Enhanced design, advanced capabilities

RetailME Bureau

It has been less than a week since the launch of Samsung’s recent models Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge and it’s already making a lot of noise. Both the devices are exquisitely crafted making a design statement. Add to that the quirky elements of colour coding contacts. Not to forget the advanced features of wireless charging and highly effective cameras. We spoke to Ashish Panjabi, COO of Jacky’s Retail LLC that operates Samsung brand shops, about the consumer response received thus far

What kind of consumer response have you seen towards Samsung S6 and S6 Edge?

This time we’ve seen the strongest demand ever for a Samsung product launch until now. It’s probably comparable to an Apple product launch in terms of excitement. We had a few things lined up before the actual launch like the pre-booking campaign where we saw demand increase manifold compared to the Galaxy S5 or Note 4 launches last year. We also exhibited at the Abu Dhabi Electronics Shopper as well as Gitex Spring edition where the preview devices of the recently launched S6 and S6 Edge generated huge interest and demand to buy on-spot. And the good news is, along with the pre-launch interest, we also recorded significant footfall on Thursday midnight at Mall of the Emirates when our Samsung store unveiled both the models to consumers. This is very encouraging for us.

Which device is witnessing higher demand?

The appetite for flagship devices is very strong in the UAE. That’s what our experience says. Add to that the financial capability of consumers to change smartphones fairly quickly and they typically look to go for the best, which is Samsung S6 Edge. But S6 is also expected to pick up pace rapidly. It’s typically a model that will eventually become a volume driver. However, it’s still early days to comment on the target audience.

For Samsung it was really redesigning a smartphone from a blank sheet of paper. Beyond the form factor what are the other key features of S6 Edge?

The model is beautifully crafted using finest materials with a dazzling dual edge display. But aside from the form factor Samsung has brought about a few innovative features in S6 Edge. Take the example of the built-in wireless charging capabilities – WPC or PMA-compatible wireless charging pads. Add to that the front and rear cameras with a launch time of just 0.7 seconds. You can start the camera with a double tap on the home screen whether it’s locked or unlocked to capture quick moments. It has fast tracking auto focus and bigger, f1.9 aperture for better low light results. It’s true that iPhone 6 clicks incredibly beautiful images but once you take pictures using S6 Edge, you’ll be hooked! Of course there’s enhanced security system too.

What kind of advancement can users expect in S6 over S5? Are you expecting demand to be more for S6 compared to S5?

Samsung Galaxy S6 has super-fast boot up and app launching offering unbeatable results and improved energy efficiency. Of course you have similar camera and charging capabilities too like the S6 Edge in addition to enhanced security and a beautiful display. Then there are some unique accessories that are launched with S6 as well as S6 Edge such as smart covers where you can answer calls and even access notifications using the smart cover without having to open the screen, thereby saving battery. S6 will be a volume game in the days to come. As of now we’ve received pre-orders in the range of 1000s for S6 that ranged in 100s in case of S5.

Are consumers really considering moving from Apple to Samsung S6 Edge?

In the UAE consumers tend to upgrade smartphones very frequently, typically opting for the high-end or the most recently launched models. That’s very unique and doesn’t necessarily happen in other regions across the world. Also, here most consumers carry two high-end smartphones. So they tend to use iOS, Android or Windows platforms. But migration from one ecosystem to another after having invested a lot in terms of apps isn’t easy. So while an Apple user might use S6 Edge, it isn’t really moving from one ecosystem to another. It could serve as a primary or secondary device. Also consider the capacity game. S6 and S6 Edge both start from 32GB compared to iPhone 6 that starts from 16GB at comparatively similar price range. This can be a game changer for a lot of people.