AMITIAE - Wednesday 3 July 2013

Cassandra: Smartphone Contradictions from Korea

apple and chopsticks


By Graham K. Rogers


A few items of news have come from the direction of South on the last day or so. It may be me, but there seems to be some disconnect here. Reading each one in isolation makes sense in terms of news, if one can trust anything coming from the land of Samsung, when Apple is involved, but in a joint context, there are (I don't know) . . . questions.

  • The first was a big whoopee from the direction of Samsung itself, who are reported by the Yonhap News Agency, as covered by Don Reisinger - and several other online sources - as having sold 20 million Galaxy S4 devices. A justifiable round of applause here, except that there is a slight downer on that figure as in a small comment in parentheses, Reisinger slips in that "that's global channel sales, not sales to consumers." Out of the door but not into the hands of the customers.

    I decided to try a comparison as I seem to remember that the iPhone figures, which are sales to consumers, were higher. A number of sites had information concerning the iPhone, including a report from David Goldman on CNN Money (dated 23 January) that looks at total sales of the device since it went on sale in 2007. Goldman however is disappointed with the 48 million sold in the quarter (that works out to an average of 16 million a month) as profits may have been hit, proving that Wall Street can never be pleased.

    We will have to wait until 23 of July to see what the next set of figures bring as that is when Apple will release its Q3 results.

  • Also carrying the information about the Samsung sales (or shipments) was Patently Apple although the main point of the article was that Yonhap News Agency (again) had reported that "a new survey has shown that more than a third of current iPhone users in Korea won't be buying another iPhone".

    If Samsung had their way, the iPhone would not be sold in Korea. Or anywhere else for that matter; but then Apple is heading down the same street regarding Samsung in the USA. Only the EU seems to be approaching any form of sanity by pointing out to Samsung (with penalties threatened) that FRAND means fair reasonable and non-discriminatory to all who need to use the chips, including Apple. It is not FRANDEA: excluding Apple.

  • So with the wonderful sales (or shipments) and one-third of iPhone users in the country ready to jump ship, presumably back into the welcoming arms of Samsung (and Android), why is it that another site in Korea is reporting that Apple has a higher satisfaction rating from customers there than Samsung? 52% versus 50% with LG at 46%. Ben Lovejoy on 9to5Mac reports this which was sourced from a translation that Jim Dalrymple found from the Korean Naver site.

The moral here may be to examine the original source for each story.

Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand where he is also Assistant Dean. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs.



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