Sometimes it’s really tough to judge whether or not a product is successful without the help of cold, objective numbers. The best measure has always been sales numbers and would continue to be so until we discover a more reliable metric.
With that, we can say with certainty that compared to its predecessors the Samsung Galaxy S6 has been a failure. An anonymous report out of Korea recently revealed that the 2015 flagship sold much fewer units than the Galaxy S4 and S3, though it’s tied with the Galaxy S5.
It’s best to get a fuller picture from this simple little chart.
The question now is why did the Galaxy S6 (and S6 Edge) fall short? Is it the lack of microSD support, or the fact that it’s the first Samsung flagship without a removable battery? Well, both answers are correct, but the second one more so.
According to a study from Kantar last year, the number one reason that people chose to buy the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge is their much improved battery capacity. This is reinforced by a recent poll by Android PIT which asked about 650 people what the most important aspect of a smartphone is.
The results of the poll show that 67 percent of respondents believe battery life is the most vital part of having a mobile device, followed by performance at 61 percent. Aspects such as size, design, and rear camera scored accumulated a lot less votes in comparison.
If you’re familiar with the Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge, you would know that the phone tends to overheat for the most benign and bizarre reason: nothing. This in turn leads to plenty of wasted energy which translates to poor battery life. Though the flagship duo are impressive on the performance front, rapid battery alone has spoiled the experience of one too many users.
So when the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge showed up with much improved battery capacities and tests that proved they don’t overheat, many Galaxy S6 owners wasted no time and jumped shipped to the newer, shinier flagship.
That, and the fact that Samsung managed to rectify its terrible software support issues helped restore consumer faith in the company. In fact, it can be argued that Samsung’s improvements in delivering software and security updates has been more vital in bringing back its glory, if we consider the service recovery paradox.
So failure is not really the issue here. The issue is how Samsung responded to failure. With that in mind, perhaps the whole Galaxy Note 7 debacle is presenting us with another opportunity to see how hard Samsung can hit back. We’ll see.