As the Galaxy S5 enters officialdom, Samsung is the biggest smartphone maker in the world -- presiding over an indomitable gadget kingdom. But how did a company best known for Blu-ray players and TVs become the all-eclipsing superpower it is today? In this special episode of Adventures in Tech, we explain the Galaxy strategy, and tell the story of how Samsung forged its Galactic gadget empire. Press play now.
The new Galaxy S5 undoubtedly plays it safe, with a design that's almost identical to that of the S4, and a screen that's only a fraction of an inch bigger. There's no curved screen or metal chassis, and the only real trace of Samsung's trademark quirkiness is the heart-rate monitor glued to the phone's back.
Some will be delighted with the S5, while others are certain to call it underwhelming. But while Samsung's new flagship is stealing headlines, the Galaxy line teaches us that it's important to look at the bigger picture. Hit play above to learn why -- and what this means for Samsung.You'll also learn how Samsung's first Android phone saw the Galaxy brand off to a rocky start, before it blew our minds with unearthly advances in hardware, and an unstoppable ambition to be the most powerful phone and tablet-maker on the planet. We'll also reveal (what we imagine to be) the shocking truth behind how Samsung dreams up new Galaxy devices.
Samsung, take warning
There's no doubt that Samsung is on top of the tech world right now, a wildly successful gadget-building enterprise, and by far the most immediate threat to Apple's iPhone and iPad business. Nevertheless, Samsung needs flagship phones like the Galaxy S5 to be a hit to keep its wheels of industry a'turning. As analyst firm CCS Insight's Geoff Blaber tells CNET, "The challenge for Samsung will come should margins really start to fall on its high-end flagships."
"[Samsung's] strategy is heavily dependent on the profit from products like the Galaxy S4 to support the development and marketing costs required to drive mid-tier volume expansion," Blaber explains. In other words, without the cash generated by its high-end mobiles, Samsung can't afford to keep pumping out the less exotic gadgets that make the Galaxy brand so unassailable on the whole.