In early December 2015 we posted a report titled "Samsung's New Mobile Division President says 2016 will be Tough." It was noted at the time that the new head of Samsung Electronics' handset business Koh Dong-jin said after his weekly Wednesday meetings with heads of Samsung Group affiliates in Seocho, southern Seoul, that the company doesn't expect its mobile business to see a "huge upturn" in profits next year. More specifically, Dong-jin noted that "Next year will be tough." Today, Samsung Electronics Kwon Oh Hyun, vice chairman and co-chief executive officer echoed Dong-jin's position by noting that he expects global economic growth to remain weak this year and urged employees to brainstorm ways to handle intensifying competition in an industry where software and platforms are eclipsing hardware.
Kwon Oh Hyun, vice chairman and co-chief executive officer, went on to state that products including smartphones, televisions and memory chips will face escalated competition this year. Innovative business models are weakening traditional hardware values and workers must adapt to maintain leadership in an industry changing at its fastest pace ever. The territories of industries are collapsing. We have to compete in a new way that we've never experienced in the past."
BloombergBusiness further noted that "Executives have preached the need to focus on software for years. Yet Korea's largest listed company and the world's biggest smartphone maker have lagged Apple in developing mobile-friendly software and a unique platform that can lock in users. Kwon added that "The competition landscape is changing to software and platforms, so we need to build a new system and competence."
In the end, you really have to question Samsung's executive branch if they've just woken up to the fact that they now need to compete with the likes of Apple with better thought out software.