BGR exclusively broke the news last November that Samsung’s vice president of consumer and enterprise services Gavin Kim had left the company to join Microsoft. As general manager of Windows Phone marketing, Kim was tasked with steering the future direction of the Windows Phone platform in the eyes of consumers and partners. In an interview with BGR at the time, Kim said he planned to “win the hearts and minds of consumers, carriers, device manufacturers, developers and partners,” and he said he viewed the new role as an “amazing opportunity.” Now, just five months after joining Microsoft, Kim has left the company. “We can confirm that Gavin Kim has made a personal decision to leave Microsoft,” a Microsoft spokesperson told ZDNet in a statement. “We feel very good about the work he has done to set the team, and its new lead Eugene Ho, up for success. We wish him all the best.” Kim’s reason for departing from Microsoft so soon after joining the company remains unknown. More →
As we get closer to the official announcement of Samsung’s Galaxy S III, more information is beginning to surface. In addition to our exclusive reports on the device’s specifications and materials, we have now learned new details surrounding Samsung’s launch and marketing push for its new flagship handset. We have been told that there will be a huge international roll-out for the Galaxy S III, and the sleek new smartphone will be the official device of the 2012 Summer Olympics — this is one reason we’re told Samsung is hosting its unveiling event in London. In addition, there could be simultaneous launch events in New York City, Seoul and Dubai according to our source. We are also told that the Samsung Galaxy S III will come in two color options, one in blue and black, and a second in white. There will be 16GB and 32GB models as well, and additional specs include a 1080p HD display, a quad-core Exynos processor and integrated 4G LTE. More →
Nokia’s new Lumia 900 smartphone is getting a huge push at AT&T, but the carrier’s marketing budget for the new flagship Windows Phone won’t quite add up to sky-high figure suggested on Monday. Ad Age published an unconfirmed report on Monday stating that AT&T is preparing a massive marketing blitz to promote the new Nokia smartphone BGR called Windows Phone’s best shot yet to gain ground in the mass market. The carrier will spend as much as $150 million promoting the Lumia 900 according to the report, more than it spent to launch the iPhone. Following our coverage of Ad Age’s report, a trusted source confirmed to BGR that this is, in fact, not the case. Our well-placed source states that while AT&T is planning to push Nokia’s new Lumia smartphone aggressively, the $150 million figure is not even close to reality. This makes sense considering the big budget Nokia reportedly has set aside for the Lumia 900, but our source had no information to offer regarding Nokia’s marketing plans. An AT&T spokesperson declined to comment.
Research In Motion’s increased marketing efforts centered around its “Be Bold” campaign in North America have not paid off according to Canaccord Genuity. Sales of BlackBerry 7 smartphones, and specifically the BlackBerry Bold 9900 and Curve 9360, were poor in February, Canaccord analyst Mike Walkley wrote in a research note late Sunday night. “Our February checks indicated weak sell-through trends for BlackBerry 7 smartphones despite increased marketing efforts,” Walkley told investors. “With very strong share gains for the iPhone 4S, increasingly price-competitive Android smartphones, improving Windows smartphones, and the likely March 7 launch of the iPad 3, we anticipate increasing competition across all of RIM’s products during 2012.” Read on for more. More →
The sequel to Samsung’s wildly popular Galaxy S II will launch in April. ZDNet Korea claims to have confirmed the time frame with Cheil Worldwide, Samsung’s marketing and advertising agency. The firm is reportedly planning a huge campaign in the United Kingdom, one of the Galaxy S III’s initial launch markets, and the focus of the ad blitz will be this year’s Summer Olympics, which will take place in London. An earlier report from an industry insider also pegged April as the launch month for Samsung’s highly anticipated next flagship smartphone. BGR exclusively published full specs for the Galaxy S III earlier this week, and highlights include a 4.8-inch 1080p high-definition display, a 1.5GHz quad-core Samsung Exynos processor, an 8-megapixel rear camera, a 2-megapixel front-facing camera, a ceramic case, embedded 4G LTE and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. More →
When new CEO Thorsten Henis took the reins at Research In Motion, he immediately pointed to the smartphone vendor’s marketing strategy as an area the company needed to focus on if it hoped to regain share in key markets like the United States. The wheels on RIM’s recent marketing efforts had already been set in motion, however, and early reports suggest that the increased volume of familiar BlackBerry ads aren’t having the impact RIM was hoping for. Read on for more. More →
Research In Motion released the first set of commercials from its new “Be Bold” advertising campaign on Thursday and while the ads feature new faces, they are nearly identical to the campaign RIM has been running for months. The Waterloo, Ontario-based smartphone vendor was quick to point out that the team of four awkward superheroes that starred in an infographic RIM recently posted were not part of its upcoming advertising blitz, but perhaps they should have been. RIM’s new ads feature BlackBerry devices in real-world situations and they do a good job of showcasing key features like BBM. What the ads are not, however, is different or memorable. RIM’s new CEO Thorsten Heins named the company’s marketing strategy as one of the first orders of business he plans to address in his new role. With an exciting new breed of devices like the BlackBerry London on the horizon, marketing and advertising will be more important than ever for RIM as the company continues struggling to maintain its footing in key markets. A pair of Be Bold ads can be viewed after the break. More →
Apple has hired a former marketing executive from Microsoft to help promote the App Store and iTunes in Europe, MCV reports. Robin Burrowes, former head of Xbox LIVE marketing in the EMEA region for Microsoft, joined Apple in January according to his LinkedIn profile. His formal duties at Apple remain unclear — Burrowes’s profile only states that his role involves “App Store Marketing” — but the executive’s background suggests gaming will be a strong focus. Apple has hired a number of executives with experience in the gaming market recently, including Nintendo’s former head of public relations Robert Saunders and former Activision, EA and Xbox PR head Nick Grange. The video game industry finds itself among a number of businesses that have been disrupted by Apple’s iOS lineup, and the company’s recent hires suggest that Apple intends to continue pushing the gaming capabilities of its mobile device lineup. More →
Research In Motion’s newly appointed CEO Thorsten Heins said during his first day on the job that hiring a new marketing boss and revamping the company’s marketing strategy was among his first orders of business. If some of us were unsure why finding a new CMO and revamping RIM’s marketing efforts are such a priority, this new campaign should help clear things up. RIM on Monday introduced four new cartoon superheroes who will help the company spread the word about its products. Gogo Girl can save the day with her “brilliant strategy, a smile or a spatula,” Max Stone is “tough, proud and a little wild,” Justin Steele is “always ready to stick up for his friends and Trudy Foreal is “not afraid to call it as she sees it.” We’re not afraid to call it like we see it either, and we sincerely hope this new cartoon superhero campaign dies on the vine. RIM’s super infographic starring The Bold Team follows below.
Samsung’s new run of television commercials is the start of a wider effort to make the company’s products the apple of the U.S. consumer’s eye. The ads, which mock iPhone users for their obsession with Apple products, attempt to present Samsung as the smarter, cooler alternative. On a larger scale however, Samsung is hoping to create a fundamental shift in the way its products are viewed by consumers. “Especially in U.S., people are obsessed with Apple,” head of Samsung marketing Younghee Lee told AllThingsD in a recent interview. “It’s time to change people’s attention.” Lee is looking to shift consumers’ obsession to the East, and to figure out “how I can engage with consumers from the bottom of their heart, and not just be a big and functional and rational and reasonable brand.” While mocking consumers’ unhealthy love of one brand in an effort to create an obsession with another is a curious strategy, Samsung’s attempt to reinvent itself as a global smartphone leader is having a clear impact — the company reported a record holiday quarter during which it shipped an estimated 36.5 million smartphones worldwide. Three of Samsung’s recent commercials can be viewed after the break. More →
Sprint’s CEO Dan Hesse said in a note to employees Friday that Sprint will merge the marketing and sales teams of its enterprise and consumer businesses into one body. Hesse said the carrier is restructuring in an effort to better streamline its operations, Reuters reported on Friday. As a result, Sprint is also removing four executives from their roles with the firm. “As the wireless market has evolved, the lines between consumers and businesses have blurred,” Hesse said, according to a note to employees obtained by Reuters. “We believe that we no longer need to support two separate business units, and that it is more logical now to evolve to unified marketing and sales organizations. Because of the enormous investments we’re making this year in Network Vision and in the iPhone, we need to consistently be looking for ways to be more efficient.” Sprint’s chief marketing officer Bill Malloy will run the merged marketing and sales unit. Sprint has decided to remove the president of its consumer services group, Bob Johnson, the president of its integrated solutions group, Danny Bowman, the senior vice president of its corporate development and spectrum, Chris Rogers, and the senior vice president of consumer marketing, John Carney. More →
Microsoft, Nokia and carrier partners are planning a $100 million marketing push for the Nokia Ace (also known as the Lumia 900) when it launches in the United States. While the Ace isn’t yet official, it has been rumored that AT&T will unveil the device during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next week. We exclusively reported in November that the Ace will offer a 1.4GHz processor, a 4.3-inch ClearBlack display and an 8-megapixel camera. Other reports have suggested it will run Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango) and support AT&T’s 4G LTE network. According to BetaNews, the Ace will hit AT&T store shelves in March where it will receive “hero” status. It is unclear how Microsoft, AT&T and Nokia will split the $100 million in marketing, but the hero status suggests it will be the focus of AT&T commercials, print ads, digital ads and in-store marketing. More →
We had a chance to spend some time with AT&T Vice President of Marketing, Mike Woodward, a little while back to talk about AT&T’s first 4G LTE smartphones, the Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket and HTC Vivid, in addition to 4G LTE in general, the company’s stance on Android, iOS, and more. Catch the interview after the break! More →