After the ancient rulers of Nokia, the twin kingdoms of Apple and Samsung conquered the land with an iron fist. Under their rule, the land grew and prospered with iPhones and Galaxies.
We all know the story by now. Samsung and Apple have stood atop the smartphone industry for more than a decade. With how technology is developing, it seems likely that both brands will remain as two of the top phone manufacturers.
However, Samsung’s sales reports hint that it’s losing its grip on the industry’s peak.
According to the company’s earning guidance for the second quarter, Samsung lost 0.7 percent in sales. Last semester, Samsung posted consolidated sales of 60.56 trillion in Korean won. This semester, the company posted only approximately KWR 58 trillion. However, according to The Verge, the company still saw an 11 percent increase in overall profit.
While 0.7 percent doesn’t seem like much, the loss is the first time in a while that Samsung’s sales have not grown. For the past quarters, Samsung has enjoyed record-breaking numbers on its sales column. The positive trend has finally buckled this year.
Meanwhile, according to Financial Times and Wall Street Journal, the loss came from the Galaxy S9’s less-than-spectacular sales. With current sales, the Galaxy S9 is the company’s least popular phone since the Galaxy S3 in 2012.
As of late, Samsung has suffered mounting pressure from other brands outing their own competitive flagships (see: Huawei P20 Pro). Coupled with its lack of redeemable features, the Galaxy S9 is a tough phone to sell.
Moreover, with Apple taking its screen business elsewhere, Samsung might see a drop in component sales as well.
Regardless, the company will surely still enjoy massive sales numbers. At the same time, the drop should inspire the company to take measures with next year’s Galaxy S10 to get back to their winning ways.
Samsung will re-evaluate fake Supreme partnership after criticism
They incited the ire of the hypebeasts
Recently, Samsung China committed a public relations boo-boo. After launching the Galaxy A8s, the Chinese branch announced a future partnership with Supreme, the popular lifestyle brand. Unfortunately, the partnership was not with the original Supreme brand. Rather, the partnered party is Supreme Italia, a knock-off brand based in Italy. At the time, Supreme NYC (the original) and Samsung China knew about Supreme Italia’s status. Regardless, Samsung China still went for the deal.
Now, the company is re-evaluating the partnership once again. According to Samsung leaker Ice Universe, Samsung China issued a statement about the partnership. Translated from the original Mandarin, Samsung said: “Recently, Samsung Electronics announced at the Galaxy A8s conference that it will cooperate with Supreme Italia in the Chinese market. We are currently re-evaluating this cooperation, and we deeply regret the inconvenience caused.”
Based on the original Weibo post, Samsung China received a significant amount of criticism for the snappy decision. Further, it didn’t help that Leo Lau, Samsung China’s digital marketing manager, defended the controversial decision.
Despite not having rights in the country, Supreme maintains a healthy following in China. However, because of the lack of selling rights, Chinese Supreme fans resorted to off-brands like Supreme Italia.
However, it doesn’t excuse Samsung China. With the decision, the Chinese branch has been assaulted by criticisms from both Supreme fans and Samsung’s higher brass. Regardless, the company has a lot of brand equity to lose by being associated with a knock-off brand. With a re-evaluation, the brand is working to restoring some lost credibility.
China bans Apple from selling iPhones
All thanks to Qualcomm
Following Huawei’s kerfuffle, all eyes are on China’s tenuous relationship with the United States. However, for all of China’s troubles, the Asian country is making some moves on its own.
In the corporate world, Qualcomm has gone on a warpath against a bunch of other companies — Apple and Huawei. The chipset maker has even hired a smear campaign against Apple supposedly. Now, the company has advanced more chess pieces in the legal department.
Recently, Qualcomm engaged in a legal battle against Apple in China. According to the company, Apple violated some critical software patents. Allegedly, the patents allow photo resizing and app management on a touchscreen.
To Qualcomm’s favor, China issued a guilty verdict against Apple. Additionally, the Chinese court has banned the American company from selling and importing most of its iPhones to the country.
The ban includes all the company’s older models. Surprisingly, it doesn’t include this year’s triage of new iPhones — the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR. Apparently, the ban only covers older software versions.
Luckily for Apple, the ban hasn’t been completely enforced yet, allowing the company to remain in business for now. According to Apple, “All iPhone models remain available for our customers in China.”
In response, Apple will work to overturn this verdict in the future. “Qualcomm’s effort to ban our products is another desperate move by a company whose illegal practices are under investigation by regulators around the world… We will pursue all our legal options through the courts,” Apple said.
Besides this battle, Qualcomm claims that Apple owes them US$ 7 billion in damages.
The move opens up another theater in the ongoing trade war between China and America.
Huawei pledges $2 billion to secure cybersecurity of hardware
It starts in Britain for now
Throughout the past few weeks, Sinophobia has reached an all-time high. Various countries have started banning Chinese telecommunications companies from taking over their technology market. Huawei and ZTE have faced tremendous adversity while expanding their 5G operations. Of note, the US, the UK, and Australia have stopped Huawei’s 5G plans before they could start.
It was only a matter of time before Huawei responds. Now, the company has finally promised to solve these crucial cybersecurity issues. In Britain, Huawei has met with government officials regarding their ban. Like the rest of the Western world, Britain criticized Huawei’s technology as potential backdoors for Chinese espionage.
Both parties have agreed to a compromise. To alleviate Britain’s fears, Huawei will pledge US$ 2 billion for cybersecurity. The company will then attempt to solve whatever Britain found in cybersecurity investigations.
While the United Kingdom is more forgiving, other countries are still very wary. After the initial lineup of banning countries, Japan has joined the conversation. The country is working to ban both Huawei and ZTE from 5G development as well. With that, Japan will be the first Asian country to ban both companies. Western fears are now invading the East.
At the other end of the world, Huawei is also facing another crisis. The company’s chief finance officer, Meng Wanzhou, was recently arrested for allegedly violating embargo regulations. According to Huawei, their retaliation plans in Britain were made before the arrest. Thus, the arrest is another separate battle that awaits the company after issues of cybersecurity.
Huawei is in a world of pain. Despite offering amazing products, the company can’t find any traction in hardware development. Geopolitical fears have and will continue to bog down the company throughout the rise of 5G networking.
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