Samsung determined to oust Apple to become number one in iPod market by 2007

“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.


  1. I don’t think Samsung, even with millions in marketing, can reach the iPod’s level of mind share.

    In my college class the other day the professor showed a picture of iPod minis and mentioned that her 5 year old daughter wanted a mini.

    I can’t see Samsung getting that kind of penetration any time soon!

  2. I’m not spreading FUD, but they know how to take on a dominant player in a market. This will just make Apple work that much harder.
    BTW- the LCD panels in Apple’s LCD Cinema Displays are made by Samsung.

  3. You should all remember that it was once thought to be impossible to topple Microsoft from it’s position of dominance in the world of PC operating systems. Once the market leader stops innovating anything is possible.

    Once the slide starts it’s like a snowball rolling downhill, it gains a momentum all of it’s own. Hell, I remember when Microsoft had a 95% market share.

  4. FUD . . . a term supposedly invented by IBM sales and marketing people. “Fear” + “Uncertainty” + “Doubt” = “Don’t even THINK of working with another technology vendor!

  5. Good take MDN. Its definitely YAWN YAWN time as someone tries to talk up the most amazing product (that doesn’t even exist yet) that will be sure to un-throne the reigning iPod/iTunes combo.

    We’ll believe it when we see it is all I can say. And who knows, perhaps its reign will be longer than anyone thinks. And perhaps even over time extend to computers in the home… and then in small businesses.

    Go Apple! We believe in you more than ever…

  6. “Once the market leader stops innovating anything is possible.”

    Very true, but Apple’s hasn’t and is not going to stop innovating. They know there are others who want their position in the market place and Apple’s not going to lie down and let anyone take it. Anyone who wants that position is going to have to work their A$$ off to take any significant piece from Apple.

  7. “Samsung Electronics is determined to emerge as the world’s largest portable audio jukebox supplier…” Kim Sung-jin reports for The Korea Times.

    Oh, really?

    Sounds like nothing more than the posturing that Creative was doing recently. Hey Samsung, good luck with that.

    MDN, shhhhh, be vewy, vewy quiet. Remember, we don’t want Apple’s rivals knowing what they’re doing wrong. Let them flail around in their own ignorance.

  8. If the player only plays nice with Windows, then good luck, iPod is successful for many reason; one reason is because it’s cross platform compatible (Mac, Windows and Linux).

  9. The Earth as well as the humanity infesting it, is living and evolving. Entire empires as well as Walkmans eventually succumb to something better. iPod and American will some day fall… just not today.

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