Samsung, please: Stop the madness

Samsung Galaxy Devices

Have you heard? Samsung just introduced two new phones: the Galaxy Mega 5.8 and Galaxy Mega 6.3. They're basically bigger, less powerful versions of the Galaxy S4 -- or, if you prefer, bigger, stylus-free versions of the Galaxy Note II (which itself is essentially a bigger, stylus-packing version of the Galaxy S4 -- as well as a smaller, cellular-enabled version of the Galaxy Note 8.0).

Now, let's not get any of those products mixed up with the Galaxy Tab 2 7.0, Galaxy Tab 7.7, or Galaxy Tab 7.0 Plus -- or the recently unveiled Galaxy Win or Galaxy Grand. And we definitely don't want to confuse them with the smaller Galaxy S4 Mini -- which itself shouldn't be confused with the also scaled-down Galaxy Star, Galaxy Pocket Neo, Galaxy Young, or Galaxy Fame.


Look, Samsung: We get it. You have a lot of money. You can afford to create a gazillion minimally different versions of the same device (I assume it's only a matter of time until we see the Galaxy S III Plus, Galaxy S4 Mini Mega, and Galaxy Note II Minus Micro). But that doesn't mean you have to churn out a confusingly named, nearly identical new product Every. Fracking. Week.

Let's face it: The "throw everything we can think of against the wall and see what sticks" approach seems to be a key part of Samsung's core philosophy. It's the same mindset that causes the company to load up its devices with a mess of gimmicky features most people will never use instead of focusing on a few really well-developed software elements -- or, you know, a carefully constructed user interface that shows even the slightest bit of design restraint.

Sometimes, more can be better -- but there's a difference between more for a meaningful reason and more merely for the sake of more. Really, come on: How often are you going to attach audio of your voice onto a still photo or snap an image of yourself with your phone's front camera and insert it into an image you took simultaneously with the rear camera? And how many people are desperately craving a somewhat lower-end 5.8 in. Galaxy device over a 5-in. Galaxy S4 or 5.5-in. Galaxy Note II?

Choice -- whether in device types or feature options -- is beneficial only when it means something. Flooding consumers with every possible thing you can cook up does little more than cause confusion and dilute your brand.

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Subtlety clearly isn't in Samsung's DNA (did you see that Galaxy S4 launch event?!), but even a little discretion would go a long way. Successful as they may be now, just imagine how much stronger the company's products -- not to mention its ongoing support of those products -- could be if it were to focus its efforts just a teensy bit and stop spreading itself so thin.

Copyright © 2013 IDG Communications, Inc.

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