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JK Shin, President and Head of IT and Mobile Communication Division, holds Samsung Electronics Co's latest Galaxy S4 phones during its launch at the Radio City Music Hall in New York March 14, 2013. Samsung Electronics Co on Thursday premiered its latest flagship phone, the Galaxy S4, which sports a bigger display and unconventional features such as gesture controls and will spearhead its effort to challenge Apple Inc on its home turf.
JK Shin, President and Head of IT and Mobile Communication Division, holds Samsung Electronics Co's latest Galaxy S4 phones during its launch at the Radio City Music Hall in New York March 14, 2013. Samsung Electronics Co on Thursday premiered its latest flagship phone, the Galaxy S4, which sports a bigger display and unconventional features such as gesture controls and will spearhead its effort to challenge Apple Inc on its home turf.
(Adrees Latif/Reuters)

FINANCIAL TIMES

Samsung's Galaxy S4 isn’t a game changer. So what?

Lex is a premium daily commentary service from the Financial Times. It helps readers make better investment decisions by highlighting key emerging risks and opportunities.

Just how many games need changing in the smartphone world? Every time a new model is launched, opiners weigh in on whether it meets that standard. Samsung suffered its worst one-day drop in five months on Friday, down 2.6 per cent, after its hotly awaited Galaxy S4 was considered not to have done so. Perhaps it was the widely-panned theatrical skits it used to show off the phone’s capabilities. So please, don’t roll your eyes if you are reading this on a screen: an S4’s eyeball monitoring technology would presumably read that as a signal to flip to another program. Still, when a phone that also translates between nine languages while monitoring humidity and heartrate is not considered a gamechanger then the question needs changing. It is far more interesting to ask what phones mean to Samsung.