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Friday 18.08.2017 | Name days: Liene, Helēna, Elena, Ellena, Liena

Samsung reveals Galaxy S4; investors sell off shares

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While Samsung Electronics‘ latest iPhone challenger, the Galaxy S4 with its range of gimmicky features including motion tracking technology, was the talk of the day, investors sold off shares of the company on Friday, March 15, following the launch of the highly-awaited gadget.

Shares of the world’s largest smartphone maker declined 2.6 percent to 1.48 million won ($1,334) in Seoul, but analysts were not worried saying the market had already priced in the hype and a similar movement in the company’s shares followed the launch of the Galaxy S3 last year, as well.

Foreign investors sold a net 589 billion Korean won ($531.04 million) worth of KOSPI shares, the most since September 2011. Samsung Electronics, which accounts for nearly a fifth of the KOSPI’s market capitalisation, fell by 2.6 percent, according to Reuters.

“This is selling on the news as most of the features were already highly anticipated. There wasn’t much positive surprise. Most of it was leaked already – the screen size, processor, smart pause and eye scrolling – a few days ago,” said Mark Newman, an analyst at Stanford Bernstein.

The GS4 looks a lot like the Galaxy S III or the Galaxy Note 8. A lot. The phone’s nearly the same size as its predecessor, despite having a larger 5-inch, 1080p Super AMOLED screen that is the first of its kind in a smartphone. The GS4 is taller but thinner (just 7.9mm) than the GSIII, and is lighter as well, writes The Verge.

The Galaxy S4 sports a 5-inch screen, compared to the iPhone 5’s 4-inch screen, and offers functions including ‘Smart Scroll,’ which enables users to scroll without touching the screen. It tracks the users’ face to tell where they are looking.

The most ambitious of Samsung’s new features is S Health, which Samsung has made vastly more powerful — it now amounts to Samsung putting a Fitbit or Jawbone Up into your phone. The GS4 has a pedometer built in, plus temperature and humidity sensors, which can automatically detect your surroundings and your exercise levels. You can input how much you eat and sleep, too, and get all the data you’d expect from an external device right on your phone. There’s even a companion wristband, the S Band, that syncs via Bluetooth to your phone for those moments you’re walking around without your phone in your pocket.

Samsung loves to talk about how its devices work together, and the newest feature for GS4 owners is Group Play — it lets you cue up a song or a picture, and quickly share it in sync with any other GS4 owner nearby. You can even use it to play local multiplayer games, so long as the app supports it.

The stock has had a positive run over the past one month in anticipation of the new product, and Friday’s selloff could just be profit taking, said analysts.

Samsung‘s stock has risen 11 percent over the past six months compared to rival Apple‘s share price that has fallen 37 percent over the same period.

Ron Suh, equity research associate at Macquarie, said that the “selloff will be short-lived and the shares should bounce back up.”

Another reason why analysts are not concerned about the dip in the share price is because expectations for sales of the new smartphone are running high. Macquarie, for example, is forecasting Galaxy S4 sales to average 20 million per quarter in 2013, compared to around 15 million for the Galaxy S3 last quarter.

Market research firm IDC on Friday said that Galaxy S4 has the potential to outsell the next generation of iPhone, Dow Jones reported.

Samsung’s global smartphone market share stood at 35 percent in the third quarter of 2012, double that of Apple‘s at 17 percent.

At first blush, the Galaxy S4 doesn’t feel revolutionary, but given the continued success of its predecessor maybe a revolution wasn’t called for. It’s a faster phone with a better screen, a better camera, and some cool new software features, and for the company that’s nearly synonymous with the word “Android,” that may be enough to ensure another huge success.


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