Samsung mobile head DJ Koh revealed the company is working on revamping the mid-range Galaxy A lineup with a wider range of features, including cutting-edge functionalities normally found on flagship devices. He did not go into any detail about exactly what this means for the immediate future of the lineup but did say he has already made changes to Samsung’s research and development structure, as well as the company’s product planning pipeline, in order to accommodate the upcoming novelties, adding that future Galaxy A refreshes may end up coming more than once per year.
DJ Koh’s words indicate a strong possibility that Samsung’s R&D department may be debuting new features on the Galaxy A lineup, then moving them to subsequent flagships. Until now, Samsung has traditionally held new features and significant improvements and fixes for flagships in order to encourage higher sales, but with the mobile market on a bit of a downturn recently, Koh feels the strategy shift is justified. He said that the change will make mid-range devices more exciting and target millennials and other crowds that typically would not be able to afford a flagship device or may turn their nose up at the prospect of spending somewhere near or over $1,000 on a smartphone.
Phones in 2018’s Galaxy A lineup already carry many of the newer features and creature comforts that made their debut on 2017 flagships, such as vastly reduced screen bezels and more ergonomic designs. Going forward, this change may well mean that improvements in design, new software features and sweeping hardware changes such as ultrasonic fingerprint sensors and device faces that don’t need a proximity sensor could see the light of day on mid-range phones close to the time that they’re originally developed. If that’s the case, then those mid-range smartphones could serve as a testbed of sorts for new features, making it possible for Samsung to avoid feature bloat on its flagships by taking on features that resonated with consumers most powerfully from previous mid-rangers.