Samsung reinforcing investment in retail channel for the Galaxy S III

Samsung held the official launch for its Samsung Galaxy SIII smartphone at the Capitol Theatre in Sydney today, unveiling the new device with the help of MC Jessica Rowe, a live orchestra, a performance from Jessica Mauboy, and the opportunity to get hands on with the new product.

Click here to read our full rundown of the technical aspects of the Galaxy SIII

While Samsung spent some time focusing on the new technical features built-in to the device, the main focus for the day seemed to be promoting the SIII’s “designed for humans” tagline, and the ways the device makes life easier for consumers. In the words of Gregory Lee, president and CEO of Samsung Electronics, South East Asia, Oceania and Taiwan, the Galaxy SIII is a “human phone that understands you”.

This was a message echoed by Samsung’s marketing director — corporate, Arno Lenior, who spoke to Appliance Retailer about the high concept launch and how retailers can best sell the Galaxy SIII on the shopfloor.

“This is a best in class phone, and the features and the design of it are taking it all to a whole new level,” said Lenior. “We’re really proud of it, and we can’t wait to see the consumer reaction. All the carriers are getting right behind it as well, which is great news for us.

“Tech is absolutely what makes a device like this happen, but that is not why people buy phones,” he added. “People buy phones because they want to talk to other people, they want to share content with other people. So it’s about actually recognising that people use the phone for their daily lives, and that’s what the designers have taken into account. They’ve asked, ‘How will this enhance the human experience?’

“The single best way [to demonstrate the new features in the smartphone] is a live demo. So if retail staff aren’t trained up by Samsung, they should be and will be. It’s about showing, and actually letting consumers play with the device. Retailers need to know how to show some of the features off, and the benefits of those, but it has to be live.

“I think the message to retailers is that they won’t sell many phones if there’s a black screen.”

Samsung’s VP of telecommunications, Tyler McGee, also noted that the company would be “investing heavily” in the reseller space to ensure retailers knew how to best sell the Galaxy SIII, and this would be aligned with a TVC campaign, which is set to launch tonight.

“The TVC that we’ve developed for this product is the best I’ve ever seen from Samsung,” said McGee. “That will start to educate consumers on the benefits of the device and what the device can do for them. We’re then aligning that with our education process at retail, so if you’re a consumer and you see one of those benefits or features, you go into retail they’ll be able to talk about the same benefits.”

While the Marble White model is available from today, the Pebble Blue model will not be available until “the weekend” according to McGee. The 16GB model will retail for RRP $899 outright. Pricing for the 32GB model was not available at launch. The major telcos — including Telstra, Optus and Vodafone — have also released plan pricing for the Galaxy SIII.

With such a huge launch, it is clear that Samsung has high hopes for the “hero handset” in its range. But will it be enough to beat other devices on the market, including the ever-popular Apple iPhone?

“Clearly Apple is a competitor with their iPhone,” said Lenior. “But we encourage competition. We welcome the competition, we thrive on it, it keeps us all achieving the next level. So the only winner out of all of that is the consumer, which is great.”

Gregory Lee, president and CEO of Samsung Electronics, South East Asia, Oceania and Taiwan, with the new devices.

Samsung played a recorded message from brand ambassador (and Olympic hopeful) James Magnussen at the launch.

Hands on with the new Galaxy SIII at launch.

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