Samsung Galaxy A8 highlights what’s wrong with Samsung’s mobile strategy
First of all, let me start by saying the new Samsung Galaxy A8 looks great. Its major USP is its size, at 5.7mm thick, it’s Samsung’s thinnest ever smartphone.
It’s also got good-to-middling specs: a 16-megapixel camera, large 3,050mAh battery, fingerprint sensor, all-metal casing, small bezel, and a 5.7in 1920x1080p (386ppi) display. All the specs are there for it to be a winner. But Samsung has lost the (UK) crowd on this one… and not for the first time.
Why? Good question. Well first of all, Samsung isn’t even releasing the phone in the UK, focussing on China instead.
Why China? Another good question. Samsung, the world’s biggest smartphone manufacturer, has been having a tough time of late. It’s global market share dropped from 30.7% in 2014 to 24.6% in 2015. A 4% drop isn’t the end of the world you might think, but when you focus in on China, the year-on-year drop increases to 53% – a crisis.
Why the drop? Apple. Tim Cook and China Mobile signed a deal in 2013 that opened the door for Apple in China – cue the drop in market share.
Samsung’s move to release the Galaxy A8 solely in China is therefore a classic case of the knee jerk reaction. It also makes Samsung’s smartphone portfolio (even more) fragmented. The A8 now joins its Galaxy siblings the S6, S6 Edge, Note 4, Note Edge, Alpha, the A3… the list goes on.
Apple, on the other hand, is a picture of serenity. It’s smartphone strategy is painfully simple. The iPhone will be upgraded every year just in time for the Christmas holidays. Not just in China.
Ask yourself this question. What is Samsung smartphone? Tough. I’m not even sure Samsung know the answer. Therein lies the problem. And one possible explanation for a 53% drop in market share.