Saturday, March 12, 2011

Is Samsung poised to take the lead in the Philippine mobile phone market?

In the Philippines, Nokia still rules the mobile phone market. But while Nokia reorganizes behind Windows Phone 7, and props up its Symbian OS for the next two years while the transition is complete, there is a very strong Window of opportunity for Samsung to become the market leader in the Philippines.

The Samsung Galaxy Ace's 3.5-inch
 screen and mid-level price hits the right spot

Android is still just coming into the mindset of the Filipino market. Traditionally, phone selection here was based on brand preference rather than on what operating the phone used. But little by little, Android will become a household name in the Philippines. Apple's iPhone, while the most desire phone among Philippine mobile phone users is too expensive to become the mainstream choice in the Philippines.  

Of all smartphone manufacturers, Samsung has products placed at the right price point to ride on a Android bandwagon. Samsung has six models occupying the Android mobile phone space, between the Samsung I5500 Galaxy 5 priced at just about Php9K to the Samsung Galaxy I9003 SL at just below Php20K. The Samsung Galaxy S, and coming SII, iPhone challengers, enhances the companies image.

Under their Android models, they have two QWERTY messengers, the Samsung Ch@t and dual sim Samsung Punch. As a low cost touchscreen Samsung has the very popular Champ and higher priced Corby, whose populairty will only be enhanced by the release of a WiFi model. At just below Php1K, Samsung has its entry level candy bar e1080. From basic mobile phones to smartphones, Samsung has the units needed to challenge Nokia's local dominance.

In this area though, Samsung feature phones could be challenged by Huawei and ZTE Android smartphones. But that will affect Nokia as well.

Priced to fail, but marketed through carriers to win,
 the Samsung Galaxy Tab enhances Samsung's image in the Philippines as a technology leader.  

On the tablet front, Samsung's Galaxy Tab is too expensive to compete directly with Apple's iPad, a couple of slick deals with Smart Communications and Globe Telecom have made it a very reasonable priced tablet solution. Samsung tablet's in the wild, really enhances the Samsung image as being a cutting edge technology company. Never mind that it is just a bigger Galaxy S. As far as the regular consumer is concerned, Samsung build tablets, just like Apple does. That is a strong marketing message.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab is probably more appreciated here than abroad. For many here, it is their first encounter with Android.

Samsung Series 9, if released in the Philippines, wont be
 a volume seller.  It is priced a bit too high for the Philippine market.
Still launching products which can compete with Apple has benefits beyond sale figures.

Aiding the comprehensive line-up is the Samsung brand itself. With Samsung LCD & LED TV's having been accepted as among the best in the market, and their entry into the laptop and netbook market, the Samsung brand is starting to become a household name in the Philippines.

As Nokia phones approach obsolescence, the strength of the brand has sustained it in the the Philippine market. It will be at least nine months till we see out first Windows Phone 7 Nokia phone, and longer till they start to become available at lower price points. Whether Nokia will hold on to its top spot till than is a big question mark.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...