We were saying just yesterday that LG is having a great old time in smartphones at the moment, while its South Korean cousin, Samsung, is struggling to hold onto that top spot amid fierce competition.
Samsung recently endured its worst quarter in years, so it comes as little surprise to hear that the world’s number one (for now) is reassessing its smartphone strategy.
Unfortunately for Samsung, there’s no one singular problem here; and consequently no singular solution that’s going to put things right.
Chinese manufacturers continue to chip away with handsets boasting premium specs and non-premium price tags, while the iPhone 6 has proven outrageously popular.
Meanwhile, even the most ardent Samsung fan would be hard pushed to sell the notion of upgrading from, say, a Galaxy S4 to a Galaxy S5, or a Galaxy Note 3 to a Note 4. Indeed, consumers appear to be holding onto their handsets way longer than just 12 months.
Furthermore, Samsung’s strategy seems increasingly muddled – and that’s really saying something, considering the company’s output over the past few years, with a myriad of baffling Core and Plus variants (Plus often denoting a worse phone).
As if two premium handsets per year wasn’t enough, we now have the Alpha/A-series to contend with, those handsets supposedly marking “the evolution of Galaxy design”, but with arguably mid-range specs. What the…?
And while the Galaxy Note 4 was tipped to rock a jaw-dropping new design, it materialised as the annual upgrade most of us expected (better display, faster processor). Yes, we were introduced to the Galaxy Note Edge, with its additional display down the side, but it’s decidedly niche – not to mention exclusive to South Korea and Japan.
As reported by The Guardian, Kim Hyun-joon, SVP at Samsung Mobile, mourns: “High-end smartphone sales result was somewhat weak. We will fundamentally reform our product portfolio.”
Of course, there’s nothing specific to go on yet, but given Samsung’s recent performance, you’ll forgive us for remaining pessimistic about the South Koreans reversing their ailing fortunes.