Samsung Creates a New (No Internet) Smartphone for an Underserved Market
Samsung has officially created a smartphone that cannot access the internet. Yes, you read that right. The phone can’t access the internet.
The Galaxy J2 Pro, is a smartphone that goes out of its way to block mobile data connections and cannot connect to wifi. The concept seems crazy.
Who would buy a smartphone with no internet?
Samsung believes they have the answer.
The Galaxy J2 Pro is designed for students and seniors. The idea is that if students aren’t distracted by the internet and social media apps, they’ll have an easier time studying. The phone also works well for seniors who only need a phone for calling, texting and taking photos. After helping both my Grandma’s with their phones, I can tell you that that’s often all they need out of a cell phone.
The J2 Pro features a 5-inch QHD AMOLED screen, an unnamed quad-core processor, 1.5GB of RAM, and a microSD card slot. The phone even has a 5-MP camera in front and an 8-MP camera in back, which means you have the ability to take great photos even if you can’t post them on Instagram.
While it seems there is a market for this type of phone, how big of a market could it possibly be? Currently, the phone is only being tested in the South Korean market. Samsung has offered deals to students aged 18 to 21. In June of 2018, college students who purchased the phone before exam period would be refunded the price of the phone after they showed proof of taking the test. That seems like a pretty good deal. But given that given that that was over 8 months ago and Samsung hasn’t expanded the phone internationally yet, there may be concern over the phone making its way to North America.
Through a friend of a friend, I had the J2 Pro shipped to me in Western Canada. I wanted to see how the phone operated and if there could be a market for it here in North America. The phone itself, looks exactly like any other smartphone. When you unlock the phone, you have the regular apps you would expect: phone, messages, contacts, clock, calendar, notes, settings and of course a camera. The phone also uses specialty headphones to access nearby radio stations. As with other Samsung devices, you can also load music onto the phone. I’m an avid iPhone user so I’m not going to even try to explain how to do that but I know it’s possible.
Overall the phone does exactly what it promises. There are no distractions and you still have a phone with a great camera. Personally, I wish the phone came pre-loaded with solitaire or something but I suppose that’s considered a distraction as well.
It’s a phone that I feel has potential for the North American market. However, I don’t think college students aged 18 to 21 would ever willingly buy this phone. Nevertheless, I think there’s potential with students aged 11-15 who need a phone to contact their parents and who aren’t yet buying their own phone. This phone is perfect for emergency uses, to keep in contact with parents and friends and to prevent students from being distracted by social media during class. While it may not be the cool phone, it’s certainly the practical one.
However, the greatest potential for this phone is definitely the senior market. Not all seniors struggle with technology, and I certainly don’t mean to imply that they do, but not all seniors want to have that technology on their phone. Both my Grandma’s have email on their computers. Their phone is primarily used for phone calls, texting and taking pictures. In fact, my one Grandma had accidentally turned off her data and didn’t realize she was paying for a data plan that she had accidentally restricted her own access to.
Samsung deserves credit for attempting to reach a currently underserved market within the smartphone industry. I would have never expected a phone like this to be created but I like the risk that their taking with it. There is a market for this phone, albeit small, and they did the appropriate consumer research to find it.
The overall success of this phone is yet to be seen. Will it be able to expand internationally? Only time will tell.