Galaxy S IV the Latest Stop along Samsung’s Road to Dominance

by Matt Klassen on March 13, 2013

It was only a few short years ago that Samsung was nothing, simply one more struggling Android partner suckling from Google’s open source teat in hopes of turning a profit in the face of Apple’s indisputable dominance…oh how times have changed. Once considered nothing more than an iPhone imitator, Samsung’s Galaxy franchise now sits atop the smartphone world, having wrested the mantle of true innovator away from its Cupertino rival.

Of course given Samsung’s meteoric success it’s easy to forget the company’s rocky start in the American market, the company’s initial flagship phones sporting forgettable names like Captivate, Vibrant, Fascinate, and Epic 4G, splitting its franchise into four in order to attract the country’s top four carriers.

But if there was one person who believed Samsung was on the path to complete market dominance it was the head of the company’s mobile division, J.K. Shin, whose confidence and vibrato following the initial Galaxy release demonstrates the fine line that exists between delusion and foresight.

“In the race to redefine the smartphone, the starting gun has just been fired, and the Samsung Galaxy S is already standing at the finishing line,” Shin declared following the lackluster reception of Samsung’s new smartphone franchise three years ago. At the time the market barely gave his bold claim a second glance, chalking it up to nothing more than a misplaced market ploy.

But of course at the time Samsung was in little position to dictate its vision for its Galaxy brand, forced to placate the carriers leaving its mobile message muddled and unclear. Now jump ahead three years and on the cusp of the release of the company’s Galaxy S IV, Samsung sits atop of the smartphone market, with almost one out of every three smartphones sold in the world sporting the Samsung name.

In fact, Samsung’s rise to market dominance now sees the company in a position once reserved exclusively for Apple, the company set to unveil the Galaxy S4 at the Radio City Music Hall in New York at a posh event scheduled for tomorrow.

So how has Samsung got to this point, particularly given that the rest of the company’s Android brethren are still mired in smartphone mediocrity? As CNET writer Roger Cheng explains, “Through savvy advertising, the continuous improvement of its smartphones, and a steady march to expand distribution and strengthen the Galaxy S name, Samsung has broken from the pack of me-too Android manufacturers. The company has flourished even as others have struggled, now controlling more than a third of the smartphone industry’s profits. (Apple accounts for most of the rest.)”

That said, as I’ve mentioned before, don’t be surprised if in the next several years Samsung leverages this success into its own mobile operating system, Tizen; a prospect that while far removed from guaranteed success, brings with it the sorts of substantial profits and end-to-end control that Apple has long enjoyed.

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Written by: Matt Klassen. Follow by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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