Those awaiting the release date of the Galaxy S6 and the Nexus 6, two of the linchpins of the Android phone platform, may have just gotten some telling news on both fronts. Samsung, known as the kind of the Android platform thanks to its commanding marketshare, is suddenly facing a crisis as its phone sales have plummeted with the Galaxy S5 having been on the market for half a year. And the Nexus 5 has finally gotten what could be a telltale price cut. But which of the two upcoming phones will be the better Android option?
The onset of Samsung’s troubles isn’t difficult to trace. The company has used a massive marketing campaign, along with insider deals with vendors like Best Buy and carriers, to ensure that its phones are the most widely known of the Android crop. But that’s come even as reviewers have generally ranked devices like the Galaxy S5 at the middle of the pack in terms of quality and experience, with phones from the likes of HTC and LG being generally better pieces of hardware. That mixed word of mouth appears to be finally chipping away at Samsung’s sales, severely enough in fact that the company has to seriously consider making a move with the Galaxy S6 release date sooner than had been expected.
Then there’s the Nexus phone, Google’s own official Android phone which has always been among the best on the market but has never been backed by enough of a marketing push to make a dent in Samsung’s dominance. The Nexus 5 has been a niche seller, but that’s in line with expectations. So there’s been no hurry for Google to rush the Nexus 6. Then again it’s been nearly a year, and so the timing of the price cut suggests that the Nexus 6 release date is indeed little more than weeks away.
The Galaxy S6 is a less certain proposition. If the Galaxy S5 were a strong seller by Samsung’s standards, there would be no chance of a changeover until next spring, in accordance with its annual schedule. But the S5 never did reach the sales dominance of its predecessor. In fact the Galaxy S5 was at number two on the worldwide sales charts, only five months old, losing out to the eleven month old iPhone 5S at a time when everyone knew Apple was about to bring out the iPhone 6. Samsung hates losing to Apple, so there’s a strong chance the Galaxy S6 release date could be moved up to this year. It would be a desperate ploy. But Samsung’s profits have dropped for four consecutive quarters based on increasingly weak smartphone sales, making this a time for desperate measures.