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New Samsung Galaxy Phone Won't Be a Game Changer: Pros

Thursday, 14 Mar 2013 | 2:15 PM ET
Samsung 'Taking a Page Out of Apple's Playbook': Analyst
Thursday, 14 Mar 2013 | 11:42 AM ET
Charles Golvin, Forrester Research analyst, discusses whether Samsung will finally grab a bigger share of the smartphone market away from Apple with the launch of its Galaxy S4.

Don't expect Samsung's new Galaxy smartphone to be a revolutionary mobile device, said Charles Golvin, an analyst for Forrester Research.

"I don't think it's a game-changer, it's an evolution," Golvin said Thursday on Squawk on the Street.

Any major changes to the new Galaxy device won't be in the hardware, but will be more focused on new software features, Golvin said.

(Read More: What to Expect From New Samsung Galaxy S4 Smartphone )

"It's going to be something in the software, the hardware is just going to be cable stakes, a better camera, faster processor, maybe something about the eye-scrolling or touch interface or something different in the way you use the phone."

Tavis McCourt, a senior analyst for Raymond James, agrees but adds that it's a problem for all smartphone makers not just Samsung -- that they're starting to reach a limit on new developments in the hardware of the phones.

"[T]here is very little, in terms of differentiation, that you can still do on hardware in this space. The smartphone space is starting to be a lot like the laptop space in terms of the degree of differences in the hardware get less and less and really the differentiation is in software," McCourt said. "I think people are going to start to realize that it's not just Apple," McCourt said.

(Read More: Expect the New Samsung Galaxy to Look Familiar )

And, while he doesn't expect much different on the outside, he thinks the Galaxy SIII will likely have a better processor, a better screen and a better camera.

Still, even though Samsung won't be revealing any major changes in its smartphone design, the launch of the new device is significant because it represents the changing landscape of the U.S. smartphone market.

Samsung is unveiling its new smartphone Thursday evening in New York City. It will be the first time the company has launched a Galaxy device in the U.S. in three years, a move that shows Samsung has a growing influence over carriers.

"You know, Samsung is really doing something different here, they are taking a page out of Apple's playbook, in terms of doing this launch event and it's really going to demonstrate how much more leverage they have with their carrier partners in setting their own brand foremost in peoples' minds as this leading innovator in the smartphone space," Golvin said.

But Samsung's launch also shows that the smartphone space is changing. Smartphones aren't just for early technology adopters or for consumers with big wallets, the mobile devices are now more accessible for all in the U.S.

(Read More: Samsung's New Phone Will Debut on Apple's Turf )

In fact, more than half the people in the U.S. own smartphones and in five years almost 90 percent of the U.S. population will have smartphones, according to research from Forrester. Phones like Samsung's, which are priced lower than Apple's iPhone, are driving the growing adoption of smartphones, Golvin said.

"It reflects the changing face of smartphone users," Golvin said. "Now, with mass adoption, it's price that is the primary driver and factor to the newcomers in the smartphone market. So these high-end sales are really about more experienced users, people who are a bit more well-heeled who can afford that really high-end device. And the volume is being driven at the low-end."

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  • Matt Hunter is the senior technology editor at CNBC.com.

  • Cadie Thompson is a tech reporter for the Enterprise Team for CNBC.com.

  • Working from Los Angeles, Boorstin is CNBC's media and entertainment reporter and editor of CNBC.com's Media Money section.

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