Samsung: Apple to feel heat in 2006

Electronics giant Samsung said it will take aim at Apple this year with several new portable products and large ad campaigns. A Samsung executive claims that Apple’s lead in digital music and video can be attributed to only marketing.

“What’s the difference between how they have gone to market and how we have gone to market? It’s real simple. They spent $165 million last year to advertise Apple MP3 products. We spent $1 million,” said Peter Weedfald, senior vice president of consumer electronics for Samsung’s North American division. “We are going to break the code. In 2006, we are going to over-invest in advertising and marketing around these really hot new digital video and digital audio products, and we will spend tens of millions of dollars.”

  1. I do believe that advertising makes a difference. However, I don’t believe that it can cover up a bad product, and we all know that because we all know about the iPod shuffle.

    The shuffle’s saving grace was its comparatively low price per GB and the fact that a large group of people listen to music when they can’t see the screen anyway, not the fact that it works so well for everyone, or the fact that it works better than with a screen. This was nary reflected in the advertising, because Apple went for bullshit about how random is cool and hip instead.

    But furthermore, I don’t think advertising alone is going to boost Samsung more than nominally. And I absolutely don’t think that boasting about how we’re *gonna* beat them is going to help. Less boasting, more roasting.

  2. Yawn. Haven’t we heard this all before? Another so-called competitor talking out of its a**. Well, Samsung, if you are going to take on Apple, you better be sure you have all the pieces in place. Oh yeah, not only that, they have to be as good or better than Apple’s offerings (iPod, iTunes & iTMS). Remember, hardware is only one third of the equation. Good luck. You’re gonna need it.

  3. Hey anyone remember a little Sony-made product back in the day called the “Walkman”? Remember how every other product like that one was inadvertently called a “walkman” as a result of its success? Remember what happened to that? A little de-ja-vu if u ask me.

    Any company (Sony, Creative, Samsung, Iriver, etc) could easily compete with Apple’s lead in the market by doing one thing and one thing only. We already know they all make great products, we know they have great in-house designers (except maybe Creative), i’m sure they can all do a good job at marketing (as good/better than Apple is doing). In my opinion, the one thing that REALLY sets the ipod apart is EASE OF USE. The seamless integration of the software into the hardware that makes ipod and itunes seem like one entity. The software has to be good/user friendly and be a natural extension of the hardware. Most of the time, the software is designed just to be an application for loading media onto the hardware, but they have to go further than that.

    Oh yeah, don’t forget about content. Can you say “itunes music store”?

  4. Paaa-leez. Samsung will fall along with the others who have dumped insane amounts of money into a product’s marketing and advertising, forsaking profit, in hopes to gain consumer marketshare and brand name notoriety. Go back to business school….it’s a bad idea.

  5. The iPod is king right now, and it deserves it’s place.

    Yet there will come a time when something new and better will take over.

    The competition really needs to create a beautiful, easy to use device that will kick the iPod’s butt

    Apple needs to never get complacent, and keep finding ways to make the iPod better and better. Get a bloody microphone in, add FM radio and for goodness sake, make the unit more robust and less scratch resistant.

    I do believe that Apple has the strength to last 2-3 years if it doesnt do anything. Therefore, Steve Jobs should have the 10th generation iPod already in development and the 7th generation in testing if he wants to keep up with fierce huge companies with lots of money.

  6. I don’t doubt samsung will come out with great DAPs but they need to back up they’re product like people have said with software and content.

  7. Why don’t Apple’s competitors get it?

    Honestly, this is pissing me off. Apple doesn’t get everything right – their insistence on the proprietary iTMS, for example, is something I don’t agree with. There is definitely room for competition. But it’s not about the marketing.

    There are three strengths to the iPod: its large storage capacity, its intuitive and easy-to-use interface and instructions, and its low price. Currently, *none* of the competitors has gotten more than two out of these three right. (The best possible solution that I’ve seen from these competitors is the 30GB Creative Nomad Jukebox at $300, which has one of the crappiest and most unintuitive interface I’ve ever seen.)

    Advertising doesn’t make or break a product; what makes the iPod sell is that it’s good, and that all its competitors suck. I’d like to see some companies other than Apple get themselves in gear.

  8. This sounds suspiciously close to “Well, I know an old geezer who’s a billionaire, and he has liver spots and walks with a cane. So gosh darn it, I’m gonna get myself some of these liver spots!”

    I can add nothing to what JoshSpazJosh said – if Creative or Samsung or iRiver want to improve, just follow that advice. Fire on *all* cylinders, and don’t just follow in someone’s tail lights.

  9. You know, this is really starting to get old. First DO SOMETHING, then talk all the smack you want. Until then, all hail the king!

  10. Jeez you apple fanboys, give it a break!!!!!

    “Advertising doesn’t make or break a product”

    Well then, I suppose the iPod Shuffle was simply an innovation in technology that had never been done before!! Marketing has EVERYTHING to do with a product; the whole “Life is Random” slogan was cheap advertising making use of the “iPod” logo to ensure sales. If apple didnt MARKET their products as classy, fashionable (they have referred to their products as fashionable in many interviews) and better than the competition, they would not succeed as #1.

    “Paaa-leez. Samsung will fall along with the others who have dumped insane amounts of money into a product’s marketing and advertising, forsaking profit, in hopes to gain consumer marketshare and brand name notoriety. Go back to business school….it’s a bad idea.”

    Your sentence does not make sense!!! You say that Samsung is in hopes of gaining brand name notoriety. Do you know what notoriety means??? it means being notorious, or being UNFAVORABLY known. Besides your incorrect grammar, the rest of your comment is pure opinion.

  11. Apple are definitely ahead of the game but I wouldn’t write Samsung off quite yet.

    They rebuilt their company to rival and beat Sony very quickly and have many of the components in place that they can leverage to become a worthy competitor.

    Samsung are the leading memory supplier, they also have a lot of experience in consumer electronics and some of their phones are leagues ahead of what is available in the US.

    A converged device with a 8GB Flash memory, a 3MB camera & easy to use music software would be a serious threat.

    The test will be to see if Samsung can get the software right, if they do then the market will definitely start getting interesting.

    I’m an Apple fan but also a realist and all the detractors of Apples competitors are beginning to sound like supporters of General Motors, Ford & Chrysler during the 70’s when dissing Japanese cars.

  12. To “…”

    I’m not an Apple fanboy. Honestly I don’t like Macs all that much; just iPods.

    The reason the Shuffle succeeded was not because of marketing. Look at all the other products out there. It all comes back to what I said before: relatively low price, easy-to-use design (what could be easier than five relatively large, clearly labeled buttons on a chunk of plastic?), and. . .well, it can only hold 1GB max, but it wasn’t made for the high storage space. The point of the Shuffle is that it’s better than all its competitors – most MP3 players of that capacity, let alone players that actually have easy-to-use interfaces, cost anywhere between $50 to $100 more.

    If someone came out right now with a product that had all of the iPod’s strengths and more (example: I’d really like to see some e-book and PDF support), I’d buy it in a flash. But that doesn’t look like it’s happening.

    (And yes, maybe I exaggerated a little bit. Marketing definitely increased iPod sales, especially when iPods turned into fashion statements. But the reason the iPod became popular in the first place is because it made a good product. People liked it, started buying it, and soon lots of people had them You can’t make something out of nothing: marketing a crappy product in the hopes that it will “catch on”.)

  13. If there’s a company out there right now to tackle Apple, then that would be Samsung. They’re more adept than Sony and produce incredible products. I hope they win actually.

  14. Considering that Samsung and Sony have a cross-licensing agreement, this is not surprising.

    Having owned a Samsung CRT monitor that went complete fuzzy in two years, and a Samsung cell phone whose LCD has just died in just over a year, I can safely say that there will be no more Samsung products in my future.

  15. I really do hope Samsung succeeds in taking on the iPod.
    Lack of competition on one particular field leads to stagnation of development; Just look at Windows for an example.
    Do I think Samsung are able to manufacture a device which could compare to the iPod? Yes, if they dedicate resources not at Marketing, but at Product development and aftermarket integration.
    Do I think Samsung will manufacture a device which could compare to the iPod? No. They still don’t understand what makes the iPod so great.
    If anyone can, it would have to be Sony. They manufacture everything from Car Stereos to Home Theatre Systems to Mobile Phones. I have friends who only buy Sony electronics equipment. If Sony can get motivated and integrate seamlessly; in the same way that the iPod integrates with Apple Macs and Personal Speaker Systems, they can be a force to be reckoned with.

  16. Yet another competitor complaining about ad budgets. What’s this, have a flawed product, but blame the leader’s marketing warchest instead?

    Brave talk, but it ain’t a new world yet until the products really get out there and prove themselves. Considering how limp past reviews I’ve read for their DAPS have been, they still have some ways to go. Advertising only goes so far for weak product.

    Me think’um all their success with DLP HDTV, printers, memory modules, and all the rest have made their collective headware a bit too tight with those swelled heads, and the subsequent lack of blood flow has the unfortunate side effect of spewing some mighty unsubstantiated words when it comes to MP3.

    But I’ve got to give them credit for not tucking tail (like D/M Holdings did with Rio).

  17. BTW, I DO think there is some cred to the complaint about big ad budgets and iPod’s success. Since I experienced it first hand and do think that the Spuffle is a POS player, Creative and now Samsung’s whinings do carry some validity. As … points out, the Snuffle really benefitted from a big, splashy marketing push. That and (at the time) it’s relatively cheap price over most others in the 512MB and 1GB flash DAP marketplace.

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