Samsung: Has the Apple product cloner lost its way?

“You only need to scratch the surface to see signs Samsung has lost its way,” Jonny Evans writes for Computerworld. “In isolation, perhaps, they mean too little to pronounce a death sentence, but together they suggest difficult times ahead.”

“Samsung has hitchhiked its way into a leading place in the smartphone industry on the back of an operating system someone else develops,” Evans writes. “Samsung is embroiled in litigation worldwide, and while it has prevailed on a few occasions it has failed to secure any outright victory by which it can claim complete ownership of its products.”

Evans writes, “The problem the company faces is that many consumers now consider Samsung as little more than a ‘cheap’ alternative that imitates the features and design of other (more expensive) market leading devices… Samsung’s customers are far more prepared to abandon the platform in favor of the nearest competing platform. Many consumers simply settle on a Samsung on their journey to a better-regarded smartphone. Can Samsung maintain its current popularity if it remains unable to improve user engagement and loyalty levels among its customers?”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Samsung has not lost their way. It’s just that their current path leads to nowhere special.

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    1. Samsung is not really in the same market as Apple. They are in the same market as HTC, Moto/Google, and dozens of Chinese makers of Android phones. They try to innovate gimmicky add ons to differentiate their products, but they all sell to customers looking for the most bang for the least bucks.

        1. And by reinventing the product cycles by releasing all before Xmas with two brand new OSs – Apple freezes Samsung’s nuts in a retail vise.

          Once agin Apple owns Xmas and this time the FUD won’t stick because they all cried wolf.

    1. Samsung is raking in billions of dollars, hardly a failure in the economic sense. The only question is, “Can Samsung sustain it?”. I see a very MS-like future for Samsung. Maybe Samsung will jettison their CEO, too, some day.

      1. It is dispiriting when success and failure is only measured in dollars and profits. I had a similar argument with someone on this board only yesterday.

        I’ll put it this way: Samsung definitely has a M.O.

            1. Provide evidence that Amazon has had a negative profit for two or more years in a row.

              XBox division is NOT an independent company.

              You failed to name one “start up”.

              It boggles my mind how anyone can even suggest that a company that cannot make a positive profit for two years is successful by any definition. Feel free to defend your argument.

      2. Samsung is not run the same way as Apple. I’ve worked for them and can attest to that first hand. They have way too many engineers that all have way too much say in what goes into their different products.

      3. Sustaining those huge increase of sales will obviously be difficult. Holding onto customers isn’t easy. You need very good products and good customer service to do that. Samsung isn’t going to be able to keep coming out with huge leaps in hardware, either. They’re going to have to go into mere refinement mode with the Galaxy S5.

        The Galaxy S4 is now being sold on contract for $99 or BOGO at $199. It hasn’t been that long since the GS4 was introduced and now it’s value has really fallen. I don’t think the demand is there for the carriers to offer such price reductions.

  1. Well, there has been a product drought (so to speak) in Cupertino, so how could Samsmug come out with anything new? They haven’t been given any direction in about a year.

  2. It will be interesting to see their “smart watch.” Since it will not be an aspirational Apple clone, I predict it will be a bust. The only reason they have success is because one “almost” gets an Apple product.

    1. Agreed. They’re now treading in the so-called “Apple came late to the party” product categories (assuming Apple ever does release a watch), but history has shown with the mp3 player, PDA/smartphone, and tablet markets that consumers just don’t truly latch onto new product types until Apple validates it.

  3. This is correct, not only for Samsung but for ALL low-end Android products, including tablets. A consumer’s first smartphone or tablet may be a cheap device that runs Android. When they are no longer novice users, many will want something better and they get an iPhone and/or iPad.

    The makers of low-end Android devices, such as Samsung, are really HELPING Apple in the long run. They are expanding the user base for smartphones and tablets much faster than Apple can do by itself. But they have no loyalty to the Android platform or their current device maker. Over time, many of these new mobile device users will become Apple’s loyal customers.

    1. Wall Street believes there are no loyal consumers when it comes to electronic devices. They feel that consumers only buy what’s the cheapest product at the moment. Wall Street certainly must think in those terms if they keep talking about the commoditization of all Apple products. I have to question that view when I see schools buying iPads instead of Android tablets. If school boards see Apple products as being worth the extra money, then Wall Street would seem to be wrong in their judgment.

      Maybe Wall Street is referring to BRIC nations where Apple’s products are far above the purchasing power of the average consumer.

  4. If everyone here agrees that all Samsung does is clone Apple products, and also that “their current path leads to nowhere special”, then what does that say about do-no-wrong Apple’s path?

    Logical consistency please.

    1. We don’t know where Apple’s path is leading to because it’s never been laid out to the general public. Apple has certainly had a longer time formulating a mobile platform plan than Samsung. I’m not saying Samsung can’t catch up but their goals may be completely different. Samsung suddenly backed-off from their Tizen OS plans and will continue to follow whatever Android’s plans are and I don’t think Samsung is entirely happy with that option. What are Google’s long range plans for Android? Who knows.

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