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The downfall begins
Samsung has had a rough year and the same applies to the prior years. It has lost more battle ground than any other smartphone maker that led to the Korean conglomerate to lower its expectations resulting from sagging profits in its mobile division.
The tech giant is battling Chinese smartphone makers at the lower and mid-tier fronts whereas taking on Apple at the High-end and surprisingly in both case, it’s lost out. Recent stats show that the iPhone accounted for 50% of all smartphone activations in the US, the strongest smartphone market so far and Cupertino also has China to thank having performed extremely well in that particular country. All signs point to China becoming Apple’s biggest market having had a stellar performance in the Peoples’ Republic of China something Samsung doesn’t have guts to claim.
And the beasts from Asia are preying on Samsung
In that particular country, Samsung has had a tough year losing to homegrown rivals Xiaomi and results didn’t differ from India where it lost to Micromax. It’s not good news either in its home country since Cupertino has gained ground at the expense of Sammy. If the saying “History repeats its self “indeed holds, then Samsung isn’t the first handset maker to head in this direction. There was that time when Nokia was at the helm of the mobile phone race, and then Research in Motion (RIM) currently known as BlackBerry that led the smartphone race until Apple came knocking at their door with its legendary iPhone. This changed the game selling millions of units and the iPhone now accounts for 80% of Apple’s revenue.
Will the rumored new Galaxy S6 design be Samsung’s new weapon?
One thing is for sure, the Galaxy s5 contributed a lot to Samsung’s nearing demise, as it fell short in in the build and quality department, and don’t get me started with that heavy Samsung skin formerly known as TouchWiz. With the Galaxy Alpha line, Samsung started a new trend in design that we also saw upped on the Galaxy Note 4 and Note Edge. But this wasn’t much of a savior from its woes having drawn design cues from the iPhone. Many critics have come up to mock Samsung for its design direction calling its flagships plasticky falling short of well acclaimed design behemoths like HTC’s One and the iPhone. This might be the reason why Samsung hired a new design chief Lee Don-tae from Tangerine, Apple’s design lead John Ive’s former firm.
Recent leaks are about to change all this given the direction Samsung is poised to take with it’s yet to be announced flagship the Galaxy S6. Recent Leaks lead to an all unibody metallic design (We’ve long yearned for this), improved fingerprint scanner (Something Sammy opts to use against Apple’s Touch ID), improved camera sensors and one thing that caught my attention is a slimmed down Touch Wiz UI, its proprietary Android skin blamed by many for slowing down performance since its clogged with features users barely use. Rumor has it that many of its apps are now available as free downloads from the Play Store unlike in previous cases where they came pre-installed. It’s the same approach the likes of HTC and Motorola took by listing some of their software as free downloads in the Play Store.
Shall we see a light skinned Android Samsung Skin?
Leaks also suggest a special S6 variant that borrowed clues from the pricey Galaxy Note Edge with a curved Edge on one side and will be christened with a Edge moniker. All these are set to equip Samsung against Apple’s dominance in the high-end front given the profit margins Apple enjoys at the helm of this tier. Stats further suggest that Apple enjoyed 93% of all smartphone profits according to New York Times more than any other vendor especially due to its premium packaged handsets. It’s a no play zone when it comes to conquering high-end users and Apple’s entry into the Phablet form factor has further put a dent to Samsung’s growth since they are now playing on the same turf.
This has paid off for Apple since the iPhone 6 and the 6 Plus have bolstered Apple’s revenue to record highs making it the only consumer company besides oil giants to post a $18 Billion net profit in a single quarter. As Apples is setting records, Samsung on the other hand is experiencing a shrinking market share and hopes are that the Galaxy S6 will rejuvenate the company’s fortunes and its purported bid to take over struggling BlackBerry not forgetting their renewed partnership collaborating on mobile security suggests that Samsung hopes that a beefed up security on its top-tier smartphones will also help to turn around its fortunes especially with enterprise customers.
Last year’s flagship the Galaxy S5 received a lukewarm reception and so did the diving profits since top devices rake in more profits than their mediocre counterparts targeted at budget consumers. It seems Samsung has learnt its lesson and applied revisions to this year’s Galaxy S6 flagship. With Apple’s resurgence, it remains to top dogs like Samsung to bring Cupertino to its knees given the benefits of serious competition. It should be noted Apple came back with a bang having put their efforts to what they didn’t have that Samsung had and likewise Samsung should differentiate its self from the rest of the competition, while keeping things stylish and simple.
Featured Image Credit: PocketNow