Samsung is frightened, and you know it. Look at the evidence: China is following the rest of the planet to go iPhone crazy with two million iPhone 6 units pre-ordered within hours. Apple has already shifted 10 million of its new smartphones. You can see what's happening.
Why is this? Put simply it is because Apple has fought incredibly hard to keep its rep as leading innovator in the smartphone market. And Samsung? Well, Samsung, despite its market position, hasn't delivered.
Look at the alarms out of the Korean firm that calls huge gaps between facia elements of its shipping products a "feature" -- which is so much more polite than calling customers "stupid."
Apple's focus means that when it delivers a new device, millions of customers across the planet scramble to jump online or to on-street retailers to put their cash down on the new iThing. This has been the pattern for not one, not two but seven years, and millions of Apple acolytes now follow the iPhone star that shines so bright. This isn’t a one-off manifestation. This is reality.
Apple’s iPhone is the most popular smartphone on the planet.
In vogue (literally)
That’s why Apple will break new records with its latest release, and also why Samsung is literally reeling as clued-up discerning consumers ditch its products to collect a sexy Apple product.
That's what's happening, and here's evidence: A Digital World Research survey of iPhone 6 buyers reveals that 27 percent of respondents who planned on buying an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus, “were currently Samsung phone owners."
That's a lot of people. And it's even more impressive when you consider just 26 percent of respondents planning to buy a new iPhone were upgrading from an older iPhone.
This suggests (to a very loose reading of the statistics) that the new iPhones are marginally more popular among Samsung users than among iPhone users.
That's got to hurt.
So what can the fast follower do?
How about doing something useful? An action that shows some sense of leadership and awareness of its responsibility as a good corporate citizen on a planet on which 35,000 (count them) walruses are suddenly sitting on a patch of dirt because the ice they usually live on has disappeared?
Samsung has the manufacturing power to turn its story around. No, I'm not talking about some schoolyard ad featuring some plastic consumer product and an imitation bottom in some bend test -- I'm talking about imitating the one thing Apple asked it to imitate -- a commitment to the environment.
How might it show this in phones?
- By delivering highly recyclable smartphones that are manufactured using transparent production processes that deliberately minimize or avoid use of any substances that are bad for the planet.
- By offering devices that, while perhaps not as small as the current smartphone trend demands are easily upgradeable, so you can buy new components and squeeze more useful life out of them.
- By focusing on zero-harm, zero-emissions solutions. By listening to the debate that matters, by showing a sense of care that extends beyond its bottom (ha-ha) line, inflatable or otherwise.
- By connecting with the real zeitgeist that exists outside of political and corporate orders, which is everything about core values and nothing to do with exploitation and bland imitation.
Get on with it
Samsung has the kind of power it takes to join Apple in actively participating in matters that matter. The day it makes that kind of difference is the day it may carve a useful future.
It isn't just Samsung, of course. Everyone involved in product manufacturing needs to understand that engaging with these issues has become a historical inevitability.
So get on with it.
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