Samsung could be about to give up on Japan as iPhone sales soar
Things aren’t looking too rosy for Samsung at the moment. Having seen profits slip due to its falling mobile sales, the flailing South Korean tech giant is reportedly considering throwing in the towel altogether in Japan, where it’s struggling more than elsewhere.
Samsung currently represents a miniscule 4 percent of the Japanese smartphone market, which puts it in sixth place. According to sources with Samsung, staying in Japan is actually losing rather than gaining the company money.
While Samsung hasn’t traditionally been a top-seller in Japan, here in 2015 it’s doing worse than ever: with the company’s favorite metric, marketshare, shrinking from 17 percent two years ago to low single digits today.
Apple, on the other hand, is doing well — even in the face of Japanese customers’ preference for homegrown brands. Despite once being considered a market where Apple couldn’t give its products away for free, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus have proved to be monster hits among Japanese consumers. Late last year, the iPhone 6 held seven of the top eight smartphone positions in the country (and nine out of the top 14).
Apple has been so impressed by Japanese sales, in fact, that in 2014 it shifted its chief of sales for Japan and Korea to North America, where it was hoped they could carry over some of their winning sales magic.
In the quarter ending in December, it was claimed that the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus was outselling Samsung’s Galaxy S5 and Note 4 by a 5-to-1 ratio.
Although beating a hasty retreat out of Japan might sound an unprecedented move for Samsung, it has in fact done this before — albeit not in the mobile devices department. In 2007, the year that Apple introduced the iPhone, Samsung withdrew its TV business from the country after capturing a pathetic 0.1 percent of the local TV market. This came at a time when Samsung was one of the world’s leading manufacturers for television sets: a situation it is nowhere close with regards to its smartphone sales.
As of late, it seems that Samsung is trying to rebrand itself as an Internet of Things company, while also attempting to rejuvenate its mobile handset sales by targeting lower-end consumers in developing markets like India. Whether that turns out to be any better a move than its currently strategy (I’m not sure that it will) remains to be seen.
Source: Business Korea