Samsung Flop Number Two: The Almost Curvy Galaxy Round
Last week we reported on the Galaxy Gear being an epic flop. We reported that Samsung had sold only 50,000 smartwatches. Then Samsung went on a PR offensive the following day screaming that the number was really 800,000. That was quickly doused by a Korean news report that noted that Samsung had "shipped" 800,000 but only sold 50,000. The Verge confirmed that to be a fact. To rub it in their face even further, a new Gartner study published today drives home the reality that "Despite the hype surrounding smartwatches, they are unlikely to be featured on many consumers' holiday wish lists this year." Obviously, other than giving them away when consumers purchase a Samsung washing machine, Samsung's so-called innovation is nowhere to be found. And what do you know; one week later and we get to laugh at Samsung's second flop of 2013: The Galaxy Round.
While Samsung's Galaxy Round smartphone isn't being sold worldwide as of yet, Korean consumers are already thinking that the new almost curvy smartphone is a dud and are simply snubbing it.
In fact, a new Korean report published today quotes sources that say as of yesterday, less than 100,000 units of Samsung Electronics' Galaxy Round were sold in the first 40 days after its October tenth launch through SK Telecom.
In stark contrast, Apple sold 9 million iPhones in their first weekend on the market. While we don't have a demographic breakdown of the iPhone sales, we can safely say that Apple sold 5 or more million in the US alone. Now that's a hit. In fact, the sales were so off the charts for September that the iPhone 5S clocked in as the best-selling smartphone in the world. So selling 100,000 Samsung Round's in six weeks is sad and just another Samsung flop.
Another industry source was quoted in the Korean report as saying that "The specifications of the Galaxy Round are similar to those of other premium phones, but consumers seem to regard Samsung's curved smartphone as strange."
Not that the LG G Flex smartphone is doing any better mind you, but it's Samsung who likes to publicly boast about how they're such an innovator. They think that sales volume by itself is something to boast about. If you look at their hot selling Note 3, the Korean report tells us that they only sold 500,000 in 40 days. So Samsung's high end smartphones compared to Apple's aren't selling well at all. Their volume is found in feature phones where innovation is nowhere to be found.
Yet we do know from last week's false boasting that they're really innovative in terms of shipping products around the world that sit on shelves. Good for them. But the bottom line is that Samsung tried to pull the wool over everyone's eyes again last week by basically lying to Reuters in a "marketing sleight of hand" kind of way that they sold 800,000 smartwatches when in fact it was 50,000. That's quite the creative lie, but one that we've come to expect from Samsung.
In the end: The new Samsung Round smartphone is flop number two for 2013.
In closing, I can't help but point out that it's been a year of failures for Samsung beyond their most recent flops. How can we forget Samsung's failure to deliver a fingerprint scanning solution for the Galaxy S4? Samsung had so much egg on their face for that misstep that they felt compelled to blame their misstep squarely on their one-time partner Validity. They had to say something because in Q2 Samsung miserably missed their financial numbers due to the Galaxy S4 not selling as well as expected. That's over and above their battery fiasco that plagued both their Galaxy S3 and S4 smartphones.
Samsung was so entertaining in delivering their failures this year that I can hardly wait to see what they have in store for us in 2014. I'm almost drooling to see how badly their new Tizen OS will do and more so to the cascade of excuses that they'll give to the press as to why the market isn't give a damn about it. Then again, they'll probably just tell Reuters that they sold 800 million units. Just don't take it too seriously.