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Samsung is about to copy Apple in an entirely new way

Published Apr 26th, 2018 8:00PM EDT
Cheaper Galaxy S8
Image: Zach Epstein, BGR

I’m still surprised that, in more than 10 years of iPhone, none of Apple’s rivals have copied its iPhone sales strategy. Not even Samsung, which is arguably the best company in the world at copying the iPhone and replicating its success.

But that’s about to change, at least for Samsung, which quietly confirmed the move in its latest earnings report. It’s not all good news though, as a leak suggests Samsung might copy Apple the wrong way.

When a new iPhone comes along, Apple doesn’t just kill the previous generation. Instead, the company slashes the prices for last year’s flagship by $100. That device effectively becomes the cheapest new iPhone money can buy.

Currently, Apple sells two-year-old phones right alongside the iPhone 8 and iPhone X models that were launched last fall, including the iPhone 6s and iPhone 7. That way, Apple can offer buyers a variety of price points for the iPhone, so that cost alone isn’t an excuse not to get a brand new iOS device.

It’s worth pointing out that older iPhones aren’t altered. What Apple might do is retire certain storage versions. Apple might also improve some devices compared to the original, like when it released a 32GB iPhone 6 to replace the 16GB iPhone 6.

Samsung earlier this year hinted that it might copy that iPhone sales strategy, without revealing too many details about it. The South Korean giant just posted its earnings report for the first quarter of the year, in which it alludes to the possibility of keeping flagships in stores for one more year.

For the second half [of the year], Samsung will seek to strengthen sales in the premium market by launching a new flagship model and maintaining long-tail sales of the Galaxy S9, S9+, and flagship models from the previous year.

Samsung is practically saying the Galaxy S8, and Note 8 will be available in stores all year long, right alongside their successors, without revealing actual details about its short-term mobile plans.

That is if Samsung doesn’t ruin it.

A report from SamMobile said earlier this week that Samsung may launch a Galaxy S8 Lite phone in the near future.

That handset, model number SM-G8750, appears to be a watered-down version of the Galaxy S8. The phone drops the Snapdragon 835 chip in favor of the Snapdragon 660, and features an all-screen display with Full HD resolution — it’s unclear if it’ll be an Infinity Display, however.

The report says the Galaxy S8 Lite is made with the Chinese smartphone market in mind. But don’t get excited to see one in a store near you. It may have “Galaxy S8” in its name, but this phone won’t be the cheap Galaxy S8 you may be looking for. So best avoid it, and look for a real Galaxy S8 instead. Let’s just hope Samsung will sell the original Galaxy S8 for the remainder of the year, and not replace it with a Lite version.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.