Samsung's bitter experience
Samsung has shuttered its flagship Experience store in the Westfield Stratford City shopping centre, home to a number of important product launches, including the Galaxy S III and the Galaxy Note 8.0. Samsung opened 10 UK Experience stores in April 2014 but its smartphone fortunes have dipped since, with the company’s share of the global market just 24% at the end of the third quarter, down from 32% one year previously. Revenues from mobile activities declined more than 18% year-over-year for the first nine months of 2014.
The mobile business can be a tricky beast to ride – just ask Nokia and BlackBerry – and Samsung could well be in a downward spiral here. The Galaxy S5 really didn’t get customers going and Samsung reportedly sold just 12 million units in the three-months following the device’s release. The Galaxy S4 racked up 16 million unit sales in the same period.
The problem for Samsung is that it is being squeezed by Apple at the premium end of the market and by upstart brands such as Xiaomi on its home turf in Asia. Smartphone growth is set to slow over the next few years which means life is going to get tougher for all brands.