Samsung Galaxy S5 vs Apple iPhone 5S: Why are users willing to spend Rs 50,000 on an iPhone?


This might come across as a shock to many but I believe that the Galaxy S5 is a superior product than the iPhone 5S. The Galaxy S5 has overall better hardware specifications and also offers users the ability to increase storage by using a microSD card slot while Apple wants users to shell Rs 9,000 for extra storage. The cameras more or less perform similarly for most users and the Galaxy S5 even lets users record videos in 4k. With Google Now, I believe Android has a significant edge over iOS and not to forget that the quality of apps have improved on Android, which are now at par if not better in some cases. So why do I believe that the Samsung Galaxy S5 price in India is a big mistake? Why can Apple sell the iPhone 5S starting at Rs 53,500 but Samsung should not?

The most obvious answer could be Apple’s brand value and its legion of fans. That’s not to say that Samsung does not have a brand value or fan following, but the fanaticism is not comparable to those who swear by anything and everything Apple. I would know, considering I have been branded an Apple fanboy way too often to take offense any more.

But that is not the reason. What Samsung is probably not realizing (or rather not willing to accept) is that unlike Apple where users only have one choice if they want to buy the best iOS smartphone, they have multiple choices on Android. In fact, there are at least two choices available from Samsung’s own portfolio that offer pretty much the same features for a fraction of the price. Think about the Galaxy S4 at under Rs 29,000 and the Galaxy Note 3 that’s available for slightly over 43,000. The Galaxy S5 does not provide any compelling feature for which buyers should (not saying they won’t) spend the extra money.

Then there is the case of price stickiness. Apple ensures that buyers don’t feel shortchanged and the price of iPhones is maintained for a significantly longer time. However, buyers have learnt it the hard way with Samsung, which invariably drops the price by up to 10 percent a month after launch, milking its first buyers and those who pre-book the device. And that’s exactly what a company shouldn’t do to its early adopters, who are also its loyal fans.

That aside, smart buyers would realize that one can get most of the critical features required in an Android smartphone for much lesser. And that is one significant advantage Android has over iOS. Given that Xiaomi is launching in India soon, Gionee is already here and Google has started launching its Nexus smartphones closer to its global launch, it is only a matter of time when buyers realize that spending half a lakh on an Android smartphone is foolish.

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