Why Samsung holds the lion’s share of the smartphone market

by: David GonzalesMarch 31, 2013


Img Source: Flickr:iam_photo

Have you ever wondered how Samsung got to where it is today? A few years ago, it barely had any presence at all in the worldwide smartphone market. In fact, its very first smartphone was a huge flop. But it slowly rose to become not only one of the biggest names in the mobile industry, but also in the consumer electronics and technology industry in general. What exactly went on in the last few years that contributed to Samsung’s success?

The story of Samsung’s seemingly meteoric rise to become smartphone market king apparently began nearly 30 years ago, when Lee Kun Hee, the son of Samsung founder Lee Byung Chull, took over to become the company’s new chairman and proceeded to take on the entire world. This is according to a recently published Bloomberg Businessweek cover story that centers on the way Samsung does business and how it managed to perform moves that landed it on the number one spot in smartphones.

The story talks about a lot of things — including the possibility of a Samsung Galaxy S4 mini launch happening very soon — but perhaps the most interesting bit is the part where it is revealed that Samsung is operating with a constant sense of danger all around. Samsung mobile marketing chief DJ Lee was quoted as saying, “The chairman is saying all the time, ‘This is perpetual crisis. We are in danger. We are in jeopardy.’”

For Samsung employees, that must make things very stressful. But it should be just as worrisome for Samsung’s main competitors, because it’s a clear indication that the company is not going to slow down and rest on its laurels any time soon.

To read the rest of the insightful cover story on Samsung and its current reign in the smartphone market, check out the source link posted below.

  • Doesn’t change the fact their phones are made out of cheap looking plastic and are slippery as hell

    • SECRET

      really… please… don’t judge a book by its cover… if it is so ugly in the outside does that mean that the inside is not good at all!? That’s why there are so many racists in this world!

      • David Brymer

        Omg did you really just write that, that has 2 be 1 of the weirdest comments I’ve ever seen. Damir just pointed out Wat 99 % of people think about the samsung phones especially the galaxy range. Even die hards will admit it’s ugly cheap and once u hold it, its worse than u even thought. With samsung its all about wats inside. Or are u just 1 of these clowns who CAN’T let any1 say anything bad about samsung. SHOCKING

        • Just saying I think the galaxy range is beautiful and has a premium build where’s phones like iPhone and htc one have a very boring and ugly buil so not every thinks samsung phones are made of cheap plastic

          • David Brymer

            I think u need help mate :-P do u think the sgs4 win any awards 4 its looks haha I couldn’t even txt that without laughing, I’d put my house on htc one winning most of em if not em all.

        • Fact

          In my opinion it’s he who has its on taste. As for me I like the iphone simple and the camera pictures I love it. I can careless how it looks or how advance the phone is cus in the end the phone does the job what I NEEDED. Text, talk, games, Internet and so on. And when I get tired of this one ill swicth to a newer version.

        • Exactly, I never said the phones are bad, in fact the opposite but I just wouldn’t buy it because of the build quality. If I pay 600€ or more for a smartphone it should at least feel like it, but it’s far away from that. But I won’t buy the beautiful well crafted HTC one either because it has some other imo annoying things I just can’t get around

        • Who the f… Cares if i it is plastic or aluminum on the outside… Doesn’t matter… Even with those f…ers jerkin of from holding an IPhone… Any one having any smartphone has protective cover so u don’t see Shit what it’s made of… Even plastic and slippery note 2 is great it case. It matters what’s under the hood… And Samsung beats them all.

      • Lonestar

        How in the heck from a phone combo ended up in a racist?? And that’s how we have idiots in this world that swicth to other combos not relating to the phones

        • Nicolo’ Brentan

          Wow man you got a DOUBLE COMBO! That’s eiGhT-tWelvE-thousand points!

          …just messing, maybe you meant “convo”?

    • Odhiambo Ombewa

      Samsung’s cheap plastic sells! Why?

    • Butao. soweto RSA.

      Sour grapes. Reality. Samsung is the best, whatever material.

      • David Brymer

        Sour grapes Wat 4……Having an opinion. This is the reason why if u don’t like samsung u hate em coz there fans think there always right and how dare…….I SAY HOW DARE WE NON SAMSUNG BUM LICKERS HAVE AN OPINION.

    • monkeypox69

      What are impact-resistant helmets made out of? Glass and aluminum – or plastic?

      • Mihir

        Actually depends on the quality. Cheap ones use plastic, while high-end helmets use a complex mix of different elements. Again good helmets have many layers too.

        So please compare oranges to oranges.

      • Jusephe

        What are ping pong balls made off ? Cheap plastics or a metal ? They are impact resistant or not ?
        Does that mean that plastic is impact resistant or steel ball is not impact resistant ?
        Yeah you can off course tell that microwaves- metal (not resistant) buildings- concrete, steel (not resistant) but samsung refrigerators (plastic) are totally impact resistant.

        Totally off the phones.

        • MissCanada

          Who cares. Fighting over phones? I never read this stuff, nevermind post…but this I can’t help. I have the Galaxy SIII. Its in an Otterbox. I can drop it, heck- throw it against the wall. It won’t break, works great, and is a fun phone. All phones have a breaking point.
          We are all different people, hence have differing opinions and likes. It would be nice to use this time on things in life that actually matter. Or maybe you guys should meet out after school at the bike racks. I don’t know if this is boring or pathetic.

      • Hands

        I can careless if they are plastic or glass or metal in the end all phones break one way or another. Better yet in the long run the phones start acting funny or outdated by then in 1 year or 2 years I will have replace it with a new contract an a new phone.

    • Ummm I own nexus 4 which is built by ˝premium˝ glass and is slippery as hell so it doesnt matter.

  • RarestName

    It’s simple. Following the market and extreme aggressive marketing.

    • arbalest

      and listen to consumer needs.

      lessons from other company that always ignore consumer voice…

  • newguyy22

    The Galaxy S4 is a beautiful phone, in and out whether you like it or not, and it will sell train loads

    • David Brymer

      Hahahaha just proves my point :)

  • Mikesphoneandtab

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, however I have a theory. You have intrinsic and extrinsic beauty. The Galaxy series has an organic natural looking form that is widely looked upon as beautiful wherever you go in the world. A water drop is intrinsically beautiful. There is extrinsic beauty in the HTC one because for many, the thought of “valuable metals” based in a man made value system and a more “modern” minimalist, straight edge design is socially appealing. Frankly I like the curves of the S4. It’s very attractive, the HTC could be made of gold but it wouldn’t change anything in my mind.

    • David Brymer

      Mate just u cuddle ur bf instead of talking about how beautiful a water drop is. And fyi I live in ballast where it always rains…… NOT BEAUTIFUL AT ALL :)

      • Kassim

        Having read many of your posts from this page, is it seriously so difficult to hold a healthy/heated discussion without using offensive language, SHOUTING or calling people “gay”?

        However many valid points you may make, it’s a little childish to resort to those sorts of tactics, mate. It makes you look desperate to get noticed for your ‘funny replies’ or something. Just saying…

        • anon

          samsheeps do a witch hunt every time someone badmouths samsung, so i dont blame people going a bit overboard lately

          • Kassim

            So, acting the same or worse than said “samsheeps” is acceptable just because of the ‘he started it!’ mentality?!

            I’ll go back to my main point: imho, it’s childish to act in that way – there’s no need to stoop to their level, however strongly the person believes in their own point of view.

        • David Brymer

          im taking the piss outa people just the same way they take the piss outa me, im sure no1 is offended and if they are then they need to lighten up, i dont abuse people or anything like that, i even put smiley faces. and im not desperate to get noticed i dont even have a pic uploaded for people to see me, and on ur funny replies comment ….i enjoy funny 1s from other people so i try and get a laugh going myself, everything doesn’t have 2 be so serious.

        • th3d

          But he is right, that was a very gay post. Thats the kind of language i see in the status updates of my gay FB friends, its ok to make fun of it, doesnt mean we hate gays.

          • David Brymer

            good man, sum sense at last.

    • Jusephe

      Water drops and pebbles maybe are beautiful, but not in function of a phone. Mainly phones with rectangle screen.

      • joseph pastor

        yes they are LOLL

        • PuzzledObserver

          Can you please upload your wallpaper somewhere? Thanks in advance

        • Danny Chi-town

          hey Joseph how’s it going I’m a galaxy s3 holder and I love it. I was just wondering if you could tell me how to get on my home screen like you have yours how to put the rent the Gas bill due, pay Day and all that on the home screen like you have yours? I’d appreciate the help Thanks

      • joseph pastor

        yes they are LOLL

  • My gramps always used to say.. There can never be “the perfect wife”. Because if she is the prettiest, you will always be left feeling scared she might leave you, no matter how much she loves you. An if she is the most dutiful in the world, you will always be left wanting for her to be a little more pretty!

    Truth is the same about phones these days – you can’t have looks and power at the same time! If I compromise for power I would like to feel better and poke at the one which is beautiful and vice versa! It is a universal fact! The sooner we come to terms with it the better!
    But would we be still humans then?? See the inherent flaw!!!

    • David Brymer


    • Weird combos lol

      Yup I agree same same like cars u want a V8 SUV STRONG and ugly lol or a Camry V4 beutifull sporty but no power lol

    • charmy

      +1 for a good advice ^^

      but I’ll never replace my wife with any smartphone, lol :D

  • will

    Its a trusted brand. . Phones are ugly but tec is good. But i do honestly prefer a good looking phone with decent tec. And sturdy quality. In one word ( nokia).

  • flobster

    Just produce more phones

  • magnifico17

    it is an opportunity of time and chance.samsung took off from where nokia started resting on laurels.

  • claudia

    I have a Note 2 and to be honest I love how it looks and how it feels in my hand(s) :-)…doesn’t feel cheap at all. Actually the Xperia Z felt like cheaper material even though it’s glass….I haven’t touched the htc one yet but I admit it really looks like a great phone and it will be a good competition this year, and it’s good news 4 everyone :-)

  • love smg

    It makes me laugh when people say it’s plastic. It’s a phone not a drill or made to fix your roof its made to call the roofer


    Because they spend more than coca cola on advertising.

  • Ivan Budiutama

    I don’t know how things going outside my country, but in my country, obviously three simple things: Marketing, Distribution and Service Center

    Marketing: How do I start, even before the phone was released, they already got billboard ad everywhere in every big cities in Indonesia, not to mentioned a nicely planned launching date that open for public in a well known places, in which the demo units are available. Despite sometimes an awful choice of Sales Members that didn’t even know the differences between Android, iOS or Windows phone, they held the event in many critical locations, thus drawing a lot of attention. Not to mention a very nice bonus or cash back during launching event.

    Distribution: Does anyone here just recently got their LG Optimus G after almost 6 months it was announced? Samsung do a very nice job in releasing their handsets here. I mean, the day you guys getting your units, so did my country people. Optimus G can be a great threat for S3, but dull distribution drive them lost a large market share. Due to the release of GSN2 and everyone now waiting for S4 because they know Samsung never fail the release date world wide! o Btw, even HTC Butterfly is nowhere to see here.

    Service Center: I like Sony Ericsson, before the day of Android I always used SE, however, their Service Center can be a pain in the a**, the duration they took to fix simple problems or replacing spare parts for keypad. Samsung, in the other hand, easily replace your unit with new OOB, in case the problem happened during guarantee period. Believe me, I haven’t found any single OEM with a very high dedication on the Customer Service, I must say, they still have the best Service Center in my country currently.

  • IonyxIphone 5

    My personal opion leaves me to feel that both samsung and android are not that great. I am apple biased but have a galaxy tab and like android for tablets. The galaxy s3 has not sold more than iphones. The galaxy s3 is much slower and has bugs lots of them. More than ios. The galaxy s3 can do alot that a stock iphone can’t but a jailbroken iphone can do all those things with the exception if some hard ware things. Like NFC. I wouldn’t recommend rooting samsung products becuase the likey hood of a hard brick is very high. I think that the galaxy s4 though a minor improvement to the s3 will not sell as well as the s3. All those people are locked down in contracts now. No one is going to spend the extra cash to buy it off contract. So with that being said it will sell but not as well.

  • ryq24

    Copy the competitor and sell it cheaper but good quality. Then spend billions on marketing. Having said that, being sued by apple was a blessing in disguise for Samsung. They got free publicity, they also continue to maintain micro sd card slot and removable battery so as not to be accuse of copying too much of iPhone

  • gilbs72

    Fact: More people put their money on this design – used in practically ALL of Samsung’s Galaxy line – than all of the armchair critics combined. So a few noisy people are pitting their opinion against millions.

  • AvoidDroid

    Seriously…are you that Duh! The reason For Samsung’s meteoric rise is simple: Cheap phones sold by anyone who wants to sell them. The only reason I use one of their phones is that I cannot afford an iPhone. Lots of people make that choice, not because they really want a Samsung, but due to budget considerations.

  • G#956

    Your all acting like a bunch of clowns, fawning over technology. so sad.

  • nishantsirohi123

    unfortunately americans think like they are the only market in the entire world.(why they think that apple is number one)

    Samsung has a very strong presence in the developing markets

    even their feature phones are great quality devices.

    great sound, battery, cameras and even the cheapest device has 3.5 mm headphone jack and micro sd slot

    They have provided software updates even to non flagship devices, and the flagships s2 and note-1 are still getting updates

    simple example – whats common with LG optimus 2x , motorla photon 4g , T-mobile G2x , motorola sprint ….. and the samsung galaxy R….they had the nVidia Tegra2 processor

    except the samsung all devices were flagships and yet none got ICS update from the manufacturer

    the samsung galaxy R was not a flagship, in fact it was quickly pulled from the market due to being too close to the galaxy s2 in size and specs. yet it got the ICS update from samsung

    Even now samsung has launched the REX devices in India, while companies like Sony have moved away from feature phoneswhich are touted as affordable smart feature phones. they are all less than 100$ in price (unlocked)

    users in the developing markets have a very strong brand following, the feature phones and entry level devices may not have the margins but they have the numbers. anyone who had used a samsung feature phone would feel comfortable in moving to a samsung only. As Most devices are sold unlocked
    in these markets distribution and service support are equally essential

    At least in India these are the strengths of samsung

    it has great distribution and average service
    compared to LG – poor distribution and excellent service
    Sony- average distrubtion and poor service
    HTC- non existent distribution outside metro cities and average service

  • whoknowswhereor

    Samsung always had the best phones even back in the 90s

  • glenninboston

    Samsung became king by manufacturing Apple’s devices, from the screens to the chips, they were able to glean key insights into the market, and then leapfrog ahead – they make great products, but the 30 year process is nothing but marketing…

  • Find a product Samsung think is going to be a hit, copy it shamelessly and sell buckets at a lower price. Doesn’t matter if its Rumba cleaning robot or iPhone

  • Nex

    Because they always offered removable batteries, SD cards and consistent update support. Do I need to say more?

    Outside of Apple users and elitist tech sites nobody really gives a crap about build quality or how precise the engineering used in the body. They are far more concerned how their new phone will last can through their 2 year contract.