At Galaxy unveiling, Samsung will have insurance plan in back pocket
* Backup plan aims to avoid repeat of last year's costly supply disruption
* Analysts warn Samsung may have raised consumer expectations too high
* Stakes for Samsung high on product that delivers its biggest profits
By Miyoung Kim
SEOUL, March 13 (Reuters) - The success of Samsung Electronics Co's latest Galaxy phone, set to be launched in New York on Thursday, could hinge on a supply backup plan aimed at preventing a repeat of a costly snag for its premium smartphone last year.
Some analysts predict the new Galaxy S IV could top 10 million unit sales in the first month after its launch, so any hiccups in the smooth delivery of core components could be disastrous.
The risks are high. A simple manufacturing snafu involving unsatisfactory design of handset cases cost Samsung some 2 million units of lost sales in just a month after it launched the S III in May last year.
"There could be, again, a supply bottleneck due to tight supply of components... but I think any such disruption will be very brief, as Samsung is making a bigger bet on the S IV than on its predecessor with a backup plan to avoid such disruption," said Greg Noh, an analyst at HMC Investment and Securities.
After pre-empting its launch with a marketing blitz for the new Galaxy phone, the South Korean electronics giant also risks having overhyped its new phone, analysts warn. They say consumers could be disappointed if it has only incremental improvements rather than the dazzling features they've come to expect. Continued...