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Samsung Will Soon Unveil a Phone With “New Materials”

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Samsung had a terrible 2nd quarter. Last night, through their earnings release, they reported a 25% drop in annual operating profit and had to admit that the rest of 2014 was going to “remain a challenge.” Thanks to an overestimation of smartphone demand, along with growing competition, Samsung said that “Prospects for growth remain unclear as competition over global market share intensifies in the mobile industry.” Ouch.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Samsung will try to slow some of this slide by introducing two new phones over the coming months. One is expected to be a larger device that falls in the Galaxy Note category, likely the Galaxy Note 4. The other, well, will be made of “new materials.” 

What does that mean? It could mean a couple of things. We could see a phone made of more premium materials, like metals, instead of the “cheap” plastics that Samsung has stuck with over the years. It could also mean flexible or curved displays that aren’t shaped like tacos. Metal is probably the best guess, though, which we have already reportedly seen used in a device currently named Galaxy Alpha. Unfortunately, that device is now thought to be a mid-range offering rather than the ultra-premium phone we all want from the Korean manufacturer.

The question to ask is – will “new materials” help stop the slide that Samsung is currently seeing? Outside of their poor earnings, the IDC reported that Samsung has lost 7% of its market share in a year. Metal or no metal, the numbers aren’t looking good for Sammy at the moment.

Via:  Wall Street Journal
  • stayflyer

    I was a big Samsung fan but was really disappointed in the s5, I just recently sold my note 2, s4 and the worst s5. I now only have the HTC one m8, note 3, gear 2, galaxy gear and the LG g3. The note 4 will have to have some ridiculous features this time out for me to buy it this go around ,I’m really liking my LG g3!

  • trob6969

    As long as the metal is the rumored stainless steel and magnesium, not the cheap fragile aluminum that online tech reviewers try so hard to make consumers believe is ‘premium’, I’d be ok with it…and I prefer Touchwiz’s added features anyday over stock Android, considering the extra features don’t really bring any real sacrifices. There’s a video on YouTube that shows this. Search ‘stock Android vs Touchwiz which is faster? (Galaxy S4)’

  • Ernie

    I was regretted to switch from iphone to samsung. I was a bit disappointed when i first took out the samsung note from the box as the product seems very plasticky, but that was ok and i thought its fine as long as the phone has a big screen and run smoothly. Initially phone was OK, but after a while problems start to emerge. The battery life run out quickly; can’t even last half a day. It also get heated up easily. You can actually feel the heat when you use it for a longer time. After a while the phone become extremely lagged too, and even the most popular cleaning apps cant help boost the speed. Probably the heat already causes the hardware to deteriorate. Overall, it’s just a piece of crap and it’s definitely overpriced. I will not buy another Samsung product no more

  • TC Infantino

    And here comes Karma to slap Samsung upside the head for trying to push a forked version of Android (Tizen).

  • cnlson

    They’d have sold me two if the s5 came in a 32gb or 64gb rather than 16

  • http://www.ellianth.com Ellianth

    The problem isn’t materials. The problem is that they’re making their phones so well that people don’t need to upgrade every year. My carrier will offer me a new phone for free in November, and I don’t want to get a new one because this s4 is perfect in every way. The only reason i would replace it is if i managed to break it.

  • skinja

    I have a feeling that upgrades may slowdown. People will always buy new phones. But I think people may be slower to upgrade when there aren’t as many killer new features. Like now for example, most consumers won’t see any reason to upgrade from an S4.

    Will next years Samsung headline phone be that much different from an S4? Not unless it has some sort of amazing features or new technology. Otherwise, most consumers won’t be able to tell the difference and feel no need to upgrade.

    An S4 does basically everything most people want, The S5 isn’t worth their time. Maybe once their contract comes up, but that won’t be until next year for S4 owners. so the S5 is just to really make sure that other manufacturers don’t take Market share away from Samsung.

  • RaptorOO7

    Ditch the home button, but the fingerprint sensor on the back where the HRM is and make the phone cleaner and more updated. LG did a good job with the onscreen menu options for the G3 (should have upped the processor combo but oh well).

  • skinja

    “Outside of their poor earnings, the IDC reported that Samsung has lost 7% of its market share in a year. Metal or no metal, the numbers aren’t looking good for Sammy at the moment.”

    Except for the fact that they are still making tons of money, just not quite as much as before

  • wtd2009

    Honestly I think their best shot is making better low-mid range devices and competing more with moto and Nokia.

  • Notus

    Just make the note 4 all metal with a light android skin and a slight bump in specs from the S5. Then take my money, just take it.

  • flosserelli

    So instead of drawing inspiration from Band Aids and maxipads, their next phones will resemble Ace wraps and diapers.

  • Mark

    The S5 is a great phone only if they make a GPE I would definitely buy one… I’m not a big fan of touch wiz! I use to complain about how samsung phones feel cheap till I put my hands on the S5. It’s new design feels really premium and nice to hold!

  • Robert Isha

    The only way I won’t buy Samsung phones. Is when they stop making super Amoled screens. Man oh man. They should put that super amoled screen on 4k TV. The best blacks I have ever seen. The blacks are as good as pioneer kuro plasmas

  • Fer

    A cheaper plastic? Wait that’s the S5 crap

  • yellowdgg

    Soooo….I am guessing that with the new materials come a new fancy price ? So now there phones will probably cost in the 8 to 9 hundred range

  • William Kister

    Market is loaded with S4’s and S5’s, have to give the two year contract people time to upgrade, lol.

  • http://www.droid-life.com/ Steve B

    Maybe Shamesung should stop making garbage phones. Kill the home button, kill the cheap plastic and kill Touchwiz.

    • PoisonApple31

      Then you have a Nexus, I want variety!

  • Trysta

    Who else things that Samsung will produce an all metal phone that otherwise looks exactly like the current galaxy S line and has some strange pattern on the back to mimic gravel or steel wool…

    Dear Samsung: No one cares about the material (no one intelligent anyway). It is the fact that you use the material in the exact same unimaginative way every time. And please stop trying to mimic other materials period.

    • Jeremy Turnley

      Mimicking is fine, the G3 mimics brushed metal and it looks and feels great. It’s about the design overall; the S3 was pretty, the S4 was a rounded brick, and the S5 is an even less rounded brick. They apparently have just given up on aesthetics and just gone for utility, which is fine up to a point. I think they crossed that point with the S5.

      • Trysta

        True about the G3 (which looks great). I guess the mimicking that annoys me is when they mimic actual tactile textures rather than just a finish. The point is they can’t make a phone out of metal without changing their design philosophy and expect people to be impressed.

        • Jeremy Turnley

          Ah, yep, good point. A metal GS5 is a metal brick instead of a plastic one.

    • Ian

      thinks*

      Majority of consumers aren’t what you would consider intelligent, so i guess you could say they are catering to their market.

  • FACKWORS

    I dont really need a metal phone, I really enjoy the soft touch rubber type material of the nexus 5

  • John

    Everyone is complaining about TW and the plastic used in Sammy phones, yet people flock to them, before this downturn. What Sammy and everyone else needs to understand is that its all in the design. When you look at most of the newer Chinese made phones and even Sony, it makes your heart skip a beat. You look at current Sammy phones and you see a bandaid. The material used is irrelevant, i.e. LG G3. Beautiful in white, its plastic but it doesn’t feel cheap. So it can be done. They took the competition for granted and took their eyes off the ball and just reiterated, serves them right. The S3 will be my last and its still the most beautiful Sammy phone.

    • JSo

      People flock to them because they promote better than others. And people who don’t know any better think that Android phone = Samsung. Then they get it and complain about lag and other crap which makes people not like Android.

      • John

        It seems only Android enthusiasts will complain. Regular Joes will just see the phone with a beautiful screen and slap on a case, like most people do with any other phone. What will drive people to WANT a new phone is the overall design. Honestly not much has changed since the S3 other than better cameras and faster cpus. The front still looks the same and the back got worse and worse. TW got brighter and that’s about it. Nothing else screams resting on your laurels, besides the icraps.

  • http://www.androidspin.com/ Lindsey Miller

    It they had half a brain, they’d introduce a budget device. China is the fastest growing country for mobile sales. Just look at Huawei and Alcatel. Their profits and market share have skyrocketed because of their focus on lower-end, budget devices, and the majority of their devices are ONLY available for sale in China.

    • Jeremy Turnley

      Between China and India you have literally billions of new customers waiting for a good affordable device. Microsoft/Nokia are kicking ass in those markets because the choices for decent Android or Apple devices is nearly non-existent at a price point people there can afford.

      • http://www.androidspin.com/ Lindsey Miller

        Great point – I had totally forgotten the push that Nokia/Microsoft have made in that market as well.

    • crazed_z06

      Samsung has an entire portfolio of budget devices. THey’re facing pressure from chinese budget devices though.

      • http://www.androidspin.com/ Lindsey Miller

        To my knowledge, the only Budget devices I’ve seen from them of late are the Galaxy Light and the newly released Galaxy Avant. Both of which are around $100 more than those lower-end devices which they’re attempting to compete with. They’re on the right track, for sure, but not enough to truly make a dent in the Chinese/Indian market.

  • JSo

    Concentrate on TouchWiz Samsung. It doesn’t matter what a phone looks like if the OS looks like crap.

  • pilot25

    When is Google going to dump these ridiculous third party manufacturers and just start making a premium device on their own. Let Samsung and the rest make their crappy phones and put out a pure Google premium device that blows Apple away. Until Google starts taking a stance on the ecosystem we are going to be forced fed garbage from these manufacturers.

    • Clint O

      Couldnt have said better

    • http://www.droid-life.com/ Steve B

      Well Google needs to step up and actually make a premium device. That’s never happened, sadly.

    • cizzlen

      One thing they need to do is add more features to stock. Right now all you get is a bare bones OS which doesn’t really excite too many people outside of these tech blogs. Google can can truly innovate and place Android at the top but they have a lot of work to do before they can pop out a phone that is on the same level as Apple in the consumers eyes.

  • Root4Life

    Get rid of Knox and stop locking down boot loaders! You’re getting what you deserve Sammy.

    • BigTimmay

      Ya that won’t happen. Android has already given Samsung positive praise for what they’ve done with Knox.

  • jmashis

    Never had a problem with the build quality on a Samsung phone, it was always TouchWiz I had a problem with. Go the Moto X route. Do stock Android with no mods except MultiWindows, and S-pen functionality, keep the removable battery and SD card, keep putting in great cameras and screen quality. I’d strongly consider going back.

    Oh and ditch the buttons.

  • Sam

    Poor Richard Yarrell is probably getting ready to hang himself.

    • Suicide_Note

      My body is ready.

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      So Yarrell. Much passion.

    • http://www.droid-life.com/ Steve B

      God I hate that guy.

      • EdubE24

        You don’t see him much, but when you do….

    • A Skylit [S]unjΔy

      Lol, people are talking about Richard at every site that I go to.

    • Arian

      Who is this?

  • Wilsonian

    They need to take a note from Moto here, produce just one quality S phone, one quality Note series phone, and one quality cheaper phone. Then they need to continue taking notes from Moto and have a stock-like experience with quick updates. They can continue to make some value adds through camera software, and some of the other useful TouchWiz elements, still keeping the stock look and feel. If they made a quality material phone with less clutter and crap-ware that comes on TouchWiz, they would most certainly have a winner. The shizz storm that is TouchWiz and the ridiculous amount of phones that they churn out isn’t helping them as a company. Their focus is a just a HAIR too wide. Narrow that focus and they should be better.

    • 213ninja

      i can agree on a lot of that. they generally have a very broad focus on matching/besting any and all products and services that google and apple come up with. why does samsung need music hubs and video services and headphones and e-book stores and entire mobile operating systems??…..kill that mess and stick with play services. they try to be the jack of all trades instead of mastering something… i’ve been rocking samsung phones since the s3 and will continue to do so as long as the note line is so awesome, but i do think they are overdoing it.

      • Wilsonian

        I honestly think they are their own worst enemy. They try to do TOO much. Apple is simplistic and it seems to be working for them. Stock Android, for all intents and purposes is also simplistic. They can take that and put their own stamp on it like Moto did without the cluster that is TouchWiz. They don’t need their own music service, app service, crap service. I agree that they need to master something. Master the camera – that would be something that would sell devices. If they had a 98% stock phone, looked stock, but had the best camera software, I would be all over that. And I think that a lot of Android lovers would be, too. I wouldn’t even look at another device. My two biggest complaints are messy “skins” that overlay stock Android and cameras. Get me a mostly stock device with some solid value adds and a camera that can compete with or best the latest iPhone and you would actually have an “iPhone Killer”.

        • 213ninja

          yeah, they aren’t innovating as much as they think they are. i mean, sure they have some “neat” apps but a lot of tech minded people don’t appreciate those “features”. the masses don’t seem to mind tho. my family never complains to me about extraneous apps and gimmicks in the OS. they just don’t care, but i feel like if they dialed it back a notch and stuck to play services the masses might not notice too much, but they’d probably feel a general sense of improvement (NPI). we’d be drooling…lol. well, i would.

          and i’ll say they do seem to be genuinely innovating with the note line. the s-pen is awesome and the TW features that make s-pen great are definitely very well designed. i feel like it gets bashed on here, but in the real world, people love that damn s-pen. i myself use it daily.

          • Wilsonian

            Exactly – they just have a bunch of stream of consciousness ideas and throw them all in. I know the masses don’t notice, but they wouldn’t notice if they killed all that Samsung garbage either. And then the tech junkies like us would rejoice and they’d have won over the masses and us. And I agree about the Note and S-Pen. Although I’m strictly a stock guy when it comes to Android, I don’t see why they can’t implement S-Pen features on a mostly stock interface. Why does it have to look like and be TouchWiz?

  • 213ninja

    “please make a moto nexus please please please………..we hate it, it’s too big.”
    “please make a metal samsung galaxy please please please…………we hate it, it’s too samsung.”

    i hope this thing is awesome.

  • Disqus_n00b

    I for one look forward to the Samsung Galaxy Pro Prime S5 Active Wear, but I’ll wait for the “S” version rumored for October release.

  • proVOCAL

    C’mon, Galaxy Cardboard Edition!

  • http://www.twitter.com/cltnwd Colton

    Add metal.
    Subtract physical nav keys.
    Multiply GS4 screen size by factor of 1.
    Divide touchwiz from Android and go stock.
    Profit (literally).

    • Frettfreak

      Nice. Imo touchwiz doesn’t need to go away but needs to be majorly improved. But maybe I will think different with android L. I have been on android since cupcake but I am not a huge fan of stock Android at the moment. Imo there are better more consumer friendly options that perform just as well, have better Features and just look better (sense and LG’s ui)

      • http://www.twitter.com/cltnwd Colton

        Yeah I don’t have a huge problem with TW honestly but I would like it to be slimmed down. I just straight up DON’T USE a lot of the features. Ever. But some things are actually really nice additions IMO: camera, quick toggles, brightness sliders, lock screen, etc.

        • Frettfreak

          For me, what made me take my s5 back was the performance. It’s just Jerky and slow. Couldn’t take it. But I agree, I don’t hate it, it just needs a major overhaul

      • cizzlen

        Agreed. Forget the metal, there is nothing wrong with the plastic on the S5 imo it looks nice. The only complaint I have heard from folks is that it lags after a few weeks. I like Touchwiz but either Samsung or Google needs to do something about optimizing the way Android runs when packed with all these features.

    • SamBoy

      Physical nav keys need to stay I hate that on screen crap I want all of my screen used for screen not buttons

      • http://www.twitter.com/cltnwd Colton

        I thought they took up too much room also, but I rooted and enabled the navbar on my s4 (5″ screen) and it really seemed fine IMO. But I def know where you’re coming from. To each his own.

        • JSo

          Do like the OnePlus One and give the option for either.

          • http://www.twitter.com/cltnwd Colton

            Heck yeah. As long as they’re capacitive like the OnePlus One and can be “invisible” I’m all for that.

          • JSo

            But they would have to change that Physical home button to a capacitive one. I never liked that.

          • http://www.twitter.com/cltnwd Colton

            True. Played around with my dad’s Droid Maxx though and I think I could get used to it!

          • JSo

            The only recent phone I have had with buttons is the Droid X2. Before that I had a Palm Pre (no buttons). After the X2 I had a Galaxy Nexus (No buttons) and now I have a Nexus 5 (No buttons). I don’t think I can go back to hardware buttons.

          • http://www.twitter.com/cltnwd Colton

            DUDE I had the droid x2 haha that was like the epitome of hardware buttons (4 of them) haha. Still have it working in my drawer. I’m waiting for the X+1 or Shamu now. But would have to leave Verizon for shamu, so we’ll see what happens.

          • JSo

            Yeah, the development for that phone was a fun ride. lol

          • http://www.twitter.com/cltnwd Colton

            For sure. Might check out the XDA forums tonight.

      • SB

        Physical nav keys don’t allow you to rearrange the order of the buttons. As someone who has grown accustomed to stock Android for the past 5 years, I can not use a device where the back arrow is on the right side of the screen. It even points to the left…. I don’t know why Samsung had to change the order from every other manufacturer. It’s definitely nitpicking but it’s a 100% dealbreaker which is sad because I really like AMOLED when I know many others don’t.

        • SamBoy

          I really hate the back key on the left because I use my phone right handed it’s easier for it to be on the right it’s one of my most used keys and if it wasn’t a captive button it would be broken by now.

        • PoisonApple31

          Samsung wasn’t unique in having the back arrow on the right side of the screen. Motorola, HTC, and LG, to name a few, also had the back buttons on the right for a number of years (after it was on the left in the early days). The other manfacturers went back to putting the back key on the left, Samsung never looked back.

          The first two things I did when I got my G3:
          1. Download Nova Launcher
          2. Put the back key on the right side :P

    • Jeremy Turnley

      Metal is overrated. As the LG G3 shows, you don’t need metal to get a premium feel. Also, the market for devices with wireless charging is booming (it’s rapidly becoming an A-list feature, which is why US carriers are all ordering versions of phones without it and up-selling accessories to add it) and metal is incompatible with it.

      What they need to do is go back to design school. LG’s three latest phones are very attractive (even though the G Flex was kinda dumb, it’s still a very pretty device), as are HTC’s, while Samsung continues to deliver brick after brick.

      • http://www.twitter.com/cltnwd Colton

        All valid points. Sort of tangent question: is wireless charging (considerably) slower than cable charging? I assume you charge wirelessly and I’m curious. I have the gs4 and there are cheaps chips to put on the battery to enable wireless, but I’ve never known if it was worth it for speed.

        • Guest

          I’ve used it on my S3, although not my G3 as of yet. It charged just as fast by my estimate.

        • Jeremy Turnley

          Not considerably, slower, no. On the GS5 with its USB3 and higher voltage you will of course notice a difference, but on any typical phone the charge times are similar. The bonus is that you don’t need to dig around for the cable at night, you just have the charger on your nightstand, set the phone on it and off you go. It’s not a HUGE difference, but it just seems like how it *should be*, you know?

          • stang68

            Yeah but then you can’t use the phone while it’s charging.

          • Jeremy Turnley

            True that. The most common places for these are nightstands for overnight charging, desktops so you can have it within reach, and cars so you don’t have to string a cable to the phone every time you put it on the mount. If you have let the phone run all the way down and need to use it, most of us have a portable battery in their backpack by now – I know I carry one for those long conversations at work.

      • Guest

        Plastic is lighter, more resilient and can look just as good now. Cheaper isn’t a bad thing, bad design and style is. I wouldn’t request my car be made of all metal, plastic is actually the more advanced material.

        • ostensibly

          my note 2 was the best phone I’d ever used once I got rid of touchwiz. had to get rid of it eventually because the build felt so shoddy – the finish felt cheap, hated the home button, chrome sides scratched too easily. if they do offer one with with better materials I might just go back. .

          • alex

            So the best phone you have ever used felt cheap, had a home button you hated, scratched too easily and had an OS that needed to be replaced. Are you absolutely sure that “best” is the word you were looking for?

        • Samsung build is Great

          My POS GS3 is plastic and durable as hell. As much as I hate TW, I like the GS3 because I dropped it down stairs, out of the car, and just plain dropped it 20 times without a case to where the battery flies out. No cracks or scratches on the screen and works like a charm other than the lag in TW

      • John Kitchen

        Metal edge with plastic back like the Lumia Icon

    • BigTimmay

      They’ll unfortunately never move away from the physical nav keys. I really wish they would. Those make it annoying to use Google Now.

      • OhHai

        They will when Apple does.

      • PoisonApple31

        You don’t need to touch the button to activate Google now, just your voice when the screen is on.

        • BigTimmay

          I know but it’s rare I want to talk to my voice when I’m in the middle of a store or work or wherever.

    • Shawn Pourhosseini

      People always complaing about touchwhiz but it has so many more features that make it better than stock android. Custom ringtones/vibrations/notifications per contact without the need for another app. Using multiple apps on the same screen at the same time. Quick toggles that can be moved around and more. so many other great features that require tons of modification to stock android to make happen. Touchwhiz is great.. it just needs to be improved coding wize but it really is the best

    • William Oh

      What’s with the constant hate on the physical home button ? It’s one of the few reasons I actually buy a Samsung S/Note .. it’s more convenient than on-screen buttons, it feels awkward on the screen and has always felt like it was just taking up screen space.

      • http://www.twitter.com/cltnwd Colton

        I’m not really hating on it as I’ve bought the galaxy line for awhile. But after using on screen navbar (through root) I just like it better honestly. Especially for quick Google Now access. I see the love of it, I see the hate. Agree to disagree!

        side note: I do love waking my phone with the home button

  • Higher_Ground

    Did anyone really think that the android market place would be continually dominated by only one manufacturer? Frankly, I’m surprised they made it this long. I guess on the one hand they did have a good product, but that’s not enough to create an environment where one company continually dominates and expands.

    • Frettfreak

      Really? It’s possible but not with their mentality.

  • Garrett Sechelski

    So they’re going to release the phone that they should’ve released as the Galaxy S5, but it’ll probably cost $150 more off contract & $249 on contract.

  • DC_Guy

    Aluminium edge? But still a plastic back, I’m sure.

    • Frettfreak

      That’s what I kept thinking every time I saw the pic of the “prime”… Its an s5 with a metal ring instead of plastic. Nothing groundbreaking at ALL and definitely not enough

      • 213ninja

        yeah that’s what the “alpha” pic looked like, i agree not enough for a flagship but i think that thing is more of a budget phone. maybe a step in the right direction though…

        • Frettfreak

          A step. A very small step they could have done SUPER easily with the original s5 though very easily. But definitely in the right direction. I got kinda excited when I heard the alpha was a smaller phone… Then found out its smaller in every way. Which sux but we will see. They may surprise

          • 213ninja

            i hope so

  • AshtonTS

    Sweet. Now they just need to fix touchwiz and their next galaxy might be a phone I’ll actually consider this time around.

  • slick

    A new revolutionary plastic, that looks and feels like metal but entirely made from plastic available at $700 that will cost 1/4 of the price a year later

  • https://www.heartbleedbug.com/ Intellectua1

    Oh the Samsung and new material rumors. I’ll believe it when I see it. I’m am desperately waiting on the Note 4 though.

    • Maxim∑

      coming Sept 4th

      • OhHai

        You forgot the * and the footnote: *Unless you are on VZW

      • https://www.heartbleedbug.com/ Intellectua1

        Don’t get me all hyped up like that.

  • Nic

    They’re going for a classic look and feel, this time around and they new materials will wood and wool, Otherwise called the Galaxy Woo.

    • cizzlen

      I hear they’re going all natural this time. It’s going to come in marble and stone finishes.