A replaceable battery for the S6. Photo by japanexpertena.se on Flickr.
I’m interested to see the result of this poll on Android Pit, which asks Samsung owners how important a replaceable battery and (separately) microSD card is to them.
Part of my interest is that I helped inspire it, through a conversation on Twitter. Modest, moi?
Ever since it was announced that the Galaxy S6 wouldn’t offer either a removable battery or a microSD slot, there was all sorts of kerfuffle on tech blogs, and the comments therein: people said that they bought Samsung stuff specifically for those elements, and that those were key things which set them apart from the (reviled, in their eyes) iPhone range, which has never offered a removable battery or slot-in storage.
However, I’m pretty sure that Samsung’s move is not only idealistic – not having to make the back removable avoids all sorts of design compromises – but also driven by clear data.
Consider this: Samsung knows exactly how many Galaxy S phones it has sold. It also knows exactly how many replacement batteries it has sold – it certifies them or similarly gets data from any company that’s selling it with its name. So that’s the battery story sorted. (See the update below if you’re just now saying “ah, but third-party batteries…”)
I suspect that it also gets analytics on the use of microSD cards – anonymised, of course – since I know that it gets that sort of data about stylus use on the Note series (apparently about 10% of users ever use the stylus).
In which case, its decision to dump removable batteries and microSD cards is simply one where it knows a few people will be upset, but the vast majority won’t. And that once again will show that people who make a lot of noise on the various tech blogs (whether above or below the line) may feel keenly about these issues, but aren’t necessarily representative of wider use. (The comments on that Android Pit story are typical: people annoyed about the change, but no clarity on what they’ll do instead.)
I’ve long felt anyway that the arguments about replacement batteries don’t hold water. External battery chargers are comparatively cheap, and don’t require you to take the back off your phone and the battery out (which immediately means your phone has to be restarted). And a good point made by Janak Parekh via Twitter: Samsung has focussed on fast recharging for the S6. (I’ve been impressed for some time by how quickly iPhones recharge. I haven’t seen it documented in comparative benchmarks, though. Update: but of course Anandtech, the site for which nothing is not worth a benchmark and a graph, documents it. Here’s the chart comparing how quickly various top-end smartphones recharge, in its HTC M9 review: it shows that the Galaxy S5 and Note 4 have the fastest recharge times, about 10% faster than the iPhone 6.)
Similarly on the microSD point: Google offers a lot of free cloud storage, and so does Dropbox, and I don’t buy the idea that you really need to have a bazillion gigabytes of music on your phone all the time. 1GB of music is 1,000 minutes of listening time, or over 16 hours. And that’s not very much to have devoted to music. When you get back in range of Wi-Fi, you can download a whole new lot.
The direction there is only towards more availability of cloud storage, not less – so, away from microSDs. (What’s more, microSD cards are amazingly fiddly and easy to lose.)
So I don’t think that the absence of these elements is going to significantly affect sales of the S6.
However, that doesn’t mean that I think the S6 is necessarily going to do gangbusters. It’s much too early to say that. Samsung’s position at the top end is being chewed in China and elsewhere by the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, and from below by Xiaomi and local vendors. It’s going to be a tough row to hoe.
Update: plenty of responses on Twitter (as well as here). Let’s deal with a couple.
1) “Samsung doesn’t know about sales of third-party batteries”
You know, I think a company the size of Samsung might have the resources to carry out a bit of market research to find out how many third-party batteries fitting its specification are being sold.
And I’m not denying that there are people on Twitter who have bought replacement batteries and are happy with them. That’s not my point. My point is that I suspect Samsung has taken a careful look at how pissed off people are going to be if it doesn’t allow replaceable batteries, and concluded – based on sales data – that actually it’s not going to be that much of the Galaxy-buying population. I don’t see why people are struggling with the idea that a big company that’s not called Google might be data-driven in some of what it does.
Another bonus for Samsung, pointed out by @misterleoni:
Certainly, being sure that you can keep “OMG SAMSUNG BURNT DOWN MY HOUSE” stories out of the papers has its attractions. Also, for the makers of third-party batteries, there’s the chance instead to move up the value chain by developing a brand around their external battery (as in the picture at the top of this piece): much better margins doing that than being some faceless unknown inside a phone.
2) “Dammit, I need an SD card for my 200GB of music!”
Again, if you’ve got 200GB of music then you’re such an outlier you can’t see the shore any more. Some data from 2011, looking at the “average” iTunes library, found that the average person (who uploaded their list, so self-selecting, so likely larger) had 7,160 tracks in their library. At 4 minutes per song, that works out to 28GB. (At 1 min = 1MB.) I think that’s an exaggeration too – people in this Yahoo Answers thread offer much smaller numbers. I’d suggest it’s likely closer to 5GB or 10GB, like the early iPods.
So again, I’m not saying there aren’t people who want or need microSD cards to store their music or photos. I’m saying that I think Samsung has looked at the market, and is taking a decision based on that.
Of course, there’s another possibility, which is that almost everyone wants removable batteries and microSD cards, and that Samsung has decided to spite them all by forcing them to buy non-replaceable ones to force an upgrade (or costly repair), and force them to buy pricey inbuilt storage. (Well, the latter certainly works for Apple.) But that’s so customer-hostile for a company that’s in straitened times, in smartphone terms, that it fails Occam’s Razor. So I’ll stick to the simpler answer: it’s the result of analysing data, and getting simple answers that allow some design compromises (backs that come off, slots for slow microSD cards) to be jettisoned.
SD cards are incredibly cheap compared to a higher capacity model of phone. I’ve always bought the lower capacity model and added an SD card of about double that size. Pretty simple maths for me.
I have a few GB of personal photos (my ~10 years of digital photos scaled for the phones native resolution) as well as a good stock of music. Maybe the larger phones would suffice for me, but my 16G S3 has a 32G sd card added for a pittance. Sure I get music from the cloud, but coverage of decent 3G is patch, let alone 4G, and I’m already having to delete music when adding more and I’d still like more on my phone.
This all ignores data charges, which if fully streaming music is pricey and a large SD card is paid for straight away once you take that into account.
I don’t doubt a word of it, Anton. Equally, I think you’re probably an outlier compared to the majority of people at whom Samsung is aiming with the G6.
That said – given Samsung’s decision, will the presence/absence of a microSD slot determine your next choice of phone?
SD cards are incredibly cheap.
I shoot cameras a lot, and what they ALSO are is unreliable.
I’ve never had an iPhone file system corrupt and lose all data. But I have had several SD cards die utterly, as in not just scrambled data but no data at all could be recovered – and that was even with minimal use of simply shooting photos to them from time to time then transferring them off. Storage on a phone is going to be way more active. As far as “user experience” goes you have to be insane to let in a weak link like SD card stability into your system to fail and make people miserable. Because you know most people aren’t even going to be buying something like a Sandisk Extreme (I’ve had those fail also), they are going to be buying the $10 SD card with cloned electronics that hardly works.
Cheap SD cards are also very slow. Since you buy them for cameras, you must know that the cheap cards are also unreliable. If you want an SD card that approaches the speed of the memory in the phone, you need to buy an expensive card. But then, you might as well have paid for built in memory.
Yes, that’s part of my thinking – the S6 has very fast internal memory, and an SD card would slow down some part of the performance.
It did, though the price of the S6 also factored in. I went for a Note 4 in the end, due to arrive tomorrow.
The camera in the S6 was awfully tempting me that direction though, but the cost of a model with more space (factor in the ~12G you lost out of the box) and the general higher price left me choosing the Note
I mostly agree with your conclusion – most people won’t be bothered anough to hit S6 sales. To summaerize/expand our twitter discussion.
I reluctantly agree with you on batteries – even though I bought a Note II so I could (and did) replace the battery when it wore out. That usage is served well enough by numerous phone repair shops, and I expect a small fraction of western smartphone users keep their phone long enough to care.
The micro sd aspect bothers me though. Carrying all my music on my phone is convenient and it saves me money. I don’t have to worry about spotty wifi, or 3G coverage, download quotas, or planning/deciding/transferring the music I’ll play today. Using local storage rather than the cloud saves £100/yr or more, on a high/unlimited data allowance contract. Using a micro sd rather than the phone’s internal storage saves £50 – £100 on a new phone.
I fully concede I’m a minority on this question. As you say most people will prefer (or at least be content with) a more expensive phone/contract and the simplicity of having just one storage bucket.
I agree about the battery. I wanted a replaceable battery on my s3 for the same reason, but haven’t replaced it and a shop (or screwdriver) would do the job. It doesn’t bother me any more.
I have 43G of music and hardly have space for much of it even with an SD card, and I like to carry all my SLR photos (16G at 1280×800) for showing family etc.
One day cloud storage and contracts might make it a cheap enough difference, but for now an SD card is still a clear winner. There’s also the size of HD video, though I should probably be putting that in the cloud and removing it from my phone rather than keeping it on there forever…
One day cloud storage might be a reality for Samsung. Funny how Google will copy iOS for Samsung, but won’t carry their water for them WRT cloud storage. You would think that Google would jump at the chance to data mine online storage like they do everything else, for their (real) advertising business.
Maybe Apple should just start selling limited capability iPhones without the Apple logo on them.
I have 25000 songs on my iPhone for $25 a year. That also includes unlimited, commercial free streaming iTunes Radio channels.
The iCloud photo sharing is free and has been for years now. I’m sure someone is trying to help Samsung figure this out, so maybe in a few years they will catch up with that Apple has been doing for awhile now. That should make their customers really happy.
A correspondent in the entertainment industry notes that one of the biggest concerns regarding Android is that SD cards (or other removable storage) are a primary means—maybe, THE primary means—for transferring media from one user to another, i.e., what the industry calls “piracy.”
This person believes that for example, TV deals such as Apple is working on, are non-starters for devices that have SD chips. Samsung can hardly be unaware, and if they want high-end options on their phones, might well be acting on the belief that they must remove the SD option to be able to negotiate similar deals.
Of course Samsung would not say as much—which is tantamount to accusing customers of piracy—just as the media companies have nothing to gain by insulting its clientele. But my correspondent has no trouble saying as much in private messages, and I strongly believe it would be part of discussions with Samsung.
Myself, I have over a hundred GB of cherished operas, many albums and some video courseware that takes a lot of space, so I don’t take large databases as outliers. But as you note, there are plenty of online storage options (as well as easy synchronization to a laptop or desktop) for a person who wants to keep a large personal collection available. The SD card is actually a clumsy solution to large personal collections, and crucially lacks backup, so it’s NOT where one would keep a library. Samsung will lose very few customers by dropping the option and possibly gain many more thanks to better media choices.
The entertainment industry is clueless then. I am sure bit torrent is used 100x more (or even a higher multiple) than SD cards.
I imagine that’s true for PCs on high-speed links. For phones on limited data plans, that’s much less likely. If you want to watch video on the bus or an airplane or other “mobile” circumstance, you can’t even use a torrent. If you don’t have a home PC — as many phone users don’t — you likely don’t even have a dependable wifi base station thru which to download your torrents.
Perhaps industry is unable to tell what’s happening to their revenues. Or more likely they want to avoid making it easier to pirate their stuff.
Yeah but if you bit torrent on your phone, with an SD card you can easily give the movies to a friend: its piracy that way, after downloading it.
No bit torrent on iOS.
Seriously? You want to run bit torrent on your phone? You are open to whatever payload it comes with, too?
used to be a truly useful feature until android 4.4 where you only can download it to internal memory before manually transferring it to your ext memory and can only be done by stock file mgr. became less useful then.
Just because people don’t buy new batteries doesn’t mean they don’t like the security of knowing they can *completely* remove power from the phone with absolute certainty. Nor does it mean they dont like knowing that, down the road, if the battery does fail from age, they CAN easily replace it without having to either send the phone it to the manufacturer, or resort to extreme means to open the case to replace it.
I use to have an iPhone, and since then a different phone with a permanent battery. I now have an S5, and I will NEVER buy another phone that the battery is no easily removed from. And unless and until cell carriers open their networks up wide, get rid of the data caps and throttling, online storage is simply not a valid substitute for being able to put a giant microSD card in, both to do backups, and NEVER have to worry about running out of space for pictures, apps, etc.
So does that mean you won’t buy an S6 or similar?
Just because insecure people think they need a security blanket in their iPhone wannabe, doesn’t mean their fears are justified.
Extreme means? LOL, the iPhone 5s I have has TWO SCREWS to remove to open the case. Can you walk and chew gum at the same time? Having it replaced professionally (and guaranteed) costs a whopping $59 while you wait at the Apple store. Carrying an external battery has no limit whatsoever in terms of how many or how much juice you can bring along. You might THINK it’s better to replace it, but that’s only your opinion. Either way, carrying around extra batteries is a rare and extremely niche’ concern.
By Roider definition, every watch ever made has a ‘non-replaceable’ battery. It’s freaking ridiculous–there really is no such thing as ‘non-replaceable’. Every iPod and iPhone ever made can be opened with simple tools that cost all of $2-$3. If you don’t have the chops to do it, then maybe you aren’t as tech savvy as you THINK you are.
It’s just two screws. And a clip that some non-tech types might damage while attempting to remove. And the care/attention of handling the replacement battery carefully enough that you don’t inadvertently damage it and make it prone to fire. Simple mis-positioning while you force the case shut can create a leak in the casing that would lead to a fire; a sloppy tech accidentally leaving a screw jammed against the battery is an actual cause of somebody getting burned.
Meanwhile, if your time is worth more than about $20/hour, you’re ahead of the game by having a pro do it.
Yes, you need to be careful, it’s a bit delicate. It’s only slightly more difficult than “building” your own PC (or hackintosh!) from parts. Mostly common sense involved, really.
For me, it’s much cheaper to order a kit and spend some time at least trying. I’ve not had an apple device yet where Ive not been able to perform any reasonable repair or upgrade.
Walt, that’s just it. It’s not the non-technical people who are whining about this–it’s the technical users who want to junk up an otherwise great product with a battery door.
While I’m not trying to say that Apple’s batteries are better, because I’m sure that some iPhone users have had short battery life, I never have. My batteries are about as good two years after I bought the phone as they were when I first bought it. Then I trade it in, as most people do.
It’s a lot better having an external power charge lack than having an extra battery. With the pack, you just plug it in, you don’t have to disassemble the phone.
But Android phones have always had much shorted standby times than iPhones have had because of the nature of the differences of the multitasking models. Android tends to allow most everything to remain on, using power, where iOS tends to turn most everything off, saving power. It’s a reason why iPhones have less battery problems.
But the Galaxy S6 has much better battery life than its predecessors, and so needs a removable battery much less. I’m sure Samsung worked that out.
I think a more likely explanation is that it’s much more profitable for Samsung to sell the memory with the phone than to allow users to buy the low cost phone and upgrade themselves. The price difference from 16gb to higher models never equals the cost of the memory — there is a great deal of markup there.
That, or their copying of Apple has been taken to new levels. I guess it’s not enough to get Google to copy Apple’s OS for them and then to churn out one bleedingly obvious, but third rate, rip-off after another.
Even Samsung’s marketing is a rip off of Apple.
Of course adding 16 GB is not the same as producing a generic card! It’s also orders of magnitude BETTER, even though the Roid OS can’t use it nearly as well as iOS does.
Maybe the extra dollars atop the 16GB model is a big deal. But it would be a big negative if the higher price steered buyers to other flagship Android models. And Samsung’s big problem these days is that its volumes are under severe attack, while competitive phones already look cheaper. Trying to get some extra-fat margin in those circumstances is suicidal. Unless they are flailing wildly (possible but unlikely), they are betting on users overall appreciating the extra solidity, security and potential service advantages of not including removable storage.
I’d like to point out something that you haven’t mentioned. Lots of people buy things specifically because they have expansion — even if they have no specific plans to use it.
It’s pretty common in software sales, at least, for people to ask “Does it have (a macro language / a C API / a Turing-complete extension language / etc)?”, not because they plan to use that feature, but because they really don’t want to get stuck without it, if they should need it later, and would pay more for it today.
Or it’s why everyone I know has a 200 hp engine in their car, even though they never use even 50% of its capability, and probably never will. Or why so many people buy PC towers, but then never put a single expansion card in them.
Or, I imagine, smartphones with replaceable batteries and SD slots.
So as long as someone (not necessarily Samsung) makes an Android phone with hardware expansion, maybe these users will buy it, even if they’ve never once bought a battery or SD card for their old Samsung phone.
LOL, it’s just people who have no idea what they want or need and think simplistically that ‘more is better’. Not always the case though, as you point out.
Also, there are very few serious consumers buying Android now. It’s ‘marketshare’ is based on fantasy more than anything. None of those manufacturers will share any real data about sales. They quote ‘activations’ which can occur multiple times for one device. Also counted are things like memory sticks (that just happen to have some extremely limited ‘Android OS’ on them, smart refrigerators (not kidding!), etc… Samsung in particular has been CAUGHT paying an army of astroturfers more than once. They are the ‘Korean Mafia’ and have no moral qualms about copying any other company’s products.
Android caters to spec-obsessed fanboy haters. People who think the only thing about their smart phone camera that is important is the number of megapixels, etc… Meanwhile, enjoy the delay every time you press the shutter button. Enjoy the focus capabilities that are less than 1/10th the speed of the iPhone 6 line (nearly instantaneous, it’s incredible really). Enjoy the near total lack of ecosystem, the JAVA based ‘Apps’ in lieu of any real developer environment or tools, etc.. Do I need to go on?
What I can say is that I absolutely detest working with iOS due to the restrictions of Apple. There is no way to install our app if you don’t have an account on the Apple Store. With Android, you can mark an option to install apps outside the Google Play Store. I do a lot of travel in Latin America where Apple has almost no market share. I found out why, when I was in Bolivia. I met people with iPads who couldn’t install anything because the Apple Store requires you to enter a valid credit card, and most Bolivians don’t own credit cards. I spent hours trying to figure out how to root an iPod to install our application, because the person couldn’t access the Apple Store. I refuse to buy any phone that doesn’t have an external memory slot or a replaceable battery, because I know that lithium ion batteries start to significantly degrade after 500 full charge/discharge cycles and I also know that the easiest way for me to extend the life of my phone is to insert a larger Flash memory card, especially since Android allows me to install apps in the external memory. I don’t want to be forced to buy a new phone/tablet/laptop every 2 years so I avoid Apple devices like the plague.
I only buy Motorola, HTC or Nexus phones, because I want an unlocked bootloader, so I can install a custom ROM in my phone. Those brands allow the user to unlock the bootloader without using a dodgy crack. If you like living in a locked-down ecosystem where you are prohibited from changing anything, even the ring tone, then iOS is the OS for you, but some of us value our freedom to change the OS and some of us like to be able to install a custom free/open source OS which is configured to not share any of our data with either big brother (the government) or little brother (Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, etc.). I hope that you enjoy your chains.
I think Occam’s Razor points towards this is a way to boost margins on devices when their profits are falling. This is an easy way to ensure the money to increase the storage doesn’t go towards PNY, SanDisk, or any other competitors (remember, they make flash storage too).
Less Occam’s Razor is the fact there’s some decent knockoff S5s out there that can easily fool a casual buyer (anecdote: one I acquired fooled a Google engineer among with some other engineers). They drastically change the design language and it means the clones need to start all over.
A knock off of a knock off. Does that make it original? /s
I understand removing the removable battery … 😉 … but excising the SD slot is a calculated, and cunning, move, which might backfire on them.
They’re making sure that:
1) you can’t store media on an external SD card, making it harder to make sure your precious memories are backed up, should you have to do a factory reset or handset swap
1b) if you want to guarantee backup, you’re being forced into subscribing to a cloud sync / backup service, which are never as convenient in my experience (and I have a corporate Box account!)
2) it simplifies the software architecture and “SDcard” mechanism for storing data, and removes the writing-to-external-SD permissions problem which Lollipop introduced
3) they are pushing hardcore users / developers / enthusiasts away from the hardware platform, as all of those groups use SD cards for various reasons – backing up after rooting and flashing, installing new ROMs, etc.
Samsung have made their intentions clear, it’s stealth vendor lockout. They’re playing the long game.
I was thinking about this; the S6 has very fast internal flash memory. If you have an SD card I’d guess everything slows down to that speed, or at best you get differential access times which could screw things up – and certainly slow them down. This could be sensible user experience planning by Samsung: it has developed this fast storage and doesn’t want microSD cards spoiling it by slowing it down.
A thoroughbred Class 10 SD is plenty fast – perhaps not as fast as on-chip flash, but certainly fast enough for data/media storage. It still puzzles me a little as to why they excised it completely.
It’s a big middle finger to enthusiasts and people moving from previous handsets, KIES is a major pain in the backside to use for syncing and syncing via Google isn’t much better (and very time-consuming).
I guess you would be ‘forced’ to subscribe (I think you mean ‘pay for’) a cloud service since there is nothing like iCloud included with Samsung. There aren’t any real ‘hard core’ Samsung users, though I’m sure there are people that think they fit that description. There are hardly even any users that buy any Apps. They are mostly people who think they can buy an imitation iPhone instead of a real one, and save a few bucks. In the end, they have a toss away phone that can’t be updated, has no support or integration with any computer OS, and are just an obvious knock off of the iPhone.
There aren’t any hardcore Samsung users now – but I was an ardent supporter of the S3, it was a great handset, easily flashable and I spent weeks experimenting with custom ROMs. The fact I could battery pull if it hard locked, or back everything up to SD card via TWRP then do another flash, made it an amazing handset for people new to mobile modding.
Sadly the phone showed me a full screen of static a couple of months ago (out of the blue) then never worked again, now I use an LG G3. (with SD card and removable battery). 😉
Of course the big S6 question on everyone’s lips is: Does it bend?
Because they’ve now gone the slim aluminium route.
Extra power packs have proven to be quite successful, and thus, eaten extra battery market. I don’t think this has anything to do with fear of scandalous headlines – for example HTX M9 is running hotter than S6 due QC chip (which they have now cooled down under 100F though), so playing safe simply because of headlines does not add up.
However, leaving extra memory card out, that is interesting move to leave door open to Chinese and perhaps Indian smartphone makers who will undoubtedly push even more forward these now differentiation features for them compared to S6. I was surprised how soon 16Gb Moto G 2nd Gen got filled with just 8 games, under 100 pics and no music. Games were usual favorites, but for example having FIFA 2015 and Real Racing in the phone – it was complaining soon that there is not enough memory as the game data was so huge. I bought 32Gb SD Card and moved the apps there -> problem solved. Applications and their data are huge memory capacity eaters, and I suspect this will be problem on 32Gb or less models; you cannot have all apps/games you want.
Not forgetting 56 pre-installed apps, which you can disable but not delete.
Samsung’s problem will be that it left the door open now for those guys it actually needs to keep an eye on, due to their Apple obsession. We will see this year $350 device with roughly same specs, so I expect S6 sales will be strong but short and they will be left with inventory problem like S5.
I just think this is the next chapter in Samsung trying desperately to be Apple, especially now that Apple has had record breaking sales with their iPhone 6. They’ve made a virtually identical phone as the iPhone 6, they’ve abandoned SD cards and removable batteries just like Apple, and they are using their own processor that they have built in house, just like Apple.
They are just a OTA to Tizen away from becoming the next overpriced, closed source phone like Apple is.
I don’t think that’s a sufficient explanation. Samsungs adverts have for years tried to play on being different from Apple. This is something that its most diehard fans think is similar if not the same as Apple. So it must have more solid reasons than just “Apple does it”. Samsung’s managers are many things, but not foolish.
Except that the iPhone isn’t overpriced, the rip offs, lacking most of the iPhone’s advantages and ecosystem are the rip off. You act as if Sammy’s rip offs are dramatically cheaper, but they re not. That is, unless you are talking about buying a used phone. In that case, the sPhones are dramatically cheaper than any iPhone. Funny how that works.
If i wanted a phone that has no replaceable battery and no SD card, I’d get an iPhone. This is a sad, greedy move, too bad my purchasing choices won’t make a difference but i won’t be getting an S6 after i had an s2 and s4.
So what will you get?
LOL, but they thought you LIKED the fact that Shamstungs are a dramatic rip off of Apple’s designs, while lacking all of it’s services/support/ecosystem/ integration/ cloud services/resale value, etc…
If you just want a REALLY bad android, there are PLENTY to choose from. You can surely find one with all the ridiculous bells and whistles (and pointless specifications) you want, while still lacking dozens of features that Apple includes with every iPhone. Enjoy!
Samsung, Apple or anyone else can discover how many Galaxy phones have had their batteries replaced by opening up retired Galaxy phones to discover if they’re carrying original equipment batteries. Serial numbers on the phones allow one to discover their ages.
More effort would be required, but in a lab it is possible to examine the retired phones under a microscope to measure abrasion on the mechanism where the SD card is inserted, compare that to a control case, and estimate the frequency of SD card insertions.
Apple was likely carrying out these studies on the discarded phones of its competitors to ensure that its design preferences had not led it astray. Now that it has increased the size of iPhone displays so dramatically in response to revealed consumer preferences, there can be little doubt that it would have added an SD slot if that were a key feature for buyers.
IF i buy an s6/s6 edge and i will if i have the money, removable backs/battery/sd card won’t matter much to me. I used to think of these features as a yes and no to buying a phone until i actually used one, a 16gb moto g. i realised it didn’t affect me at all after all. as humans, we adapt to change i guess. + i had a few bad experiences with bad/lousy sd cards .