was the GS4. Sure the phone was great. The event? Eh. So Samsung should naturally build off the success it has found with its MWC introductions. Samsung blew HTC out of the water last year, even though both announced at roughly the same time. It could do so again.
Consider though, launching the phone before MWC could put Samsung in the hearts and minds of the consumer before the likes of HTC or LG who will probably introduce their next flagships right around the same time. This could gain them a significant advantage over two of its closets competitors by hitting store shelves before them. Consumers who are looking to upgrade to a new phone might not be willing to wait and see what HTC and others have to offer.
Plus, also consider that if HTC or LG (or anyone else) decide to try the same strategy of launching pre-MWC, Samsung could still get the drop on them. In this industry, timing can be crucial to the success or failure of a phone. Of course in Samsung’s case, it might only mean what level of success the phone sees considering Samsung will likely sell millions and millions anyway. So really, does it even matter when Samsung releases the GS7? Is the GS7 destined to sell regardless of when the Samsung event is, or even if there wasn’t one?
Levels of success
That’s the real question that we’re asking, isn’t it? It’s no longer a question of whether or not Samsung will outsell everyone else, but rather by how much? All the same, Samsung wants to make itself some bucks, preferably as many as possible, so let’s figure out what Samsung’s best strategy is here.
What do you think? Should Samsung get the jump on its competition by coming to the masses in early February or even January? Does the prospect of another Will Chase led road show make you want to cringe? Would Samsung be better off unpacking its latest flagship in Barcelona? Let’s all put on our CEO and Marketing Director hats and comment below, and let’s see if we can figure this out.