Business Essentials for Professionals


Rivals Fight To Seize Ground Lost In The Note 7 Fiasco As Samsung Gears Up For Galaxy S8 Launch

Rivals Fight To Seize Ground Lost In The Note 7 Fiasco As Samsung Gears Up For Galaxy S8 Launch
While a raft of global smartphone makers launched devices at Europe's biggest tech showcase, Mobile World Congress (MWC) which kicked off on Monday, the absence was a flagship smartphone from Samsung, the world's biggest vendor, was notable.
To take the wraps of its new smartphones, the MWC is usually used by the South Korean giant. But Samsung has said that it would delay the Galaxy S8 launch after the exploding Note 7 saga, which saw the company's biggest recall and eventual discontinuation of the handset.
And at this juncture, hoping to take advantage of the opportunity are rivals which are biting at the heels of Samsung.
"This year has presented an unexpected window of opportunity for Samsung's rivals to position their new devices in the limelight. It's a unique chance to get airtime before the Samsung marketing freight train grabs all the headlines when the widely anticipated Galaxy S8 breaks cover," Ben Wood, chief of research at CCS Insight said in a TV interview.
For example, at the MWC in Barcelona, there was great fanfare surrounding the unveiling of the P10 smartphone from Huawei on Sunday. The event which used dramatic music, lighting and visuals to dazzle the audience, saw queues of people lining up just waiting to get into the event. Continual comparisons between the P10 and Samsung's flagship S7 device and Apple's iPhone were tactically made by Richard Yu, the head of Huawei's consumer division, during the press conference in the event of the launch.
The absence of a Samsung flagship phone for at least another month presents an opening for rivals, Yu said while talking to the media on the sidelines of the company's press conference.
"Yes, it's an opportunity, it's an opportunity for everyone," Yu said.
While China’s TCL Communications brought out a new BlackBerry running Google’s Android software and boasting a physical keyboard, South Korea's LG, Samsung's fiercest rival, also launched its new phone called the G6. Wraps of its flagship Xperia XZ Premium were also taken off by Sony.
Teasers for the launch of the S8, which is to be launched on March 29, and two tablets were made at the MWC by Samsung. Consumers will wait for the Galaxy S8 rather than jumping to rivals and will stay loyal to the brand, Samsung is hoping and banking on.
Despite the Note 7 fiasco, its customers had remained loyal, the company has said. 91 percent of Samsung users would likely purchase another phone from the company, found a Reuters/IPSOS opinion poll released towards the end of November. It can deliver compelling goods to consumers, believes an optimistic Samsung.
"Our customers are expecting great things from us and we wanted to tell them that we can do great things for them as we have always done. And we promised them today that we can do great things in the tablet segment and we also gave them a hint that we can do many more things in other segments," Jean-Daniel Ayme, corporate vice-president for mobile in Europe for Samsung Electronics, said during a TV interview on Sunday.

Christopher J. Mitchell

Markets | Companies | M&A | Innovation | People | Management | Lifestyle | World | Misc