Samsung shareholders: why can't you be more like Apple?

Samsung shareholders: why can't you be more like Apple?
The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra and Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max

Eyebrows are raised whenever Samsung and Apple are mentioned in the same sentence. All hell breaks loose if anybody dares to compare the two companies directly. But it turns out Samsung’s own shareholders aren’t afraid of the potential backlash from some of the world’s most toxic fans.

Samsung's lack of brand identity was criticized 


During the 51st Samsung Electronics annual shareholders meeting at the Suwon Convention Center in South Korea this morning, Samsung was grilled by some of its most important shareholders. Many of the toughest questions were aimed at the mobile division. 

One of the shareholders revealed that their child, a first-grader, wanted to purchase an iPhone like so many other children across the globe. They instead bought the child a Galaxy phone because they’re a shareholder, but wanted to know how Samsung plans to improve its brand identity.

The president of Samsung’s mobile division, DJ Koh, responded by admitting the company must learn what it can from competitors in this area. Unfortunately, neither short or long-term plans were divulged. 

A different investor criticized the lack of AirPods Pro competitors at the moment. They also asked when the South Korean giant plans on bringing active noise cancelation to the Galaxy Buds lineup, to which DJ Koh replied that it’s a matter of carefully deciding when and which new features should be introduced to improve products.

Samsung thinks it can do better in China


One other area where Apple is performing much better than Samsung from a shareholder’s perspective right now is China. That led to quite a bit of criticism this morning because the South Korean brand still accounts for only 1% of the lucrative market, down from a double-digit share in the early 2010s. 

DJ Koh said Samsung’s market share in the Chinese smartphone segment right now is “very heartbreaking” but he is nevertheless confident of a turnaround. The focus last year was reorganizing operations to improve distribution and profitability, and DJ Koh believes these will deliver results.

A specific timeline wasn’t provided but the true impact is now unlikely to be felt until the second half of 2020. That’s primarily because the recent coronavirus pandemic has led to a huge drop in demand, although things are slowly recuperating.

The Exynos 990 in the Galaxy S20 was attacked


The final investor highlighted in today’s report voiced concerns raised by thousands of fans in regards to the Galaxy S20 chipset. Specifically, the decision to use the Snapdragon 865 in the United States and South Korea, and the weaker Exynos 990 in Europe and other international markets.

DJ Koh defended the decision, saying it doesn’t just push Exynos chipset because they’re made by Samsung and instead makes the decision based on “competitive logic.” Although many would argue that the Galaxy S20 devices are less competitive in Europe than elsewhere. 

Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Kim Ki-Nam reportedly had an “expressionless” look on his face when the above question was asked, suggesting it may be a sore subject for the company. 

Additionally, when asked about how Samsung plans to improve Exynos performance, there was no response.

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