Beleaguered Samsung names new cellphone head in bid to stem market share losses to Apple iPhone

“Tech giant Samsung Electronics Co Ltd’s long-time handset division chief is ceding day-to-day management of the struggling smartphone business in the biggest leadership change yet under the Samsung conglomerate’s heir-apparent, Jay Y. Lee,” Se Young Lee reports for Reuters. “Samsung Group said 54-year-old Dongjin Koh will take over as president of the mobile communications business from 59-year-old J.K. Shin, who will remain head of the overall mobile division for Samsung Electronics and focus on long-term strategy and developing new growth businesses.”

“The move diminishes Shin’s influence on the mobile business as the former cash-cow battles to reverse a slide in its market share to rivals like Apple Inc, Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and Xiaomi Inc.,” Lee reports. “Analysts said that while the moves at the mobile division were an apparent acknowledgment that change was needed, they did not expect a new strategy to emerge any time soon. ‘Koh is basically the same person as Shin,’ Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology business professor Chang Sea-jin said.”

MacDailyNews Take: Translation: The iPhone knockoffs will continue until morale improves.

“Analysts have said Samsung needed to step up its software and services offerings to revive its mobile business, but Koh, who has held mobile business roles since 2006, had an engineering background like Shin. ‘There is no real change and Samsung appears to be continuing on the hardware-centric path,’ Chang said,” Lee reports. “Samsung has implemented new designs and cut prices for high-end products to boost sales, but researchers say its global market share continued to fall from a year earlier during the third quarter. ‘This is basically a retirement for Shin,’ Chang said.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Shackled to Android, Samsung has no point of differentiation. Apple will continue to take unit and the rest of the profit share from Samsung in the market segment in which they compete, and the bottom feeders will continue to take unit share as well. Tizen was Samsung’s only real hope, but they couldn’t manage to pull off such a large undertaking or, really, much of anything beyond mass producing inferior iPhone knockoffs. The world now sees: iPhone is the dream. If they have to settle for an Android phone until they can achieve iPhone, they can get the same thing Samsung offers at much lower prices from myriad Chinese Android handset assemblers (who are also knocking off Apple iPhones’ trade dress left and right).

Sooner or later, even Samsung will figure out there’s no profit to be had in Android handsets.

Ben Bajarin: ‘Samsung will be out of the smartphone business within five years’ – November 2, 2015
Apple’s iPhone can soon reap 100 percent of world’s smartphone profits – November 17, 2015
Apple’s iPhone owns 94% of smartphone industry’s profits – November 16, 2015
Apple iPhone owns over 90% of smartphone profits, so why do others even bother fighting over Apple’s scraps? – October 8, 2015
Beleaguered Samsung’s future depends more on components than on copying Apple – October 7, 2015
Beleaguered Samsung finding it tough to compete Apple’s revolutionary iPhone – October 6, 2015
Apple’s iPhone juggernaut continues with record-breaking sales while Android peddlers fight over scraps – September 28, 2015
Apple’s iPhone owns 92% of smartphone industry’s profits – July 13, 2015
Poor man’s iPhone: Android on the decline – February 26, 2015
Study: iPhone users are smarter and richer than those who settle for Android phones – January 22, 2015
Why Android users can’t have the nicest things – January 5, 2015
iPhone users earn significantly more than those who settle for Android phones – October 8, 2014
Yet more proof that Android is for poor people – June 27, 2014
More proof that Android is for poor people – May 13, 2014
Android users poorer, shorter, unhealthier, less educated, far less charitable than Apple iPhone users – November 13, 2013
IDC data shows two thirds of Android’s 81% smartphone share are cheap junk phones – November 13, 2013
CIRP: Apple iPhone users are younger, richer, and better educated than those who settle for Samsung knockoff phones – August 19, 2013


  1. Copying is a fundamental part of Samsung’s DNA. During their ascension, they copied Apple and now during their decline, they’re copying Microsoft. Rearranging the deck chairs and promoting somebody from within did not turn Microsoft around and it won’t turn Samsung around either.

    1. Yep, copying is what they do. IIRC, their vacuum cleaner division (yes, they make vacuum cleaners – they f***ing make EVERYTHING – you can buy Samsung countertops for your kitchen at Home Depot) got in trouble for ripping off Dyson. They were hawking iPod knockoffs back in the day.


      1. I’m so confused that English is only the 3rd language I’ve learned and that I have no spell check in this language on my browser.

        Maybe you could tell me which other languages you speak so that I can, with a bit of luck, answer in a way that would please you.

        That said… Except a personal attack, do you also have something intelligent to say?

          1. Title of the article (also written by MDN) is

            Beleaguered Samsung names new cellphone head in bid to stem MARKET SHARE LOSSES TO APPLE IPHONE.

            I think I understood it quite well. But OK… I won’t argue.

          1. Oh you so superior Mike.

            Thank you for your patronizing. For your info. With a half way decent spell check you also have grammatical check. And this obviously DRAMATIC error I made would have been revealed.

            Obviously it was a traumatizing event and I want to apologize once again for having shocked the MDN community.

            1. I am impressed with you taking the high road in dealing with these nitpickers. Their main issue is likely that you don’t believe that people are buying iPhones instead of Samsung phones. The reality according to Tim Cook is that Android users are abandoning that burning platform and buying iPhones. The ‘top tier’ Android phone is arguably Galaxy and those phones are not selling as well so . . . reason would say that they would not buy lesser phones but would move up to iPhone.

    1. You should read the MDN take more carefully. It specifically states “unit and … profit share”, not market share. Further, it also states, “in the market segment in which they compete, and the bottom feeders will continue to take unit share as well”

      By segmenting the market into the one they compete in, MDN can be correct. MDN also notes that Samsung is losing unit share to Chinese mfrs.

      Further, your chart only shows iOS share vs Android, not Samsung. A more accurate chart would show just the high-end of the market, because that’s what MDN’s take is talking about.

      The bottom line is Apple can only take a higher profitshare if MDN is correct.

  2. Samsung’s rise to success was just an anomaly, caused by big screens that Apple lacked. Now that the screen size thing has been corrected, so has the market share.
    This isn’t a “slide in its market share”, this is just where Samsung belongs.

    I hope Dongjin’s golden parachute is a big one.

  3. I actually disagree. Samsung didn’t lose ground to iPhones because iOS is superior. Samsung lost ground because its phones were shit. (Last one I used was Galaxy S3 and I still wake up at night screaming.) Buying reviews, wooing people under false promises, then delivering crap proved not to be the best long-term strategy, who knew?!

    I’m using a Sony Xperia now. It’s amazing. Unfortunately for a lot of people Samsung = Android, and so after being repeatedly tortured by TouchWiz, sudden bricking, inability to listen to music without sudden pauses mid-song or songs stopping, SD card only working after you put a piece of paper on top (all my experiences) those people moved to iPhones. Another group, as pointed out correctly, moved to Huawei, Xiaomi, etc. (A very, very small group did what I have, and moved to Sony.) Samsung is the new MySpace. I don’t think they can regain the trust they lost in the last few years. Nobody’s going to believe the best reviews of their headsets knowing that they paid for reviews in the past.

  4. ScamScum and ‘Droidphone manufacturers all make the same mistake. The thing they should copy from Apple is the EcoSystem, including an App Store that pre screens apps, and will only allow approved apps to be loaded on the phone. Timely and secure updates to the OS. Problem is these thing would cost money to implement and add cost to the phone. When you are attempting to compete on cost of product, an EcoSystem seems a burdensome expense. ‘Droids will never match the quality of experience that ’s EcoSystem provides. 🖖😀⌚️

    1. The bizarre aspect about that is back in the day when iPods were king, the feature that really set them apart was the ecosystem.

      You might have thought that by now, everybody would have worked out how crucial the ecosystem is, but either they still haven’t worked it out, or they simply refuse to do it.

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