Samsung’s ambitious plans to snag the number-three spot in the PC market by the end of next year are achievable with the help of the channel, its new UK and Ireland head has hinted.
Damien Cusick, who recently took over as general manager computing, UK and Ireland at Samsung, aims to make a splash in the B2B space with a notebook range aimed at business users.
“Samsung’s growth, particularly over the past four to five years, has been in the netbook space,” he told CRN. “We are number one in netbooks, but with notebooks we have lost market share in both the consumer and B2B space, and that is the main part of our strategy. We need to address that by transferring our dominance and strength from netbooks into notebooks.”
He played down concerns over the timing of launching a market share grab, with the weak economy and the cannibalisation of the notebook by the tablet.
“It all depends on the end user,” he said. “From a mobile you access the web and email, and the tablet provides an even better medium to do so. But there will still be a demand for computing products, particularly in roles that involve typing, and the laptop/netbook are the best products to do that.”
Cusick said the vendor operates a two-tier model, partnering with a number of distributors including Westcoast, Computer 2000, MicroPeripherals, SDG and Ingram Micro.
“We have strong partnerships with distribution in the consumer and corporate channels and interface directly with big retailers,” he added. “But we have perhaps not been so successful in engaging with key players in the IT reseller market.”
The vendor is keen to work with more resellers, and is working out its channel programme, he said. “We want a targeted approach but we first need to understand who wants to engage with us and what our plan will look like,” he added. “We want to work with more than we do today, but equally we do not want to work with everybody.”
Cusick said Samsung has an advantage over its rivals because it makes its own kit. “This means we can come to market a lot earlier and be a lot more flexible with what we bring to market. For example, we have a Chromebook launch in the next couple of weeks, and we are only able to do that because we make our own products.”
Alex Tatham, sales director at Westcoast, was confident that Samsung could achieve its aims. “Samsung has a powerful, worldwide brand and it will make sure its products keep getting better,” he said. “However, it needs to put its mobiles and tablets through the B2B channel to get that full coverage.”
Carl West, business group director of the IT panel at analyst firm Gfk said now was a good time to push for market share.
"Overall this is the probably the best time to be doing something like this. Retailers and resellers are looking for deals and if a vendor is nimble enough it could well achieve its goals."
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