Galaxy Alpha reportedly canned as Samsung focuses on affordable Galaxy A series

Galaxy Alpha reportedly canned as Samsung focuses on affordable Galaxy A seriesThe mid-range Samsung Galaxy Alpha was launched in August this year as the “evolution of Galaxy design”, but a report from South Korea suggests it’s already on the way out.

Instead, Samsung will “take the bull by the horns” and focus on its affordable Galaxy A series (left), with a big Galaxy A5 push set for South Koreans as early as next month.

For our money, the Samsung Galaxy Alpha was always a bit of a strange phone, awkwardly fusing mid- to high-level specs with a design that was never quite sure if it was premium i.e. metal sides and a synthetic rear.

Being hailed as an “iPhone killer” prior to launch probably didn’t do the Galaxy Alpha any favours, either.

As such, we’re not overly upset when sources of Korea’s ET News say: when the remaining materials for the Galaxy Alpha are used up, it’s Game Over.

The Galaxy A series makes much more sense, essentially looking to address, well, Samsung’s failure to address the wallet-friendly end of the market; certainly not in any notable fashion. There’s nothing one might hold up as a genuine contender to the Motorola Moto G, for example.

The Samsung Galaxy A3 and Galaxy A5 were officially unveiled at the beginning of November, and the Galaxy A5 (already on sale in China and Taiwan) will supposedly get a major push when it lands in South Korea – as early as next month.

Samsung Galaxy A5 specs include a 5.5in 720p display, Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB expandable storage, 13MP/5MP cameras, and a 2,300mAh battery.

Analysts reckon the Galaxy A5 is actually a better phone than the Galaxy Alpha, and that it’ll be priced more competitively. Sounds good to us.

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7 comments

JanSt / MOD  Dec. 29, 2014 at 15:58

The Galaxy Alpha was bound to flop - over-priced, and many compromises... Like a Blackberry Z10 with metal trimmings. Here in Ireland the Alpha on prepay cost more than a Note 3 on some networks. More than a 5S and very close to an iPhone 6... And never mind the superior Z3 Compact that was 20 - 30% cheaper outright. What could go wrong, eh?

matt101101 / MOD  Dec. 29, 2014 at 16:41

Seriously, if Samsung handed me control of their "specs vs price" department, they'd have hit after hit...

They need to release 3 phones per year. Something to challenge the standard high end stuff, something to challenge the phablets and something around £100 with great specs for the money (see: original Moto G).

Literally every other phone they make is either overpriced, under-specced or just filling a niche which isn't there.

JanSt / MOD  Dec. 29, 2014 at 16:54

True.
It seems Samsung and quite a few other players fail to read the signs right.
The bubble burst. That isn't the end, but it can be if you really try, and Samsung almost couldn't perform worse if they WERE trying. Alpha canned... so guess how the few people who bought one will feel when the Alpha is, inevitably, dropped from the list of supported devices in terms of software upgrades and fixes?
It's easy to churn out dozens of device variants, but look at the dreadful support!
Google can't even launch Lollipop without screwing things up for some Nexus devices. Now imagine the 100 or so Galaxies + Touchwiz branding, plus network locks and network branding... Some metal bits cannot justify an utterly redundant device and its maker's odd decisions.

matt101101 / MOD  Dec. 29, 2014 at 17:17

Samsung's biggest problem is that they don't seem to realise that there's no middle ground when it comes to smartphones any more. People either buy something which would sell SIM Free for £500+ (whether that's a high-end phone or a "phablet"), or something which would sell SIM Free for sub-£150, but performs really well.

The days of having a low-end, mid-range and high-end phones are over; low-end phones got good enough to kill off the mid-range stuff. There's just no point in phones which sell, when new, SIM Free for between £200 and £400.

I realise that lots of Samsung's phones are parts-bin specials, made of of left over displays, SoCs etc from better selling phones, but such crap just takes up production and shipping space from phones which might actually turn a profit.

Also, as you quite rightly say, software support on Samsung's non-flagship devices is awful. It's fine if you've bought a Note or Galaxy S, but for everything else it's atrocious. It doesn't help that Samsung's relatively heavy TouchWiz UI doesn't play nicely with less powerful hardware, either.

Seriously, the best phone I've used in the last couple of years, which would suit ~90% of people, is the original Moto G. It's a shame the mk2 version is nowhere near as compelling.

JanSt / MOD  Dec. 29, 2014 at 17:25

All true.

SpeedyG  Dec. 30, 2014 at 00:45

Nice rant Matt. Shame no-one at Samsung UK HQ will read it. ;)

For Samsung to become relevant again, they need to drop Touchwiz and build a Samsung G flagship 35-50% off the current entry price when new...

krogothnx  Dec. 30, 2014 at 12:35

My idea of how samsung could stay on top;

Go for a more modularised software approach. Change touchwiz to literally just be a visual skin on top of android, not a different approach to android.

Offer all the software 'features' as optional apps. Pre-install them on new phones (or better still, give the choice as part of a first-time setup somehow), but allow them to be fully removed if someone doesn't use it, so the feature selection can be tailored, and also sold for small fees as standalone stuff to people with other android phones.

Just moved from Samsung to HTC but miss S-something? Pay 1.49, get it as an app, samsung still makes some money.

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