Samsung was one of the first manufacturers to ship a feature phone with a touch screen. We know what you’re thinking: why on Earth would somebody do that? The answer is rather obvious from an economic/psychological perspective: People who want to feel like they own something expensive, but can’t afford something expensive, compose a very large market segment that’s ripe for the taking. The Samsung S5230, otherwise known as the Star, shipped over 30 million units after it was launched back in March 2009. Now it’s time to update it. Say hello to the Star II (S5260).
JK Shin, President and Head of Samsung’s Mobile Communications Business, says: “The original Samsung Star exceeded all expectations; with its successor, the Samsung Star II, we have delivered a stunning full-touch device that meets the increasing demand for social networking services and enables unrivalled personalization. With the Samsung Star II, we have worked to tightly integrate social networking capabilities and give users choice how they stay in touch with the people important to them. We fully expect it to mirror the success of its predecessor.”
That’s about as much information as we’re going to get from the press release. Compared to the original Star, the successor has WiFi and a capacitive touch screen. Everything else looks to be the same. No price point has been mentioned, but we’ll find out soon enough since it’s due to hit store shelves next month in Germany of all places and then it’ll trickle out to other European countries before finally hitting Asia.
Will this thing take off in America? Doubtful. People want smartphones and all four major operators are now offering relatively high end devices for less than $200 with a 2 year contract to feed that need. The Star II represents what is likely to be the last generation of feature phones to sell before smartphones dominate the market.