Thursday, May 23, 2013

~ Android & OEMs ~

Is HTC suffering from the onslaught of cheap Android phones? Are Android OEMs having the same fate to that of PC OEMs? Yes for both the questions.

Two recent articles which highlight the problems HTC is facing - The Verge 
The Verge has learned that HTC's Chief Product Officer, Kouji Kodera, left the company last week. Kodera was responsible for HTC's overall product strategy, which makes the departure especially notable on the heels of the global launch of the make-or-break One.
It's not just Kodera. In the past three-odd months, HTC has lost a number of employees in rapid succession — most recently Jason Gordon, the company's vice president of global communications. Other fresh departures include global retail marketing manager Rebecca Rowland, director of digital marketing John Starkweather, and product strategy manager Eric Lin.
While Om Malik writes about how both, Apple & Samung have the upper hand in integrating Supply Chain in the manufacturing process.
Apple has used all the billions in the bank to lock up supplies for processors, memory chips, radios, displays and other such components at favorable prices. It has worked out long term manufacturing arrangements with the likes of Foxconn. It has its own retail outlets. While most of us try and focus on Apple’s hardware and software integration, we forget that it is software, hardware and supply chain integration that allows the company to sell 37.5 million phones in the most recent quarter. It allows the company to make phones that meet the needs of different carriers.
Samsung too is an integration beast. It owns memory chip plants. It makes its own processors. It makes displays and it owns the factories. It has the unique ability to churn out new products faster than anyone else in the consumer electronics business and thus overwhelm the market with dozens of models. Just look at the many flavors on its latest Samsung S4 device and you start to see that this is a game only for big boys.
Supply Chain Integration could be a very key factor for a Global player. However in India, which is one of the fastest growing smartphone market, has seen the rise of 2 companies - Karbon & Micromax - that offer low lost Android Smartphones. Micromax sources China for their production, like any other OEM to reduce production costs. The product features & functionality match that of Samsung. The exterior build quality looks same in both cases, PLASTICY. One can own a Micromax phone with S2 features for about 15000 INR which is 30% lesser compared to Samsung's device. The devices offered by Mircomax/Karbon might be cheap imitations of the South Korean giant, but they are selling like hot cakes in India.

If Samsung wants to retain it's growth & share in the Indian Android market then it needs to take cognizance of these companies & have a strategy. While Apple has always been late in introducing products in the Indian market. Micromax has outpaced & outsold both Apple & Samsung which is gearing up to touch the $1 Billion mark.

Additional reading: Pretty profitable parrotsFirst Mover or Fast Follower?


Bhavna said...

Are these phones ...micromax n karbon reliable?? do they last long enough?

vevck said...

Many people use Micromax phones @ work. Haven't seen anyone complain about the device as such. The only concern would is about Android OS update; do they actually support future OS release.

My experience with Samsung has been disappointing when it comes to OS updates for S2. Especially the latest update is buggy with lot of memory leaks & crashes.

Moreover, even if they serve for an year, one can always buy a new one ain't it ;)