Is Samsung Slowing Down?

By Lori Castle, Editor-in-Chief — February 10, 2014

Last week Samsung revealed that it will, once again, "unpack" its latest offering at the upcoming Mobile World Congress (MWC). At the last big show, 2014 International CES, the company unveiled the new Galaxy NotePRO and TabPRO line of tablets—the former available in a 12.2 inch form factor, the latter offering three sizes, ranging from 12.2 (left) to 8.4 inches.

With intent on "redefining what a tablet can do," a form factor normally known for just consumption, the new line packs in performance. A larger viewing area allows for a larger working area, as more mobile users employ tablets to not just access data, but create. The multi-window splits the screen into four parts, and to enhance productivity further, these tablets feature a virtual keyboard that mimics the size and appearance of a physical keyboard. 

This allows for leveraging hotkeys to offer users a more accurate and familiar typing experience. It includes directional keys and copy/paste functionality built right into the keyboard which allows you to create and edit documents more efficiently. The new tablets are available as of February 13 according to Samsung. Pre-orders are already taking place.

Travis Merrill, VP of Tablet Marketing at Samsung Electronics America said, “As mobile usage habits have evolved, so have our tablet offerings. This Pro series is designed to meet the distinctive needs of today’s mobile consumer, whether at home, on-the-go or at work.”

Ups and Downs
Work is the keyword in this statement, as Samsung’s bid to take over the enterprise continues, but lags. According to ABI Research estimates, at the end of 2013 Samsung had 166 million mobile business customers defined as employed individuals using their smartphone for business and personal reasons.

However, ABI also noted that most of these customers are the more fickle BYOD users and said that Samsung wants to capture more share of the corporate liable smartphone market, and is seeking to up the number of enterprise apps developed for its platform. To that end, Samsung will host a developer-specific event during MWC and introduce an upgraded SDK for developing services and apps running on its smart devices.

“Samsung continues to make strides in the enterprise and remains confident in their strategy to support enterprise mobility efforts,” commented Jason McNicol, Senior Analyst, ABI Research. “If you look at other device OEMs with an enterprise mobility focus, they tend to have a single solution available. Samsung on the other hand has SAFE, Knox, virtualization, and possibly Tizen as enterprise solutions. No other OEM is taking such an aggressive stance towards enterprise mobility.”

Samsung’s move towards the enterprise began in 2009 and has slowly built up momentum since. Key initiatives along the way have led to 23 smartphones and tablets being released and deemed enterprise ready as a result of a diversified partner network that focuses specifically on enterprise needs, according to ABI.

Samsung also reorganized its businesses in 2013, aligning to support its vertically-focused B2B market strategy, which serves the hotel industry, medical businesses, retail, finance, education and corporate.

McNicol continued, “This past year, however, showed Samsung is not invincible as evidenced by launch delays and security issues in KNOX, its flagship enterprise mobility platform. Samsung has the capabilities and resources to overcome these hurdles, but is the market willing to wait? Fortunately for Samsung, the enterprise mobility market has lots of room to grow.”

The question is when and how that growth occurs for Samsung. Despite the hype around CES and MWC, Samsung itself expects the first half of 2014 to be weak, according to the latest earnings call.

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