Samsung is the largest smartphone manufacturer in the world by market share, and one of the largest companies in the world, but the South Korean giant has been facing rough waters in the past few years. Of course, it wouldn’t come cheap for the executives overseeing the company operations and strategies, and the president of the smartphone business did pay the price. Last Monday, the company announced that current mobile chief J. K. Shin is being replaced by D. J. Koh as part of the annual executive shuffle that happens on Samsung, although Mr. Shin will still remain as co-CEO. You probably haven’t heard about Mr. Koh, but he has been the man behind Samsung Knox, a mobile enterprise software, and, more recently, Samsung Pay, the mobile payment system that is faring pretty well.
Reportedly, the power shuffle is likely to make Samsung focus more on software and services than in hardware. For the past few years, the company has been focusing on bringing innovative hardware and features to the market, with their software side lagging behind in performance and usability while the curved screen last year’s Note Edge didn’t do much to help the company’s finances. Although the introduction of the curved screen on the Galaxy S6 edge was a major success, Mr. Shin failed to predict how well consumers would receive it, making Samsung build a lot more regular Galaxy S6 models than the edge version, and consumers flocked to the Edge with the curved screen. Of course, Shin’s work on Samsung was remarkably great. When he took over the mobile division back in 2011, the company was shipping around 94 million smartphone units per year. Last year, the number more than tripled, as Samsung delivered 318.2 million units, a significant increase to say the least. However, the company has been fighting a bloody battle with the competition, with Apple pushing the front on the high-end side, and Chinese manufacturers like Xiaomi, Huawei, Lenovo, ZTE and many, many more pushing it on the mid and lower range markets, including China and the U.S., the two largest consumer markets in the world.
As a result, something had to change, and D. J. Koh will be heading the mobile division from now on. “The change shows that just the new cycle of hardware offerings won’t do much to revive growth. The new leader will try to boost software power and foster new innovations,” stated to Bloomberg Greg Roh, an analyst at HMC Investment Securities. It will be interesting to see what Samsung will be working on to improve their software and services. One major complaint from users is the clogged and bloated TouchWiz Android overlay, which the company has been working hard to slim down, making it a lot better this year than it was one or two years ago. Additionally, Samsung has been pushing to create a connected ecosystem of devices to take over your home, putting together smartphones, tablets, TVs and other smart home appliances.