Samsung’s dominance of the smartphone industry seems to be set to continue based on the rapidly increasing adoption rate of Samsung’s flagship device, the Galaxy S5. As can be seen from figures taken from Chitika Insights, a data management company, 4.3% of Samsung’s smartphone web traffic in 2014 belongs to the S5. In comparison, 2% of Samsung’s smartphone web traffic in 2013 belongs to the S4. This might not seem to be much, but taking into consideration that in terms of smartphone web traffic by manufacturers, 61.7% belongs to Samsung while its closest competitor, LG holds 10.3%. This clearly illustrates that dethroning Samsung will be an uphill task.
This raises the question on how Samsung has continued to establish its foothold in the smartphone industry even though competition is fiercer due to more players coming in. Samsung has employed a number of strategies to better leverage on its strengths, ensure that the S5 is readily accessible and promote awareness of the Galaxy S5.
The first strategy that Samsung seem to have employed is that of availability. By ensuring that the S5 can be obtained from carriers to brick and mortar store, this makes it easy for consumers to try out and purchase the S5 on the spot. As compared to the Sony Xperia Z2, in which there is a fair bit of interest but is sadly unavailable, this hurts Sony’s reputation as most consumers would rather have a desired device now, rather than be left in limbo as to the availability.
The second strategy is the use of promotion and offers so as to entice potential customers to jump onto the S5 bandwagon. Verizon’s promotion for customers to buy a S5 and get a free smartphone of equal value or Roger’s offer to sell a Gear 2 Neo for $49 if customers buy a S5 are just some examples of this. These offers help to offset the cost of buying a S5 and attracts users on the fence to jump in as they are paying less for more and have less to lose in doing so.
The third strategy is the marketing or awareness of new features. Samsung has done this through the use of video ads. These help users to understand what is new and different in the S5 via a more visual and audio manner. The fourth strategy is to make relatively minimal changes to the overall hardware design, while adding features and improving software. The idea here is to bank on what already works and tweak on issues that users have. Judging from the launch sales, this seems to have gone off rather well.
In conclusion, Samsung’s success comes from understanding what consumers want, playing on its strength and reacting to criticisms. For other manufacturers to be able to match Samsung, would require them to better respond to customers’ demands while leveraging on their own strengths.