Samsung cancels plans for new Nexus phone – what it really means

English: Hands-on with the Galaxy Nexus at its...

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Surprising news hit the interwebs today that Samsung had been planning to launch a 32gb version of the Galaxy Nexus and that after some consideration, they decided to can the idea at the last minute.  Reading blog coverage of the news, the implication out there seems to be that Samsung might be reconsidering their love affair with the Google reference design phone and are already moving on to greener pastures.

Nonsense.

Here’s what I think really happened.

First of all, it seems beyond retarded that Samsung would have a version of this phone with a higher storage capacity (the launch device had 16gb of internal storage) and wouldn’t launch it at the same time as the original handset, offering customers some choice between handset designs.  Instead, what Samsung did was offer no options in storage options whatsoever, leaving early adopters with no choice but to just pick up the 16gb model as soon as it came out.

And therein lies the problem – if a 32gb model hit the market right now, who would buy it?

Think about it for a second.  If all the Android fanboys, early adopters and big screen phone lovers rushed out to buy the 16gb Galaxy Nexus about 4-6 weeks ago, then they are out of the running as potential customers – it’s not like they are going to rush back to stores, sell their new phones and then buy the larger storage version.  Instead, Samsung would now be depending on the ‘everyone else’ category to buy a 32gb model – and that category equates to non-nerds and normal people.

History has told us that when there are more than one model of a phone available, the non-nerds and normal people tend to just buy the cheapest one, if at all.  This rule doesn’t really apply to the iPhone because it has the 30 pin iPod connector that people use to dock the device in iPod compatible stereo players, alarm clocks and other 3rd party gizmo’s – and music is the main motivation to want to buy a phone with more storage than the cheapest option.  An iPhone is seen as a music phone and Android phone is not.

So, in essence, a 32gb Galaxy Nexus would merely hit the market to be an expensive phone that makes the 16gb Galaxy Nexus look cheaper.  At this stage in the life-cycle of that handset design, that’s a waste of time – the market is too competitive and Samsung need to be selling every phone that they make, especially the ones with expensive 4.65″ screens inside of them.

So at this stage, with the geeks all happy and cozy with their Galaxy Nexus purchases just before Christmas, the 16gb is the only model that has a future. Looking a little deeper into this, you can see that Samsung are definitely trying to appeal to the mass market now with an alternate decision that they’ve triggered with this phone design – a white version.  The Verge just recently published news about this exact model and colour as an imminent release in the US.

So there you have it.  This phone wouldn’t have been a disappointment to the company or anything like that, I think that Samsung have realised that they’ve done all the selling to geeks that they were ever going to do with this handset and have refocused their marketing efforts with it to the broader market.  Sticking to the cheaper storage option and offering a choice in colours is a smart idea and it makes sense that they are pushing forward in this direction with the design.  Kudos to them.

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