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Samsung’s La Fleur presentation – aftermath, thoughts on models and the event
On October, 27 at De Bouchon cafe one could witness presentation of Samsung’s brand-new range going by the name of Le Fleur. As might have already guessed it by the line-up’s name, it aims at women, moreover, we have already posted a news item on that and published an in-depth review on one the range’s models, namely Samsung E500, which can be found here. This very article features the range-related things we managed to “peep” or “overhear” at the event. Here I have to make a note, that this very presentation was meant mainly for editors of fashion-magazines and authors in charge of issues on new devices and technologies, rather than members of specialized press – maybe, that is why we had only 15 minutes or so for playing around with the handsets, while the rest of the time the models were being handed around, all comers could get a company’s representative and find out some facts missing in the official leaflets. Also, I feel obliged to say that at a presentation for mass media, having knack for such gadgets, a story about these models would take 40-50 minutes with all major aspects being covered, though on that Friday I heard nothing of that (what’s the point in telling editors of fashion-magazines all these superfluous details?). But in return your obedient servant had a chance to see how women at nose about fashion feel about the brand-new range, what the company representatives’ answers were – and the truth is, there was much to hear and learn.
We should start with the venue, where the line-up was presented for the high press - De Bouchon cafe located on the second floor of a grocery boutique of the same name, and as far as I know, there aren’t many places like this one in Moscow. Another thing of note is that as a rule such venues serve for presentations of new luxuries – watches, fragrances, jewelry etc. It seems over at Samsung they set out to emphasize affiliation of their new collection not with utilitarian gadgets, but with objects of love and desire instead. On the whole, the approach is correct, but do the range’s constituents manage to live up with this way of presentation? As for positioning, when a mobile phone is presented as a female accessory like powder-box or something, everything goes smooth. But there are several rough points when it comes to pricing and image – keep in mind that Samsung’s main competitor in this field is Nokia’s very own L’Amour Collection (by the way, how come French is used in both cases?), thus consumers will definitely do some comparison of the line-ups and particular models. Nevertheless one would barely find a single non-accidental similarity between these ranges – in fact they are totally different. But it appears reasonable for L’Amour to be introduced at such place as De Bouchon, while La Fleur could easily come out at a less glamorous, a bit more crowded place (I might even say “causal”). At any rate, I do hope Samsung’s representatives will understand what I’m trying to say here.
Now, enough of talking around – it’s time to figure out what thoughts were expressed by ladies and gentlemen representing fashion-magazines, I will divide everything into paragraphs and add a bit of my own assumptions.
- How come there are several women-only line-ups available, but no male-only ranges have been released to date? A good question, as I see it, since apparently there is a kind of sexism taking place – unisex handsets are diluted with devices for the fair sex. Indeed, it looks strange that not a single has come up with a range of “brutal” gadgets for “the true men only”, and in my opinion finding a target audience for this good intention wouldn’t be much of a hassle. However there are some men-only (with great reserve of course) handsets – these stand out mostly owing to their dimensions, the bigger they are, the more they appeal to men. Nevertheless suiting women’s wants is what the industry is all about world-wide – just look at clothes and fashion, for example.
- Trim of Samsung E570 (the one you can see on the photo) doesn’t match lipstick, or, it would be better to say, it’s hard to find the first lipstick for the E570. Since I’m not keen on such thing, it’s pretty challenging for me to judge this fact, as well as what a woman thinks of when choosing a handset. In case everything happens in the way described above, then Samsung made the only right decision by offering each model in a couple of colors, which allows matching color of lipstick with handset. Pay attention, how strange and sophisticated a consumer’s behavior may be, and as regard women, I’m not going to discuss it at all.
- It turns out that folders are not always handy, as long nails just don’t get along with clamshells. Generally speaking, it is nothing new, so manufacturers are to take account of this aspect and create either a special rest or come up with another way of bringing inconvenience caused by flipping handsets open with long nails, to void and nil. However, rotators don’t expose such drawback – L’Amour Collection features a device in that form-factor, while a clamshell was a late call and got introduced only a few weeks ago. In its turn Samsung offers three folders in its fashion range.
- Samsung E420 lacked holes for a carrying strap, according to the representatives, it was only a so-called release candidate and the commercial model was more likely to house these. It was instantly figured out by women that drew attention to impossibility of attaching trinkets to the E420. All in all, it appears to be an extremely crucial factor, and the lack thereof makes use of a device almost impossible. Period. I asked a question about the company’s intentions to release own accessories for decoration purposes – they aren’t planning on doing something like that for the time being. The same holds true for other accessories as well – all of them are pretty standard, tailored “women-only” headsets are not scheduled for release either.
- Even when a woman is driving, she still wants it handset to act as a player and radio at the same time. Apparently, girls don’t agree to manage a handsome, yet useless device – many would rather have an all-in-one gadget, leaving out MP3-players. On top of that women pay attention to pre-installed applications, and here Samsung’s devices are riding high as they propose a number of truly appealing apps dealing with women’s health, preferred fragrances and other similar things – marginally, it’s all another way of forcing the handset’s beautiful owner to discuss it with friends for 15 minutes more. Regrettably, our market-tailored handsets won’t feature a very fetching application devoted to prophecies. To be more specific, there you need to take a photo of a man, then a photo of a woman to make the program output the face of a baby that they might have. It gets even more interesting when thinking of countless opportunities, like snapping two men or a woman and a ball etc. etc etc. It’s a pity that this app has been removed from all handsets for the Russian market, by the way, there haven’t been any credible reasons for that announced yet.
- Women evaluated which handsets would be a bigger success and which might turn out to be a failure, again, basing on their own preferences. Thus the junior model Samsung E420 was given the title of a “casual” gadget for being worn with jeans – everyone would find the flaring pattern on the front appealing, as well as the varnished finishing, potentially the E420 might have good sales among youth, though not only students would like to get hold of it, a mature women on her “jeans-day” would readily have it around as well. Furthermore the handset in white casing perfectly blends with iPod without copying it (the surfaces are somewhat similar, but the designs are totally different) Samsung E570 is doomed to be a bestseller thanks to a variety of trims, well-shaped design, that is still quite austere and will fit almost any woman, and a balanced feature pack. As for the handset meant for more mature women, which is the most expensive unit in the range as well, Samsung E500, it was treated coldly, as its design concept wasn’t grasped or accepted by the audience (this goes for the brown trim). And even though the white-finished E500 was appreciated more than its brother in arms, the women’s eyes didn’t get inflamed on seeing it, as they did with the E420 and the E570. As regards the design, in my humble opinion, it is the E500 that breaks the bank in this line-up owing to being made of numerous materials and having appealing outlook, however I didn’t experience any strong desire for buying it. On top of that it’s the range’s most expensive model.
All in all, that is what women think of the La Fleur – I deliberately conceal specifications and everything that was said on the handsets’ functionality, as a matter of fact nobody came up with such questions, so looking into them within this article would be completely out of place and as for the E500, corresponding review is available on our portal.
Published - 03 November 2006
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