Jan 4, 2011

Will Samsung Mobile take over Nokia?

The mobile phone industry is always good for a surprise: About five years ago probably noone would have predicted the decline of Motorola. Nobody would seriuosly have predicted the rise of Apple or the complete disappreance of Siemens (well, you may put this eight years ago). But one thing still seems to be certain: The power of Nokia being the number one brand worldwide. But can they keep this position? We have listed the pros and cons about Samsung being the number one in the next five years.

1. Samsung has all the technology inhouse. Yes, a strong one. The Korean manufacturer produces everything they need in one of their factories. Displays, memory, all that stuff is already being assembled in Korea by some Samsung engineering crew. I am not so sure about GPS, but these guys build cars and ships in Korea, so why shouldn’t they?

Nokia, on the other hand, still has to buy a lot of technology from other manufacturers. Aren’t actually Samsung displays built into Nokia phones? Well, at least you do not get the latest stuff first, if you are not the producer. Look at the gorgeous AMOLED built into, e.g., the Samsung Galaxy.

2. Operating system choice: Android, Symbian, Windows Mobile and their proprietary system, you name it, they have it. So actually people get choice, and this really is something that people are asking for. I know that Nokia still has a strong position in the smartphone market, but is definitely on the decline. And, those statistics are kind of pro-Nokia, as they name every S60-phone a smartphone. It may be in a certain way, but I bet it is not very often used that way.

3. So much choice: Samsung issues about 130 different phones every year, worldwide. I know this does not make it a safe bet on sales figures. Apple sells millions of one model differing only in memory. But: In contrary to Apple they have a phone for everyone, starting at low end, up to the high end. Yes, Nokia does so too, but let me put it this way: This is no longer an advantage for one of the both.

4. The latest stuff: 12 Megapixel? AMOLED display? 16 million colors? A built in projector? The latest gadgets always come from Samsung. I remember how annoyed they were when Motorola sold the RAZR being the „slimmest phone in the market“. It took Samsung half a year to actually build a phone so slim that you could break it with your fingers. Since than they have always been first to announce groundbreaking inventions. Nokia? Yes, GPS in a phone. That one is yours. But what about the rest of that stuff? Not from Finland, sorry.

1. Still very Korea-centered: Samsung is run completely from Korea. Whatever decision is being made, it is made in their central office. This might have become better, but that is my impression of how Koreans run their companies: They just do not trust the input from others. I do not mean to stress stereotypes, I don’t actually have any about Korean. So if the attitude is like „if Koreans buy it, it has to good for the rest of the planet“, this will certainly make it impossible to become number one in a global economy.

2. Too much focused on features: Actually, this goes hand in hand with the first statement. Koreans are really techie guys. All you need to do it to put a button „brand new“ on the box, and it will sell. At least in Korea. Did you know the average Korean buys a new phone every seven months? Well, that says it all but does not apply to the rest of the planet.

3. Not in the super-low end mass market: Samsung currently does not ship super-low-end market phones. Something like the Nokia 1100. Well, LG and Sony Ericsson do not do so either, but they are not on their way to become number one. The thing is, this is essential to succeed in the Indian market, for example. This really drives volumes. The Omnia 8910 may be a nice phone, but from a global perspective it is only for a very small minority.

Honestly, I am not sure who will win the race. I see Nokia on the decline for a while now, vice versa with Samsung.

Source: http://www.youserblog.com/2009/06/will-samsung-mobile-take-over-nokia/

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