Friday, October 14, 2016

ICT hardware exports: the ups and downs

Observers of Korea's ICT-driven economy have long noted a fundamental problem:  the nation's over reliance on the manufacture and export of hardware, rather than software and services.   For a year now, growth in Korea's ICT exports has been falling, and as reported today by The Korea Joongang Daily, the problems with Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 phone have only exacerbated the problem.  As reported in the article,"Exports of information and communications technology (ICT) fell for the 12th consecutive month as cellphones and televisions remained weak in foreign markets. ICT exports declined 8.5 percent year-on-year in September to $14.5 billion, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said Thursday. After posting a year-on-year decline of 1.6 percent last October, exports have continued a downward slide. Exports of cellphones fell 33.9 percent year-on-year to $1.87 billion, and those of semiconductor products fell 2.6 percent.
The ministry cited mid-priced smartphones produced by Chinese manufacturers, as well as the failure of the Galaxy Note7, as the biggest factors in the collapse of cellphone exports."

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

More on the Galaxy Note 7 problems

The announcement that Samsung will stop production of the Galaxy Note 7, only a few months after its introduction, has many observers speculating on how this will affect the company's overall reputation and business.   Statista has published two charts that help put the matter in context.   The first (click on the graphic for a full-size version) depicts the size and scope of Samsung Electronics business.
The second chart provides a timeline of how the problem unfolded.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Samsung halts production of Note 7

The New York Times and no doubt most other international media have just reported that Samsung has halted production of its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone due to battery-related problems that persist even after the company had recalled and replaced those devices that were prone to smoke or catch fire.  The good news is that Samsung has acted appropriately in response to a consumer-safety issue.  However, there are many more questions raised by this episode in its competition with Apple and Chinese manufacturers of smartphones for leadership and a share of the global market for smart handheld computing devices.  More on this topic in future posts.