If you follow me on Twitter, you would have seen these tweets over the past few weeks:
- Samsung overtakes Apple in smart phone shipments Samsung overtakes Apple in smart phone shipments
- Samsung’s Smartphone Sales Grow 44 Percent, Netflix Users Take Up A Third Of U.S. Bandwidth, Amazon In Talks For … Samsung’s Smartphone Sales Grow 44 Percent
Japanese borrowing Western methods?
Now that’s saying a lot, when a company from Korea can outtake Apple in Smartphone sales. But why did this happen? How did this happen? Perhaps we can gain some insights from a Harvard Business Review article:
- The Globe: The Paradox of Samsung’s Rise The Globe: The Paradox of Samsung’s Rise
Here’s one tidbit the article mentions:
“For two decades now, Samsung has grafted Western business practices onto its essentially Japanese system, combining its traditional low-cost manufacturing prowess with an ability to bring high-quality, high-margin branded products swiftly to market.”
America borrowing Japanese methods?
Yet here’s another Tweet I shared on Amazon, from the Business Insider:
- DEAR AMERICA: It’s Time To Say A Big ‘Thank You’ To Amazon DEAR AMERICA: It’s Time To Say A Big ‘Thank You’ To Amazon
Here are some elements Amazon uses:
- Amazon apologetically builds its business for the long-term, without worrying about what short-term Wall Street traders think.
- Amazon sacrifices near-term profits for long-term investments, again without worrying about what short-term traders think.
Amazon is successfully borrowing elements of the Japanese business model. Yet we see Samsung incorporating elements of western business into its Japanese model. Yet both businesses are very successful.
See the irony here, folks?
In order to be successful, Amazon – am American company – adopts Japanese business methods.
Samsung, which is a Korean company traditionally using Japanese business methods – borrows from American business practices.
Where is the balance here?
Samsung and operations
Here’s an article from Operations Research: The Science of Better:
- Samsung Cuts Manufacturing Cycle Time and Inventory to Compete Samsung Cuts Manufacturing Cycle Time and Inventory to Compete
Speeding up delivery and market time is a great reason. I leave the specifics to the article in question.
What can Apple do to catch up?
Perhaps we can take a clue from a Forbes article:
- Apple Could Knock Samsung From Smartphone Perch With iPhone 4S Apple Could Knock Samsung From Smartphone Perch With iPhone 4S
The article comments on why Samsung overtook Apple:
“This was not surprising considering that Apple had a comparatively weaker last quarter when it could only sell 17 million iPhone units, a sequential quarterly decline of 16%…”
But it goes on to suggest what Apple must do to regain the lead:
“If Apple wants to overtake Samsung, it will need to come out with newer versions of the iPhone at a faster rate and bring new hit features like Siri to its new lineup.”
I haven’t compared the prices of Samsung and Iphone. I suspect that the Iphone is very expensive. A Samsung phone with the same features is probably much cheaper.
Recently I experienced this with 2 video services. Redbox and Blockbuster Express run movie DVS dispensers. There are many in my area. Both used to have new releases for one dollar.
Recently Blockbuster Express raised their prices for new movies to $2.99. Redbox kept their price at one dollar. They only raised the price to 1.20 for next day rentals. Both have similar movies around the same time.
Guess which service I’m now using?
- Samsung’s Smartphone Sales Grow 44 Percent, Netflix Users Make Up A Third Of U.S. Bandwidth, Amazon In Talks For Kindle In China (fastcompany.com)
- Samsung smartphone sales beat Apple in Q3 tip insiders (slashgear.com)
- Samsung Beats Apple In Smartphone Sales (informationweek.com)
- IDC: Samsung overtakes Apple in smartphones with 20% share (electronista.com)
- Samsung seeks iPhone 4S ban in Australia, Japan (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Samsung overtakes Apple smartphone sales (telegraph.co.uk)
- Samsung beats Apple in smartphone sales (macleans.ca)
- Samsung Beats Apple to Become World’s Leading Smartphone Vendor (techie-buzz.com)
- Samsung profit dips but sees 300% yearly rise in smartphone sales to surpass Apple (thenextweb.com)
- EC investigates Samsung over alleged abuse of FRAND patent standards to beat Apple (slashgear.com)