Why Samsung Can’t Take A Break (Even Though It Is On Top)!
Samsung is right now the largest mobile company in the world. It is on top in many countries including India. Also, this is just one part of the whole picture. The company makes almost everything electronic including laptops, cameras, TVs, ACs, Fridge, Washing Machine etc. In fact, I suppose we should go the other way. The only things that Samsung doesn’t make are gaming systems. I can’t think of anything else right now.
Looking at the picture, it is easy to say that Samsung can relax a bit. It is on top by a good margin in smartphone arena. Recently, Sony took to second spot in India after Samsung. However, that meant Samsung’s near 40% share to less than 10% for Sony. In other words, there is no competition between the first and second.
Other than that, its Galaxy S series and Note series are runaway hits. The phones are successful before they are launched and while people might groan and whine about S series a bit, the Note series has captured the hearts of anyone interested in a phablet. Heck! The company created the segment by the first Note. The S4 was similarly priced to iPhone (so is the new S5 to new iPhone 5S) and yet Samsung sold more of these phones than Apple sold iPhone.
In other words, Samsung is having a perfect run. However, I would like to cite a few reasons why despite this, Samsung is in no better situation (in terms of success security) than the companies it is winning against.
1. David vs. Goliath:
People root for the underdog. It’s a fact and a strong rooted human nature. I have seen myself sometimes rooting for a country like Netherland against India in a no result game and I am pretty sure I may not be the only one. Similarly, Samsung has now reached from David to Goliath proportions. In the beginning they were either smaller than Nokia or Apple. However, such in not the case anymore and people can’t help but feel a little negative about Samsung.
2. Screen war is finished:
Samsung gave people the big screen phones. When Apple would not budge from 3.5”, Samsung already had 5” screens at hand to anyone interested. Right now, Samsung has screen from 3.5” to 5.5” in phones and everything in between that is possible. Unfortunately, there is not much to offer anymore. As I mentioned in an article before, making 6” phone is useless and counterproductive even for a phablet. This means Samsung has to create new value for its phones. What will its next flagship offer?
3. Local companies:
Micromax, Karbonn, Lava etc. are gaining respect. Gone are the days when you would cringe at hearing the name of such a company. The products are now classy and even have found a Rs. 15k+ spot. They are stabbing at Samsung’s knees by trying to capture the sub-20K region.
4. Innovation by others:
In my opinion, if OS update is not a priority for you, Sony creates the best phones in the market. Especially its Xperia Z series is phenomenal. They give something by default that I have strongly believed should have been in every phone – Water and Dust resistance. And without compromising on looks at all.
HTC are constantly trying to find space in the Android world and with Ultra pixel and Beat music are not behind in creating great phones. Xiaomi is focused on creating user experience and has even hired a Google expert (Hugo Barra) for its international growth and they are soon expected to make entry in India. Gionee is another company who seem to be taking giant strides in past year or so!
5. Android doesn’t need Samsung:
There was a time when the two were synonymous to each other. They still are in a lot of ways. Samsung is the biggest champion of Android (whether it wants to be or not is a different matter). However, Android no longer will be affected adversely by Samsung’s sudden demise. People have invested so much in the OS now (from buying apps to selling apps) that no one is going to turn their back on Android even if Samsung suddenly decides to change the whole platform to Tizen or stops selling phones at all. They will simply switch the phone and not even 10 minutes will have passed that their all data will be on the new phone.
What are your views on this? Has Samsung won for good or can it see a downfall like Nokia or Blackberry? Will that downfall accompany Android as well?