A couple years ago, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone that could see a day when Apple didn’t rule the mobile device scene. Lo and behold, someone rose up to the challenge and it’s munching away at Apple’s success. Who’s the culprit? Samsung Electronics Co.
Reports from IDC state that more Android devices are being activated every day, and though Apple still holds the top spot in the tablet market, their market share’s declined while Samsung’s tablet market share tripled in the last year.
And it looks like Samsung is far from complacence, with fresh rumors of a serious rebranding which will be launched at the Consumer Electronics Show 2013 in Las Vegas.
“Samsung who is tipped to launch a new brand identity at the 2013 CES is winning over consumers with strong products and superior marketing programs say analysts who now claiming that Apple may have peaked following the death of legendary leader Steve Jobs,” Australia’s Channel News claims.
Other sites linking to Channel News’ coverage state that Samsung has chosen Scott Bedbury, a freelance brand consultant responsible for Nike’s “Just Do It” campaign and the rebranding of Starbucks, to lead the brand reinvention.
“Even the advertising will change with products linked to lifestyle activities similar to what Nike does,” and article on SammyHub stated.
It should be noted that the article from Channel News, that everyone has been talking about, does not mention anything about Bedbury’s involvement in the rebranding. Also, it did not disclose as to what the rebranding would involve – for all we know, Samsung will just unveil a new logo. But a true rebranding could very well mean a departure from their existing designs, which have landed them in court for copying Apple time and again.
Copycat or innovator?
Samsung’s a key partner for Apple in the mobile space, but this love relationship has turned hateful, thanks to countless law suits in dozens of districts around the world. Apple’s claims of Samsung’s copying ways aren’t entirely unfounded — the iPhone maker has set industry standards from their device design to store layouts, and even Samsung’s fallen under Apple’s spell.
The South Korean manufacturer opened its first “Experience” retail store earlier this year in Sydney, Australia, with a look and feel that mimic’s Apple’s hands-on stores. Clean lines, industry-chic displays and a series of hands-on stations let customers comfortably browse Samsung products. The store is even staffed by a team of Samsung “Smart Tutors,” a seemingly blatant homage to Apple’s Genius Bar.
A device apart from Apple
While branding could still be a good opportunity for Samsung to differentiate itself from Apple, device customization and diversification have already been key separators for Samsung. Most of its device chips are special orders from Dell or Nokia, and their range of devices spans budgets and demographics around the world.
Another area Samsung could increase efforts is on the software side, where Apple’s been making its own push as well. Apple has iTunes and a growing cloud service, seeking new ways to integrate its hardware and software components. While Apple isn’t the best software developer either (we’re still cringing over Maps iOS6), Samsung will need a well-integrated cloud component, and perhaps some proprietary software of its own. This could involve forking Android to better suit its end goals, or partnering more closely with Google for cloud services. Samsung already has its own platform for mobile devices, as well as a cloud music service, but their market share is very low compared to rivals, and has gained minimal traction in pockets around the globe.