After 5 million Note II sales, Samsung has high hopes for Galaxy Camera

By Claire Reilly

The Android-driven, app-focused, 3G-connected Samsung Galaxy Camera has arrived in Australia, with Harvey Norman, JB Hi-Fi, selected Bing Lee and Myer stores and specialty camera shops set to begin selling the device as early as next week.

The Australian release of the camera follows Samsung's most recent international product rollout – the launch of the Galaxy Note II – which has sold more than 5 million units globally since its debut less than two months ago, according to a Samsung spokesperson.

Locally, the Galaxy Camera is being positioned as a “new category” within the Samsung “smart family” of cameras, which also includes five compact cameras and two compact system cameras. However, with its Android 4.1 Jellybean operating system, 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity and app-based interface, the Galaxy Camera certainly tends towards the more ‘connected’ end of the spectrum.

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According to Craig Gillispie, business unit manager for digital imaging at Samsung Electronics Australia, the camera is going to be one of Samsung’s biggest products for retailers in the lead up to Christmas. He noted that the Galaxy Camera had the specs to make it competitive in the digital imaging space – including a 4.8-inch LCD screen, 21x optical zoom and 16-megapixel CMOS sensor – but that it was also capable of satisfying the desires of a broad range of consumers.

“When a consumer walks into a store and they say ‘I’m looking for a camera,’ the first question normally out of the retailer’s mouth is ‘What do you want to do with it?’” said Gillispie. “But this is more about asking, ‘What can you do with it?’

“If somebody says, ‘I’m just looking for a simple-to-use, easy camera and I’m only really sharing photos,’ then this is your camera. If someone says, ‘I’m looking for an enthusiast’s camera with the four manual controls, I want to do some editing and I want to actually share photos to Dropbox and keep a library to manage my files,’ then this is the camera that will do it.

“So it’s all things to all people, which is really a great appeal point of the product.”

To support the rollout into retail stores, Samsung is planning a “large above-the-line investment” to promote the product, including exposure on subscription and free-to-air television throughout December and January, as well as support through radio and digital promotion. Retailers will also be given access to demonstration units to get consumers up close and touching the product.

When it comes to selling the device in retail stores, Gillispie said Samsung expected the Galaxy Camera to become a “growth category” for the brand.

“We’ve had an extremely positive response from retailers,” he said. “It’s a new style of device. Samsung believes it’s going to become a new category and a new expectation of what camera products have to deliver to consumers.”

And for retailers closing a sale in the last three feet, Gillispie has this advice.

“The easiest way to describe this camera is it’s the simplest to use high-quality camera, that offers you the advantages and benefits of sharing exactly as you know how to.”

The device will be available for RRP $599 from next week and is set to be sold in Harvey Norman, JB Hi-Fi, selected Bing Lee stores, top Myer stores, Michaels, Camera House, Diamonds, Optus and TeleChoice. Hands on products are also available to demo in Samsung's Sydney experience store this week.

The Samsung Galaxy Camera.

Hands on with the Galaxy Camera at its global launch at IFA in Berlin, earlier this year.

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