The Samsung s20 series has not sold overly well in this iteration. There are probably three major reasons for this:
- the phones were simply far too expensive
- COVID hit just around the introduction. The timing of the introduction couldn’t have been worse.
- the colours were not inspiring like the previous s10 phones
- and just to throw this in, people could not see what they were getting for such money unlike the s10 series.
Although all the above has played a role in the poor sales, the price of the phones was probably the main factor that held the phone from selling better. These phones were selling priced at the same as or higher than iPhones something no one was used to from Android. There are great Android phones but they could always be had for less than the iPhone. Android’s and even Samsung’s market is not as robust as that of Apple. For instance, although there are many cross platform pieces of software, it has been accepted that the software on the iPhone is generally better.
A Case in Point
To demonstrate how the price factor might have been playing a role, BestBuy has the s20+ phone on sale for quite the savings. In Canadian dollars, the markdown was $360.00 bringing the price of the phone down to $1219.00. This is less than the iPhone 11 Pro and the iPhone 11 pro Max. At this discounted price, I decided to buy the black s20+, which was the only colour I liked.
Once I had gotten the phone, I in using it and I concluded it was a very good device. It was using OneUI 2.1, a skin I particularly like. In fact, I prefer this skin over IOS. As I used the phone the time was arriving that I had to decide whether I should keep it or not. I have a complete Mac environment and although there are some things better suited to the iPhone than Samsung however, I was really enjoying the phone.
For a long well I have had my Androids well integrated into my Apple environment. My key apps are all cross platform and sync well with Samsung. Further, I use Exchange for sync of the Calendar and Contacts list and it works like a charm.
The ergonomics of the s20+ is better than that of the Pro Max. It is not as heavy and is easier to hold and type on. I much prefer the interface and find I am far more productive using OneUI 2.1 than IOS. Having seen IOS 14 I think this will more strongly be the case. People who have been used to a very simple and logical UI on the iPhone will be confused when first presented with IOS 14.
There is a lot I like about the iPhone but I was simply bored with it. Additionally, the 64 gig model does not cut it for me so I have to use a 256 gig model and it is substantially more than I’m willing to pay.
Personally, the Samsung screen is a delight and it is simply more fun to use while at the same time you get things done faster. It is hard to give up the iPhone (for now) but I find things are flowing nicely on the s20. Whether I stay with the Samsung for a long time remains to be seen as Apple is making some needed changes to the UI. However, it will take one or two updates for it to operate stabily.
s20 Series when Priced Right ….
Samsung made a major mistake with the pricing of the s20 line. To put it bluntly, the phones were simply too much money starting at a $1000 and ending at $1400. Priced right, the phone will sell. How well it would sell remains to be seen.
The original pricing of the s20 line remains but deals have started to happen. Some of these deals include aggressive pricing and with that the phone sells. However, at introduction a head wind was at the bough. That is, reviewers along with everyone else had a poor view of the s20s and this was mainly due to price but not solely.
Unlike the Samsung s10 series that brought with it some cool features and fantastic colors the s20 series lacked. Although Samsung pushed the camera capability there were problems especially with the Ultra. The thing most reviewers focused on was the 120 MHZ refresh rate of the screen. Yet, phones seem to be headed in this direction.
For many they found the cameras to be no better than that of Samsung s10 line. Again, compared s10s the color options weren’t there and the ones provided were drab.
Finally, the COVID pandemic happened at exactly the same time as the phones were released. How much of a problem this presented is hard to know as the iPhone continues to do well.
A Shock for Samsung
Samsung tends to follow Apple’s lead but they do not have in the Android arsenal the software available for an iPhone. The iPhone’s name is associated with more panache. To actually introduce phones that were more expensive than the iPhone has to be seen as fool hardy.
COVID and the economic damage it has produced has everyone more money conscious at a time Samsung introduced these very expensive phones. If they had had a crystal ball maybe they would have approached it differently. For many, the move stuck of arrogance not deserved. Samsung has done well in the mobile market but Android’s positioning overall has to be slightly different.
If Android gets the same quality software available for the iPhone and can integrate flawlessly into the two major compute environments that of Apple and Microsoft, an Android’s price positioning could more aggressive.
There’s no question, the hardware of the s20s is excellent. They are fast, flexible and nicely weighted phones. Priced right they would have done well. They might turn out to do alright but there is no question Samsung has taken quite a hit on this one. Since their name is synonymous with quality (Apple buys Samsung panels) they can recover. However, in this market companies can be on top of the hill one day and not found another.
Apple is positioning themselves extremely well with their iPhone 12 lineup. Samsung will need to do the same thing. They will need to read the market right and deliver what the consumer needs and wants and not what they think they can generally get away with.
The s20s are excellent phones no question however, there is a limit to what the masses will pay for SmartPhones. Technology has advanced so far that what is called a budget phone is actually quite good and will only get better. People will continue to want flagship phones but en masse only if they’re priced right. Otherwise a very good product could just gather a lot of dust sitting on the shelves.