“Samsung Electronics is determined to emerge as the world’s largest portable audio jukebox supplier, outstripping the present No. 1 vendor Apple Computer of the U.S., by 2007. The Korean electronics giant, currently the world’s largest memory semiconductor and liquid crystal display (LCD) maker, but eighth in the global MP3 player vendor market, said Thursday it would secure a 25-30 percent global market share and 50-55 percent of the domestic MP3 player market by 2007,” Kim Sung-jin reports for The Korea Times.
“The latest move by Samsung Electronics is expected to trigger a huge change in the landscape of the global digital music player market. ‘Samsung Electronics has set its worldwide MP3 player sales target to over 5 million units this year. By shoring up our digital audio device business, we will grow into the world’s top MP3 player vendor by 2007,’ said Ahn Tai-ho, senior executive director of Samsung Electronics and CEO of Samsung Bluetek,” Sung-jin reports. “Samsung Bluetek is a fully owned digital audio device and home theater system manufacturing subsidiary of Samsung Electronics.”
“Samsung Electronics sold a total of 1.7 million MP3 players in 2004. Presently, the global digital music player market is dominated by Apple, which enjoyed great success with its hard disk drive (HDD)-based iPod MP3 players,” Sung-jin reports. “Toward the end of its audacious goal, Samsung, a relatively latecomer to the MP3 player market, plans to unfold aggressive marketing campaigns worldwide, both online and offline, to secure a brand leadership in the global MP3 market.”
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Samsung is a great company and it’s good to set goals, but we don’t see it cracking very deeply into Apple’s market domination. This article actually provoked a yawn, to tell the truth. Apple already has the mind share, has all price targets covered, has the only player that works with iTunes Music Store (iTMS) and that’s custom-tailored to work perfectly with iTunes. As long as Apple keeps innovating, who’s really going to catch them? What’s Samsung going to do differently than any other so-called “iPod Killer” – give their players away? Kidnap Mr. Ive? What?
Note to would-be “iPod Killers,” iPod is but one component of the experience. The same goes for the so-called “iTunes Music Store Killers” like Napster and Real. The full experience is the three-pronged iPod+iTunes+iTunes Music Store. You can’t kill Apple’s symbiotic solution by attacking only one head of the three-headed beast. And certainly not with players, software, and online stores that pale in comparison to Apple’s offerings.
Apple is expected to sell in excess of 5 million players in the current quarter (90 days) or Samsung’s goal for the entire year of 2005. As new buyers consider what “MP3 player” to buy, they ask their friends and their friends almost all own and say “iPod.” That’s a big part of how Windows got where it is today (of course, iPod is quite different than Windows because it’s a great product – not a product trying to simulate a great product – and Apple seems bound and determined to keep innovating iPod, iTunes, and iTMS). All the Samsung marketing in the world isn’t going to secure a 25-30 percent global market share for them by 2007. The only way to achieve that kind of market share would be for Samsung to cut a deal with Apple to license FairPlay for their players, making them compatible with the iPod+iTunes world.
All Samsung is going to do is help clear out the dreck (iRiver et al.) from the bottom of the market’s barrel sooner.