Samsung’s mobile division hasn’t been doing that great as of late. The Galaxy S9 and Note 9 phones should be exciting by 2018 standards, as they offer users great designs and camera experiences, as well as top of the line hardware. But the phones are too “boring” compared to their predecessors, which explains why Samsung’s earnings have been held back by its smartphone business for the past few quarters.
There’s some good news for fans, though: It looks like everyone in the mobile division is feeling the pressure to deliver breakthrough innovations next year when flagships like the Galaxy S10 and Galaxy F will finally arrive.
Samsung’s mobile division posted a 2.2 trillion won ($1.95 billion) operating profit for the third quarter, or a 30% drop compared to the second quarter of 2018. According to The Korea Herald, Samsung Mobile CEO DJ Koh sent a corporate message to executives and employees saying that he felt “sorry about the currently struggling status of the Samsung smartphone business and will do my best to overcome the crisis with the upcoming Galaxy 10 and foldable phones.”
There’s increasing speculation that Koh’s own position might be in danger as Samsung approaches its year-end personnel reshuffle. The exec, who recently previewed the Galaxy F on stage at SDC18, was criticized internally for Samsung’s weakening competitiveness in the mobile market. Among the complaints, Samsung’s vice chairman Jay Y. Lee ordered camera improvements on Samsung phones after visiting a shop in Europe.
A senior official said that Lee’s comments shouldn’t be taken out of context. “The recent comments from Vice Chairman Lee were not about any defect with our technology, but about different camera features such as the wide-angle function compared to rivals’ products. CEO Koh said he will listen to voices from consumers and reflect them in product development more actively in order to meet their needs better.”
“Koh’s message appeared to show how much of a critical position Samsung’s mobile business is in at the moment. The atmosphere within the company is currently serious as we hear outside criticism toward the products,” an insider told The Herald. “A top-down and rigid decision-making system is the most serious problem at Samsung’s mobile division, which prevents the company from finding innovative ideas and solutions that would satisfy the market,” said another.
The Galaxy 10 and Galaxy F will each bring over various innovations that aren’t available on competing devices. The phones will feature novel designs, with the Galaxy S10 rumored to have a bezel-free screen and a built-in fingerprint sensor. The Galaxy F, meanwhile, will have a dual-screen setup, with a smaller display sitting on the outside of the phone and a larger, foldable screen placed on the inside.
The phones are expected to be unveiled in the early months of the year and should both launch before April.