South Korean industrial giant Samsung is struggling, in the last year its smartphone division reported a 75% drop in revenues while their handsets, while still the world’s most popular, lost ten percentage points of market share.
The company’s smartphone division is stuck because mobile carriers in the western world are abandoning subsidies for handsets, with most developed markets now at saturation point for cellphone adoption there’s little point in chasing market growth for all but the most desperate telco.
For Samsung that’s been a problem as their premium model strategy has been based upon western consumers ordering a new phone every 18 to 24 months as their mobile contracts were renewed, now those deals are not so common a key sales channel for the Korean conglomerate has been lost.
This leaves Samsung looking for the next market and at this week’s IFA consumer technology event in Berlin, the company unveiled its Smart Things hub, a cylindrical device that connects with your TV, air conditioning, music system, and other home appliances.
Smart Things was an acquisition Samsung made last year to improve its IoT product line and the company has an open platform for connecting household devices with over 200 already certified.
For Samsung with its range of domestic equipment this may well mark the future for the business. The interesting thing though is the smartphone is still integral in today’s vision of the connected home, so we won’t see Samsung leaving the handset market soon.