Samsung hauls in chiefs for 'CRISIS awareness' confab – report
Are sales of the Galaxy S4 as bad as rumors suggest?
Reports have surfaced that Samsung is calling together 600 of its global managerial staff for a "Crisis Awareness" meeting to be held in mid-December.
According to an article by ZDNet Korea on Wednesday, the gathering will be divided into two groups, one being Sammy's display and Device Solutions units, the other being a confab of its IT/mobile, consumer electronics, and home appliance divisions.
There have been a flurry of reports that sales of Samsung's flagship Galaxy S4 smartphone have fallen behind expectations – a situation that one company staffer identified as a "crisis" when speaking with Korea's ETNews a few months back.
Late last month, however, Samsung CEO J.K. Shin told the Korean-language inews24.com (Google Translate) that over 40 million Galaxy S4 handsets had shipped – not sold, mind you, shipped – since it was released in late April.
In any case, firm numbers of actual sales of the Galaxy S4 are elusive – but we find it hard to imagine that sales are so bad that they have precipitated a crisis, not with Samsung and Apple together sharing 109 per cent of the feature phone and smartphone market value in the most recent quarter, a number that exceeds 100 because other manufacturers lost money during that period.
Perhaps the "Crisis Awareness" meeting is merely a "fire up the troops" tactic being employed by Samsung chairman Lee Kun-hee. A report this July in the GlobalPost noted that Lee "insists that his company remain in a state of perpetual shake-up" so that it doesn't become complacent.
We certainly doubt whether poor sales of the Galaxy Gear smart watch could be considered a crisis. Nor could the $290m in damages that a US judge ordered Sammy fork over to Apple last week to settle their patent dispute – that's chickenfeed to a company worth over $200bn.
One final "perhaps" comes to mind. For all we know, perhaps the Korean term for "crisis" – which Google Translate helped us narrow down to 위기 – has a milder connotation than running around as if one's hair were on fire.