Samsung Unpacking in September

By Lori Castle, Editor in Chief — August 11, 2014

Samsung is known for its "unpacking" events, where it releases the so-called "next big thing." And that next date is Wednesday, Sept. 3, simultaneously in Berlin, Beijing and New York.
The company is still the No. 1 shipper of smartphones, but has recently lost slight share in the market, according to IDC numbers. The firm stated, "Samsung saw the Galaxy S5 ship millions of units this quarter, despite the criticisms leveled at it, while S4 and even S3 volumes remained strong as more affordable alternatives. Collectively Samsung lost 7% market share compared to a year ago, despite having one of the largest smartphone portfolios of all OEMs. To maintain its position at the top, Samsung will need to focus on building momentum in markets dominated by local brands."
Apple leads the tablet market, but Samsung has been close behind. This year, however the tablet market has slipped a bit and IDC said, "Following a strong first quarter, Samsung struggled to maintain its momentum and saw its market share slip to 17.2% in the second quarter."
On the July 31 earnings call, Robert Yi, VP and Head of Investor Relations said, "For the business sides we experienced increased competition in the overall smartphone market amid the traditionally weak seasonal period for the industry. The smartphone sales declined due to increased competitions from mid to low end segments which resulted in higher marketing and promotion expenses to reduce inventories in sales channels. Tablet sales also declined due to weak global demand."
The company shipped 95 million handsets and 8 million tablets but sales and profit were down 12%.
Yi's outlook was no rosier as he promised to try to expand sales of smartphones by releasing new high-end models (hint, hint Unpacked) including an innovative flagship model and also by reinforcing mid- to low-end product line up with improved design, spec and price competitiveness.
"However, given the challenging market conditions due to intense product and price competitions we'll have to wait and see how our efforts will improve the overall profitability in the second-half," he said.
Kim Hyunjoon, Senior Vice President Mobile Communications Business, expanded, saying, "We will solidify our smartphone market leadership by further strengthening our product portfolio leveraging differentiated technologies and design…As for our tablets, we aim to increase the sales of Galaxy Tab 4 series launched in the second quarter and also increased the global sales of our new high-end tablet, the Galaxy Tab S…In addition to our strong tablet portfolio, we have further strengthened channel capabilities, including UTEL and B2B in order to make the most out of growing demand in the second-half of this year."
He also expressed belief in the potential of the company's variable mobile devices.
New and Review
Will the next big thing be another Galaxy? Note?  (Note the invite…) Something you wear? It's the beginning of school and the beginning of mobile device season as well. Fall typically sees a few big releases to make the shopping in shipping holiday season.
With a bumbling BlackBerry in 2013, it was an enterprise focused year for Samsung, as it realigned strategy to tackle vertical markets. 
Thus far, 2014 has been a mix; here's what happened since January.


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