Skip to main content

Samsung Losing Smartphone Sales Leads In Major Markets

Will the S5 be Samsung's last non-premium
flagship phone?
We knew from Samsung's recent quarterly reporting that the company was undergoing a bit of downward re-alignment of its smartphone sales numbers (i.e. sales are tanking) but news in recent days shows the news is probably worse than first feared but also better than it could be.

First news broke that Xaomi had outsold Samsung in China to take number one sales spot, then that Miramax had done the same in India. That's important because these two markets are outgrowing the rest of the world by some measure. Anyone focusing on pure volume to sustain a business model can't afford to be losing out here. With close to two-fifths of the world population centred here and limited smartphone penetration compared to the rest of the world, sales growth is the name of the game.

On the flip side of the coin these two markets are going to be seeing growth mostly at the entry level of the smartphone field - low cost phones equal lower profit margins. For Samsung these markets mean lots of phones sold for next to nothing with tiny profit margins. In the developed world Samsung sells a far greater proportion of its mid-range and higher end phones. The result is a mucher higher average selling price and greater retained income.

Samsung has an opportunity to look at the long game here. In the same way that it stole the thunder of Apple and Nokia to become the largest seller of phones worldwide, so it is seeing its volumes carved up by smaller hungrier players able to better target local markets. Does Samsung need to sell tens of millions of phones for barely any return or is it better served moving out of the volume market and trying to position itself as the premium Android brand?

Leaks of the premium Galaxy S5 version suggest that there is a recognition that moving in the latter direction is the more sensible thing to do.


Popular posts from this blog

F1: Robert Kubica Impresses In Renault Test Run

The car may be old but its the performance of the driver that's the story here. Robert Kubica returned to F1, after a fashion, earlier this week with an extensive test run in a 2012 Lotus Renault F1 car at Valencia.
The age of the car and the circuit were likely determined by F1's current rules which ban testing, but the reason for Kubica being in the car is far more interesting. Considered by many to be a potential World Champion and certainly one of the fastest drivers of his generation, Kubica's F1 career seemed to be over after a 2011 crash whilst driving in the Rally of Andora. His Skoda Fabia was penetrated by a guardrail in the high speed accident partially severing his right arm.
Up until last year Kubica has been competing in rallying, with the expectation that the limited movement in his repaired arm would prohibit a return to single seater racing.
So this week's test is both interesting and confusing. Interesting because Kubica completed 115 laps of the ret…

F1: Robert Kubica's Williams Test Asks More Questions Than It Answers

Comparing driver's times at a tyre evaluation test like last week's Abu Dhabi event is difficult at the best of times, but when trying to assess the performance of a driver who has been out of the sport for six years, that difficulty level is raised even higher.
On the face of it Robert Kubica's test for Williams was a success. Fastest of the three Williams drivers present the headlines look promising. However, taking into consideration the different tyres used to set those times muddies the water considerably.
Kubica ran a three lap qualifying simulation on the new 'hyper-soft' tyre - which should have given him a two-second advantage. Correcting for tyres it would appear that Kubica was significantly slower than Sergei Sorotkin - who was on the harder 'soft' tyre - and marginally quicker than Lance Stroll, the team's only contracted driver.

Stroll's family fortune currently funds Williams, so there' no chance that he will be anywhere but in a…

Panos Panay's Defence Of Microsoft Surface Hardware Sounds Eerily Familiar

This weekend I went out with my ten year old daughter to select a laptop for her school year beginning in January. The schools requirements are quite specific, requiring a Windows 10 device, with a preference for a touchscreen and a stylus. She chose a Surface Pro, after trying a large number of different options. Having seen the way I use my own Surface Pro - and tried it herself there was only ever going to be two options - and the other was a Surface Laptop.
I tell you this so that you understand I am a buyer of Microsoft's products through choice, not compulsion. I'm on my third Surface device now. 
So when Panos Panay dismissed reports of the death of the Surface hardware line, I was very interested to see exactly how strong these denials were. Especially how they reflect what has gone before. To whit: Windows 10 Mobile.
Panay claimed that Microsoft is in hardware for the long haul. Almost exactly mirroring the words of Terry Myerson, when he claimed Windows Mobile was g…