Samsung has been facing tough competition from the Chinese, both in smartphone sales and on the smart watches front. The company is now planning to expand its offerings under the 'Project Prism' to create a niche for itself in the smart appliances segment. And changing consumer lifestyle that came with the Covid-19 pandemic is driving them in this direction.
Samsung is aiming to become a lifestyle brand by releasing more customisable products to suit these lifestyle changes, says its home appliances business head Lee Jae-Seung in a post on the Samsung website. The tech giant is recalibrating its business strategies around this vertical with a view to provide a healthy and safe lifestyle to consumers post the pandemic.
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“We look to innovate so that consumers can enrich their home experiences and express their own personalities through our appliances in this changing world”https://t.co/3F4Px5w0yGSeptember 3, 2020
A recent report from market research company Counterpoint suggested that Samsung's market share in the smartphone business had declined to 20% during Q2 of 2020 with shipments also dropping from 58.6 million in Q1 of the year to 54.2 million during the April-June quarter. The report said Samsung's sales had declined 29% year-on-year in its core markets including India, Latin America, the US and Europe, following the global lockdowns.
The South Korean tech giant wants to become a consumer-centric lifestyle brand that is in a position to create innovative products for people caught up in the pandemic and forced to think differently, reuse living spaces and change the manner in which they operate their gadgets and digital appliances.
Phones and watches shifted out
Some time back, we had reported that Samsung was contemplating a plan that would make India its production hub and devices worth $40 billion are planned to be manufactured here over the next five years.
The company had submitted to the Indian government a proposal for the same. And much of what is to be manufactured will be exported. The reports said that Samsung was likely to diversify its production lines for making smartphones to India under the PLI (Production Linked Incentive) scheme and this will have an impact in its existing capabilities across various countries like Vietnam."
As of now, around 50% of Samsung phones are made in Vietnam. Samsung has also manufacturing units in Indonesia, Brazil, and of course, South Korea. It is said that Samsung is diminishing its production lines in South Korea due to high labour cost.
The company had also announced that starting with Galaxy Watch Active 2, the entire range of Galaxy Smartwatches will now be “Made in India”. The company had already decided to make Smart TVs in India a few days back.
The decision to shift out most of its smartphone production out of Korea could be the starting point for Samsung's focus on AI and IoT-based appliances in its factories.
Getting back to Project Prism
The company, which has launched a range of refrigerators and laundry appliances under its Project Prism, is now upgrading its home appliance range with the latest artificial intelligence, connected homes and IoT features to deliver better experiences, Lee Jae-Seung says in an editorial on the Samsung website.
Specific points from the editorial were reported by South Korean wire agency Yonhap, which quoted Lee as stating that the pandemic resulted in all of us re-assessing the spaces we live in, along with ways we operate and prioritize things in our daily routine.
"Such changes of mindset and habits are in line with the vision Samsung Electronics has for its digital appliances division, one of moving beyond simply manufacturing appliances and towards becoming a truly consumer-centric lifestyle brand," he says.
Samsung believes that with the home assuming greater significance for people in an era of social distancing and home appliances adding more value, it is the right time for the company to venture beyond consumer electronics into the fast-growing smart appliances space.
The Samsung official went on to reveal that the company's air purifier sales had growth by 410 percent during the January-July period this year over last year, while its home appliances business was being upgraded with the latest IoT and AI technologies with a view to creating traction in the post-pandemic era.
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A media veteran who turned a gadget lover fairly recently. An early adopter of Apple products, Raj has an insatiable curiosity for facts and figures which he puts to use in research. He engages in active sport and retreats to his farm during his spare time.