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Samsung may have just lost half of its fans with the Galaxy S6

A week ago we ran a survey to ask current Samsung owners what they thought about Samsung’s decision to remove microSD expansion and a replaceable battery from the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge. We know it was a bit of a shock when both devices were revealed without two of Samsung’s signature features, but we wanted to see just how important SD cards and replaceable batteries really were. The survey results were even more pronounced than we had expected.

AndroidPIT Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge microSD card
Removing the microSD card may have just lost Samsung half of its current fans. / © ANDROIDPIT

microSD expansion

An incredible 82 percent of respondents currently use a microSD card, with a further 6 percent happy to at least have the option available to them. Only just over one-tenth of current Samsung owners don’t use a microSD card at all.

Almost two-thirds of participants either stated that they would no longer buy Samsung without an SD card slot or would consider buying other manufacturers that do include this feature on their smartphones. That’s 65 percent of current customers unhappy with Samsung’s decision to remove microSD expansion.

Around 15 percent each stated that they could live without microSD expansion or preferred the faster and larger storage options available on the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge. A final six percent didn’t care at all.

AndroidPIT Samsung survey microSD 1
AndroidPIT Samsung survey microSD 2
Samsung owners are clearly not very happy with Samsung's decision to remove microSD. / © ANDROIDPIT

Removable batteries

The survey results also showed that only about two-fifths of Samsung owners currently carry a spare battery, and that the other three-fifths either don’t have one or rarely use the spare battery they do own.

Only 18 percent of respondents stated a removable battery was critical and would turn them off buying Samsung in future. Another 28 percent claimed it was important and that they would consider other manufacturers with removable battery options.

That’s 46 percent of current Samsung customers not happy with the decision to remove the removable battery. However, 54 percent said it either didn’t matter so much or that they preferred fast charging to a removable battery.

AndroidPIT Samsung survey battery 1
AndroidPIT Samsung survey battery 2
A removable battery is slightly less critical, but still very important to Samsung owners. / © ANDROIDPIT

What does this tell us?

A couple of things. First: that of the two features, microSD expansion is by far the more important to current Samsung owners and the one more likely to affect future purchasing decisions.

Second: that by removing these two features from the current Samsung flagships, between 45 – 65 percent of current customers are at the very least considering other manufacturers and at worst, planning to completely abandon Samsung in their next upgrade cycle.

samsung galaxy s6 s6 edge
It will be interesting to see the effect of Samsung's choices in buying decisions. / © ANDROIDPIT

While Samsung’s reasons for opting to go with a faster, more reliable internal storage technology and to seal the device to make it thinner and lighter might be justified, it is clear that these decisions have come at a cost.

Pre-orders for the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge may be through the roof, but it will be interesting to see what percentage of these purchases come from existing Samsung owners and what percentage from new customers. Whether Samsung’s fans will forgive these decisions over time will also be worth following.

For further feedback from the survey, read the comments.

What do you think of Samsung’s decision making? Do you think Samsung will feel the effect of disgruntled current owners?

Readers' favorite comments

  • 10
    Mak S Apr 4, 2015

    The reason I don't like phones or any electronic device without a removable battery, is it limits the life of the devices. Batteries are usually the main reason those devices quit working. I have had my S3 for almost 3 years, and I am on my 3rd battery. The first was because the phone got to hot. I left it sitting in the sun on a metal form at work, the battery bloated. My phone was only 3 months old at the time. That would have destroyed a phone with a non removable battery. I just changed the battery again because it was down to about 75% capacity after 2 1/2 years. with non removable battery I would be SOL. Non removable batteries are just a way for a company to build in obsolescent to a product.

  • George W. Apr 4, 2015

    Terrible corporate decision. Since I currently own a Galaxy S4, the next upgrade for me will be the S5. After that, I will definitely research other phone manufacturers. Sorry Samsung.


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  • i understand that microsd somehow limited the control of phone manufacturer to dictates how the phone will perform, eg: people might buy low performance microsd and then blame the phone for the performance. But at the other end, why don't they just put a disclaimer that performance on microsd vs internal may vary? or better yet suggest user the type of microsd that they should buy for their phone (by brand or by spec: class 10, UHS-I 3, etc). the reason i buy my Note 3 is because i can start of buying a phone that fits my budget and then purchase additional capacity as i see fit. I start of with 32GB of microsd, then 64GB and now to 128GB. stop playing Apple game; Android phone manufacturer! i always want Google Nexus phone but with them keep on not giving us expandable storage option is the main reason i didn't buy one. if the reason is lack of performance - my internal storage is used for apps, and expandable storage is for media (pictures, videos, musics) and i found out it perform well. so what gives?

  • 128 MB is not close enough to enough storage but 1 TB may work for awhile.
    I have 4 spare batteries for my Note 3 and 3 batteries for my G4.
    No SD card and no way to change batteries is a non-starter for me. I will simply purchase older equipment that has these features.

  • Xutos Apr 14, 2015 Link to comment

    128 Gb wont do it for me. I use my EDGE as a media device and has taking over from my laptop. Its really good and handy to have the extra storage. some people dont need much but others like me, space always runs out.....>>>>

  • Steven Apr 8, 2015 Link to comment

    My galaxy S3 has 16gb internal (12 usable) plus 32gb external sdcard (29 usable) for a total of 48gb (41 usable)

    the external has music, movies, photos, torrents and nandroid backups

    altho 64gb or 128gb internal storage sounds like more than enough .. I much prefer that nandroid backups are of <= 16gb drive containing only internal data and complete in less than 15 mins

    I do NOT want/need to backup movies, music, nandroid backups, etc

    the cloud is simply not fast enough to be an alternative to external sdcard

    take away the sdcard, put a terabyte internal drive .. don't care .. no external sdcard slot = no sale

  • S F Apr 7, 2015 Link to comment

    I really don't see this as an issue most people by now should know what sd card size they will need, as for battery if it can make it through most of the day on a single charge that is more then enough, they do give you the fast charge on wireless charging wall and auto. so if you're one that does not have time to walk in to the office to charge, then you can set your phone on the mat and in a few minutes you get a nice charge. my note edge when playing games and such gets me through the whole day. and i keep most of my storeage content on cloud, granted i do have the option for removable battery and micro sd card, I don't have a spare and I don't use a 1/4th of the memory in the phone, why because there is cloud. why do i want to store everything on a little chip that had a defined life span and can die without notice. buddy of mine did that and one morning woke up and zap he had an error on his phone relating to his micro sd card. also im a tech geek, and idk about switching up device every so often, because i like to be productive. and want the fastest device, i can get when i can get it. also I have wifi every where. in the gym, at the restaraunt, at work and at home. and i have verizon so if i'm in some area that does not have wifi I don't worry about getting the information i need. because I have not been to an area that either does not have wifi or coverage, ok so the waterproofing does sound cool, and wish it could have that. but thats what cases are for, even though the edge cases are hard to find i knew that when i bought the phone, now lets looks at another point, this is what you get when you complain about not having a metal body, which I don't understand what so ever. metal bends and stays plastic bends and bounces back. but everyone what crying and complaining about the device not having a metal body, guess what what phone out there has a metal body and you can still remove the back on it without bending it? lets face it, no one is ever going to be 100% happy with what companies do there will always be someone out there thats not going to happy with this feature or that. you wanted metal and thinner bodies, you got it. how ever something had to be given up in the exchange, you can't always have your cake and ice cream too. there is just some limits that just are. personally I liked the plastic bodies, vs metal smooth finish that slips out of your hand that i'm going to put a case on it anyhow thats going to hide it anyway.

  • Is anyone going to mention the lack of water proofing and the puny battery? It seems unbelievable that, when Samsung finally decided to adopt wireless charging where there's no need to open an usb flap, it also decided to dump waterproofing altogether. Also, the unstoppable pursuit of thinnest gave the S6 an iPhone like pathetic batery. I'm sure a couple of millimeters would have given it twice the battery life, a bezel less camera, a much stronger phone and 100% of customer satisfaction. Well, perhaps they are saving all that for the active.

    • Paul E. Apr 7, 2015 Link to comment

      Samsung seems to have forgotten that when you come out with an upgraded phone, you shouldn't lose features. I'm going to upgrade from an S3 to an S5, but that's as far as I'm going with Samsung.

  • I left HTC for this reason, I can leave Samsung for the same reason.

  • haven't seen anyone mention the pathetic pins on the micro sd slots,thats the reason I need a removable battery. broken pins on both my s3 and s5

  • With android games consuming gigabytes these days, the sd card slot is paramount. You save your work and media (music, photos, movies) in the sd card and let the internal memory for what it's worth.
    So long Samsung, see ya in the next flagship product with sd support.

  • Awayze Apr 6, 2015 Link to comment

    SD card is a must even if there's no app2sd option. Music, files and photos can be stored on it.

    • agreed :)

    • Paul E. Apr 7, 2015 Link to comment

      Exactly. If I need to put movies or any large file on my phone or tablet's microSD, I put it in an adapter and copy/move it directly from my computer. Much faster than transferring across my wireless network.

  • Considering that I just had to replace the worn out battery on my S5, yes, it is safe to assume that I would not buy S6 or any other phone without a replaceable battery.

    • star64 May 11, 2015 Link to comment

      I can see another lawsuit from Apple coming. As they are now so similar!

  • I can't believe the Samsung did this. Maybe the battery but to eliminate the SD card is pure suicide. A lot of us use the card... and save a lot of space on the main memory card. I think the S5 is a better all around phone with these two features plus being water resistant. What t a step backwards Samsung. If you do the same the Note 5 I will stay with the Note 4 that I absolutely love. Geesh, you just handed the crown to the Apple company.

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