Samsung doesn’t need saving just yet, but most people seemed to laugh it off last year when I said that the South Korea-based giant was quickly headed toward a big mess. In developed markets, customers flocked to Samsung’s giant phones and their magnificent displays. In regions where mid-range and low-end phones are more prominent, Samsung flooded the market with dozens of affordable models. Even more important, perhaps, the company devoted double-digit billions each year to marketing and advertising its devices, and all that money helped Samsung keep its impossible promise.
But a huge problem was developing and not everyone saw it. Samsung apparently didn’t even see it, or it simply turned a blind eye. The problem with being a leader is that others will follow. Apple’s lawsuits may have branded Samsung a copycat, but the company was absolutely a leader in building a wide range of big-screen smartphones and an even bigger arsenal of capable, affordable mid-range and low-end phones.
Then, others followed. And they did it better. Now, no one seems to be laughing anymore. More →