The Samsung Ecosystem – Will the galaxies fit?

The New Galaxy of devices

Having a device is one thing.

Having a device that connects seamlessly with other devices is a different story, altogether. 

Having five devices that can talk to each other seamlessly, connect with other services  and still give with a unique user experience; that is the holy grail. 

Brett Jones of the Nielsen Connect Partner Network, refers to that holy grail as an ecosystem. First used by British ecologist Arthur Tansley back in 1935 to describe the relationship between organisms and their environment, an ecosystem has become a sort of buzzword within technology circles. Brett refers to ecosystems as being about dynamic interactions between people, software, data, systems and services and how they connect, share, grow and transform together. 

During Samsung Mobile’s first ever virtual Galaxy unpacked event held on August 5, the gospel of Samsung’s growing ecosystem was repeated throughout the 1hour 33 minute sermon; and for good reason. Five devices were outdoored:

  • Galaxy Note 20/Note 20 Ultra: The flagship smartphone range 
  • Galaxy Buds Live: The flagship wireless ear piece 
  • Galaxy Watch 3: The flagship smartwatch  
  • Galaxy Tab S7/S7+: The flagship tablet 
  • Galaxy Z Fold2: “Cutting-edge smartphone with a 6.2-inch screen which unfolds into a 7.6-inch tablet-like display

Marketing Manager at Samsung Electronics West Africa, Tracy Kyei in an interview indicates that the growing Galaxy ecosystem, “works together seamlessly so you can spend your time focused on what matters most. The Note20 when paired with the Galaxy Buds Live, Galaxy Watch3 and Tab S7 delivers a connected experience across fitness, health, entertainment and even more.”

That is an ideal world, when you think about it. 

Imagine receiving a call while driving and picking up on your watch instead of on your phone. Imagine having a genius idea for a building project while in the bathroom and being able to sketch it on your phone with an enhanced stylus with a latency of just 9 milliseconds! Imagine being able to check in at the airport with your watch while your phone is tucked away in your backpack. That is what the power of an interconnected ecosystem is able to help you do; connect, share, grow and transform. 

With the introduction of five new devices to the Galaxy family in one event, it will appear to the average industry watcher that Samsung is poised to further pursue that interconnected dream. Here are three reasons, i feel, guide Samsung’s renewed vigour. 

Money 

Samsung is making money, let us not kid ourselves. But their biggest rivals, Apple Inc reported an incredible $22.2 billion in profit for the last quarter of 2019 with $91.8 billion in revenue making the fourth quarter of 2019 Apple’s most profitable in history. Samsung, on the other hand, dropped 38 percent in profit. Apple also shipped over 72 million iPhones in the fourth quarter, according to Counterpoint Research, while just about 70 million Galaxy phones were sold by Samsung. Those figures will make any company worried when global dominance of the smartphone market is your ultimate goal. Samsung’s A-series was the main sales driver while S20 series sales didn’t perform as well as anticipated due to the to the COVID-19 shutdowns. The drive for an ecosystem is clearly a strategy by the South Korean multinational conglomerate to get back in the big money zone of the device manufacturers. 

Competition 

There are two major companies Samsung is battling with in the global smartphone category. 

Huawei, the Chinese multinational technology company showed strong sales in China helping it edge Samsung to become the world’s biggest smartphone vendor in the second quarter of 2020.  Apple, the Cupertino-based technology company, has been making a killing since the launch of the iPhone 11 with revenues hitting the $55.96 billion mark in the second quarter of 2020, up by 8% from the previous year. 

The competition is not only about smartphone sales between Samsung and Apple, for example. It is deeper than that. Samsung has for years been the main chip supplier for Apple. The company even provided the flash memory used in the iPod. The relationship turned sour when Samsung decided to make their own phones in 2009. The relationship has been fractured since then.

With the release of the five devices and the bold statements Samsung sought to convey, one gets the sense the ecosystem mantra are not just words but a clear indication of its readiness to win the smartphone contest. Perhaps to prove a point to Apple for all this years of mockery. 

Brand loyalty 

There is something that makes anyone go back for more of a product or service. It can be the service quality, the other services or products from the provider or sometimes just bragging rights. 

With five devices, Samsung is betting on getting you to come back for more. If you have the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra phone for example, there is an incentive to get the Galaxy Watch 3 because then you have a device that will manage your health and a bit of your life as well. Grabbing the Galaxy Buds Live could be the next item to purchase to add to your collection. The list goes on and on. The association with Microsoft further illustrates this point. Imagine having access to all your Microsoft Office products across multiple devices from your phone to your tablet. Imagine accessing high end video game console experience on your mobile phone while on the go. There is an incentive to keep purchasing because the benefits go beyond simply purchasing one device. The added benefits make economic sense due to the added value. With a budding 5G industry coming into effect, Samsung will be looking to benefit greatly with all its devices it has released since 2019. Users of their devices will always feel the brand is a step ahead in the 5G race; seeing how slow other competitors have been in the area.

Note 20 Ultra

According to Investopaedia, “Samsung has three divisions – consumer electronics, device “solutions,” and IT/mobile. Consumer electronics means big boxes – TVs, kitchen appliances, air conditioners and washing machines. Device solutions refers to semiconductors, integrated circuits, LED panels, hard drives and other components. IT and mobile, includes the cell phones and tablets that are traditionally associated with Samsung.” 

Imagine a world where all the devices in these categories are able to speak to one another. That is the ecosystem, i believe, Samsung is gunning for. The question though is how well will the company be able to fit all of their galaxy of devices into that one ecosystem. 

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