Samsung’s #1 priority for 2012: beat Apple

By , Apr 7, 2014

Samsung Beat Apple memo

A treasure trove of internal documents have been leaking out of Apple’s second California trial against the Galaxy maker Samsung.

Not only has the confidential material given us an unprecedented look into the firm’s development process for the iPhone and Steve Jobs’s wish list for the Apple TV (apps, something called ‘magic wand’ and more), it’s also provided us with valuable insight into Apple’s marketing survey explaining why the iPhone’s growth has been slowing and another internal research highlighting the most often requested features by early iPhone 5 adopters.

And now, a new set of internal Samsung documents proves the South Korean conglomerate has been pretty much obsessed with crushing Apple in the marketplace, so much so that it devoted all of its energies throughout 2012 to one goal: beating Apple.

The presentation entitled ’2011 Summary & Lessons Learned / 2012 Business Forecast’ made it clear to Samsung’s managers that beating Apple was their #1 priority for 2012. “Everything must be in context of beating Apple,” reads the memo.

The document offers an insight into Samsung’s thought process, marketing tactics and how it went about containing the iPhone threat by pouring billions into advertising, playing ball with carriers and carpet-bombing the market with countless variants of devices with different screen sizes and price points…

“Threat from Apple is extremely real and urgent,” note the slides.

The confidential docs reveal Samsung expected the iPhone 5 to come out in the summer of 2012, featuring “LTE, social networking, cloud integration, CE integration, improved SIRI.” Instead, Apple released the handset on September 21, 2012 in the United States and in a few key markets globally.

In projecting the iPhone sales for the calendar year 2012, Samsung grossly underestimated market demand for the iconic smartphone, predicting Apple would sell “>40M units”. In reality, Apple reported selling 150 million handsets during its fiscal 2013 following the iPhone 5’s debut (its fiscal 2013 ended in October 2012).

In order to curb the iPhone threat, Samsung proposed greatly increasing Galaxy brand activities by doubling down on advertising, increasing marketing investment to “maintain retail positioning on premium handsets,” branding more of its handsets Galaxy and pulling consumers away from Apple Stores.

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“Customers walk into stores asking for Samsung,” reads the slide. “Understand why consumers buy Apple and develop countermeasures by carrier/retailer.”

Indeed, Samsung did create Galaxy talking points to consistently criticize the iPhone’s lack of a bigger screen and its other perceived weaknesses. Samsung’s arguments were communicated to the world through the firm’s ‘It Doesn’t Take a Genius’ and ‘The Next Big Thing’ campaigns and were given to sales people to sway consumers into getting a Samsung.

I’m not surprised Samsung was obsessed with Apple. This being a cut-throat business, it certainly pays to keep tabs on what the competition is doing. The iPhone is the most popular smartphone in the world and Samsung was right to focus on the device, though its marketing and sales tactics may have been cheap and unfair.

Besides, Koreans are generally regarded as methodically persistent and Samsung is perhaps the most ambitious conglomerate in the world. Being #2 just doesn’t cut it for them: the firm wants to be first and own every market it participates in.

By the way, check out how much cleaner Apple’s internal presentations are (left) compared to Samsung’s (right).

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Samsung also worked closely with carriers to deflect the iPhone threat, requesting carrier support for about 20 percent of its roadmap, with the remaining 80 percent of roadmap purposefully dedicated to supporting carrier initiatives.

In other words, Samsung made sure to play ball with carriers by creating devices to their liking (“joint projects for key carrier initiatives”, “low cost handsets to address entry tier”, “carrier exclusive offerings” and so forth).

This must have been music to carriers’ ears.

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Apple is famously difficult to work with and is the only handset maker that can say ‘no’ to carriers and own the entire user experience.

Both Apple’s internal research and sales projections (depicted above) reveal the company was aware it didn’t have what early iPhone 5 adopters wanted most – that is, a sub-$300 iPhone with a larger screen. The rumor-mill is adamant that the firm will release two larger-screened iPhones this year to accelerate growth.

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  • http://mezcudi.tumblr.com/ Mezcudi

    If this is real, I would love to work with them. I can’t even imagine how the meetings go.
    “listen here you maggots we need to beat Apple, end of story.” lol

    • Willie

      “lets just release something, i dont care what it is, just release a phone with everything we can think off”

      • CollegiateLad

        Lol

    • Jeffrey

      more like: ching chang chong cheng chung

      • Guest

        That’s more Chinese. BTW, your precious Dutch sounds like you are talking with a mouth full of marbles.

      • Jeffrey

        hahah well a lot of languages besides your own sounds like shit so i don’t give a damn if anyone thinks a language is shitty, the point of a language is to communicate

      • Carlos Gomes

        Hmm… Am I the only one attracted to the way most foreign languages sound?

      • Jeffrey

        i’m not, only english and spanish:/ russian, chinese, arabic, german etc. all sound like shit

      • Technocrz!

        by saying that you sound like shit, you don’t understand any language doesn’t mean that the language is shit.

      • Jeffrey

        I know, i didnt say they WERE shit, i only said they sound like shit. Also, i can speak german

      • Andy

        That’s not even Chinese, more like how Vietnamese sounds.

      • :/

        Is there really a need for this racist shit? You racists always jump at any opportunity to spew your crap. Just shutup.

      • Jeffrey

        lolol i’m just joking man calm down, it’s not racist, i can laugh at a joke being made of my language and so should you

      • SimonReidy

        Agreed. Notice how racists never know (or acknowledge) they are being racist? Often because their comments are presented as a lame stereotypical joke.

      • h4nd0fg0d

        Lmmfao! Apropos of everything.

      • Jeffrey

        hahah:P

      • h4nd0fg0d

        Great stuff, made my day.

      • Jeffrey

        hahahah thanks:)

    • DogeCoin

      in a TF2 soldiers voice?

  • Bieberkinz

    Why are we at 2012?

    • http://www.idownloadblog.com/author/dujkan Christian Zibreg

      Because this is what the leaked set of documents reference

      • Hyr3m

        I don’t think you fully understand the concept of “leak” ^^

  • Rafael Castillo

    Apple’s graphics are nicer. Samsung’s document looks like something a student taking a technical writing class made at the last minute.

    • BozzyB

      Perhaps Apple should have put more effort in devices than presentations ;)

  • Merman123

    Wow. This is much more embarrassing than Apple’s leaked snaps. It kind of confirms how desperate they are. Just like it shows in their commercials bashing Apple left and right.

    • BozzyB

      Every companies aim is to beat the competitor. Or do you think Apple thinks different? So nothing special…

  • fernando

    Samsung is the true apple fanboy, they know more about apple than apple itself.

  • Ale

    Haha

  • ✪ aidan harris ✪

    “By the way, check out how much cleaner Apple’s internal presentations are (left) compared to Samsung’s (right).”

    This is because Apple probably designed their presentation in KeyNote where as Samsung probably used a useless MS PowerPoint template…

  • Carlos Gomes

    I want this and I think we all should.
    The harder Samsung hits Apple, the harder Apple will have to hit back and so on.

    This is a very good thing for us consumers. For example, if it wasn’t for Android phones, probably we wouldn’t even have the so claimed iPhone 6 larger display.

    The worse case scenario Samsung would beat Apple to death and I would get their nice gadgets.

    • Rowan09

      Apple’s model will always allow competition. Apple could have flood the market with the iPhone on all carriers and make it almost impossible for Android to take off.

      • Hyr3m

        wishful thinking much ?

      • Rowan09

        It’s not wishful thinking, it’s factual. Apple’s strategy is never to be the biggest by flooding the market.

      • Hyr3m

        I know it isn’t Apple’s strategy… but that doesn’t mean that they could have done it if they wanted to. That’s just conjecture…

  • Alain Vasquez

    is there a way to downgrade from ios 7.1 to ios 7.0.6?

    • Rowan09

      No

    • Technocrz!

      yes

  • Rowan09

    Apple won’t win and here’s why. If Apple release a $200-$300 phone customers for the most part will want all the same features as the premium model. It’s no surprise Samsung is obsessed with Apple because it’s 2014 and they are still making commercials taking jabs at Apple directly. Samsung is big enough now to just make a commercial showing the features available on their devices.

  • David Gitman

    apple will always win

  • Martynet

    typical samsung… wasting money and energy to beat someone else, instead of trying to create better products. I was on the tram this morning and the girl beside me had samsung galaxy S4 and it was lagging so much I felt sorry for her. She was trying to do something very quickly and the phone was always like 2-3 seconds behind :D. Wish I had enough money so I could give people like that free iPhone :)

    • Technocrz!

      although i don’t like samsung, but what you said sounds like a story.

  • chris125

    Not surprising. Why wouldn’t you as a huge company want to beat the top dog? Not seeing why this is so strange

  • Fabio Rodrigues

    so, 2012 was another fail for samsung :P

    • Kyle Duguay

      By that you mean every year?

      • Fabio Rodrigues

        no, I meant as one more fail in general cause they did not achieved exactly what they wanted

  • http://kevpat.com/ Kevin Paterson

    “carpet-bombing the market with countless variants of devices with different screen sizes and price points”

    That was a brilliant line. Props to you Christian!

  • Hyr3m

    How is all of this of any relevance in a patent infringement trial ?

    Technology is fairly straightforward… it’s either infringement or it isn’t. They need to look at the way the thing works; none of all of these things that have been released is relevant… They just want to show Samsung in a “copy-cat” light so the jury goes “yeah they’re copying stuff” instead of looking into the key aspects of each patent…

    • Rowan09

      You really believe Samsung didn’t copy Apple? While I don’t know if it warrants litigation, they definitely copied Apple. Samsung is now the polar opposite to Apple and that’s why I laugh when people call Apple fans sheep and own a Samsumg device. I remember when I saw my friend’s Galaxy S and thought it looked like the iPhone (screen setup). We all know Android infringes on Microsoft’s patents and they receive a royalty for it, so it’s possible they did infringe on some of Apple’s patents as well. If you look at the S2 the charger is a square box like the iPhone but black and the new headphones for Samsung devices are white like the iPhone. It made financial sense to copy Apple because even if they lose $2 billion, they are now a household name and made billions more. As I stated earlier, I’m not lawyer but they did copy Apple.

      • Hyr3m

        The lawsuit is fairly straightforward.
        This device infringes on this patent, that one on that patent, that other patent etc…
        Compare the infringement claim with the patent and the potentially infringing product (hardware, software, protocols, whatnots) and make an informed decision on whether there is infringement or not. Repeat with next patent until no infringement claim left unturned.
        No need to pull out old memos about strategic meetings and whatnot… even if there is a strong desire to “copy”, they can do it to some extent without infringing so even the expressed desire to copy or to fight against this or that company it is completely and utterly irrelevant…

        Android doesn’t infringe on Microsoft’s patents if M$ gets royalty for it; When you pay for it it’s called licencing while infringement implies violation of a law or a right.

        Seriously though, chargers all look the same, the main constraint is the power plug… Anyone making an infringement claim about a plain old stupid power plug shape should go to the guillotine because they obviously don’t need that thing sitting on their neck.

        White headphones ? Seriously ? So if I make green headphones tomorrow then nobody will ever have to right to make green headphones ever again ? What about black ones then ? Sh*t who made those first ? 99% of headphones are black… so what ?

      • Rowan09

        Android did infridge on Microsofts patents and instead of going to court they paid Mircosoft and they now license the tech to them Google, Acer, Samsung, etc. You’re not getting it. When people see white headphones they associate it with the iPhone and by Samsung using white they are saying we are like and better than them. Just like Google has a monopoly on the mind for search (Google it), even when using another search engine, Samsung is using familiarity to get people to switch. The iPhone is the most popular phone in the world and they are capitalizing on it. Even if they lose the case, they win because they are relevant when they weren’t a couple of years ago. I didn’t look into the patent case and I don’t care to either, but Samsung copied Apple. Before the Galaxy series no one cared about Samsung and now they are largest cellphone manufacturer.

      • Hyr3m

        I’m not arguing about Samsung copying Apple or not. It’s obvious they copied some stuff just like the it’s true the other way around… All of what you said is utterly irrelevant in a patent infringement litigation.

        It’s either patent infringement or it’s not and no memo will (or should) ever have any impact on that (unless it proves this or that company thought of it before the other one did/patented it).

        Saying “they want to copy” or even “they said they want to copy” or even “they wrote they will copy” means jacksh*t. The patents are either infringed upon or they aren’t… the company’s culture or methods or wishful thinking are completely irrelevant.

  • Chuck Finley

    Wow Christian, resorting to national stereotyping to get your fanboyism across.

    There’s a new low.