Samsung Electronics' Fast-Follower Strategy Has Paid Off
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Samsung Electronics' Fast-Follower Strategy Has Paid Off
President Shin warns against dragging one's feet in this fast-paced market

31(Thu), May, 2012

Samsung Electronics has not yet surpassed Apple or completely outstripped Nokia, but Samsung’s positive, young talents will ultimately put Samsung smartphones in the top position globally,” Shin Jong-kyun, president in charge of the Information and Mobile Communications business at the Korean electronics giant said. 
President Shin recently made the remark while appraising Samsung Electronics’ quarterly record-high achievements. His remark indicates Samsung Electronics’ determination to drive its growth momentum without resting on its laurels. 
A graduate of Kwangwoon University Electronics Engineering Department, Shin has been credited with his contributions to making history with “Anycall,” the Korean brand name of Samsung handsets, and putting Samsung smartphones on the global leader board. 
Shin said his wife, using a Galaxy S2, would often borrow his Galaxy Note, citing that his kids were unhappy with small screens. He added that those who lived in bigger apartments tend to experience uneasiness in smaller apartments, hinting that the advent of the Galaxy Note is sure to lead the trend toward making smartphones bigger.
Shin, taking the helm in business areas ranging from the mobile division to cameras, PCs, and telecommunications equipment, said his company has a “long way to go” to be on par with Apple.
President Shin himself watched Apple’s unveiling of the iPhone in January 2007 and recalled the moment, saying that Apple was a competitor prepared for the race and that it conquered the global smartphone market with its powerful Mac OS hardware fitted with the “iTunes” software. He stressed that Apple’s software power is a driving force behind its success story.
He said, “Major telecommunications players such as Nortel and Motorola have disappeared in the mists of history, but Samsung Electronics will survive thanks to Galaxy, based on Android, and our ‘fast follower’ strategy.’ 
Samsung’s strategy of making products tailored to meet customers’ diverse demands has paid off. It represents a sharp contrast with RIM, the maker of the BlackBerry brand, and one-time leader Nokia’s strategy of sticking with their respective technologies, the QWERTY keyboard, and operating system.
Shin recalled the hard times Samsung Electronics’ mobile business division experienced in 2008 shortly after taking helm at the division, which lacked an understanding of smartphones and operating systems. Samsung Electronics has developed its own OS, dubbed “Bada,” but makes the most of the global mobile platform, Android.
For its part, Samsung Electronics has been firing on all cylinders to boost software competitiveness after establishing the Media Solution Center in June 2008.
In particular, Apple has embraced a strategy of maximizing operating profit through mass production and the lowering of costs for outsourced parts, while Samsung Electronics has turned to the so-called “Lego strategy” to put on the market diverse product portfolios and respond to customers’ demands though supply chain management. 
President Shin has spent half his time in meeting with telecom company officials abroad. One of Samsung Electronics' strong points is its swift response to the times by optimizing its accumulated experiences in offering mobile solutions to several telecom providers. 
Samsung Electronics is on a roll thanks to these strategies. The company saw its operating profit surge from 12 percent during the whole of last year to 18.3 percent in Q1 2012. The mobile business division also saw its contribution rate in operating profit soar from 25 percent in 2010 to more than 50 percent in 2011 and 73 percent in Q1 2012. 
“The conventional wisdom of the past was, ‘if you doze off, you will die.’ The buzzword of the current times is, ‘if you drag your feet, it could lead to death,’” he said. 
Shin attributed Samsung’s success to his employees, particularly young talents whom he believes play leading roles in chasing Apple, adding that the most important thing is his employees’ positive mindset instead of the “can’ t do” attitude. 
Samsung Electronics unveiled the newest Galaxy S3 on May 2 in London, the venue of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in which Samsung Electronics is an official partner company in the mobile category, with the aim of attracting the global limelight, Shin said. 
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