Saturday, December 19, 2009

Apple Envy at Samsung Electronics?

An article in Business Week suggests that Apple-envy may have been a major factor in the recent personnel shakeup within the Samsung Group.  The company Choi, Gee Sung, the head of its TV and cellphone business as CEO, replacing Lee Yoon Woo.  It also created a new position, that of chief operating officer, for Lee Jae Yong, the only son of former chairman Lee Kun Hee.
Some Samsung-watchers have a one-word answer for why the company made these changes now:  Apple.    For all of its success in consumer electronics, the company is an also-ran in the battle to win customers away from Apple's iPhone.  Park Kyung Min, chief executive of fund manager Hangaram Investment and a longtime watcher of Samsung noted that "Samsung must have taken a whopping blow from the revolutionary popularity of the iPhone.  To emulate Apple it needs a new start."
Until now, Samsung electronics success has come largely from the development and worldwide sale of electronics hardware, led by semiconductors, flat screen displays and televisions and handsets.  According to Business Week, the new management team will try to refocus the company on total solutions, including creative software.  After all, the Apple iPhone is a beautiful and efficient piece of hardware, but everyone knows that its real worldwide popularity lies in the software applications available through its App store.  The Apple iPhone is really just the first of a whole generation of hand-held computers and internet terminals.  The new Android phones will emulate the best features of the Apple iPhone and eventually these handsets will be come commodities, just as desktop or notebook PCs did.  Perhaps Samsung should envy Apple, but not for its hardware, but rather all of the very useful internet and iPhone based applications that people love to use!


  1. 2 things:

    Firstly it's not just the app store software, it's the apple software: the OS, ipod and phone software etc. The usability of these is way beyond the smart phones of old.

    Secondly Apple computers are not part of the commodity hardware market and PC makers have trouble competing there.

    It's owning full stack that makes the difference.

    merry christmas!

  2. Thanks for your comments. I agree, especially about the usability of the Apple software. My iPhone was an early Christmas gift and I'm thoroughly enjoying it.