2020 Tokyo Olympics Delay Deals Setback to Samsung’s Plans to Win Over Japan Market

For Samsung Electronics, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics have been heading to be its springboard to achieve a very long-held objective – generating significant inroads into Japan’s valuable smartphone marketplace in which Apple dominates.

But immediately after the Games have been postponed to 2021 because of to the coronavirus pandemic, the very long-time sponsor’s internet marketing programs – centred on its new Galaxy S20 smartphone now out much too early – have gone awry.

The hold off may well also mean the South Korean tech big has dropped a important window of prospect. It experienced been envisioned to tout its 5G capability in its Olympics adverts, aiming to bring in a populace excited to observe the Games with slicing-edge technology right before Apple experienced a 5G merchandise on the marketplace.

“Samsung was keen to use the Olympics prospect to get it suitable in Japan. In that feeling, it really is a negative problem,” a human being common with Samsung’s operations informed Reuters, noting that Samsung and other sponsors would have to regulate programs.

“A whole lot of the momentum for smartphone desire in the lead-up to the Olympics will also be gone,” explained the human being, who was not authorised to discuss on the make any difference and declined to be discovered.

Previous Samsung officials and analysts explained Samsung will most likely go again to the drawing board to endorse a new flagship phone because of out following calendar year.

When asked about the impact of the Olympics postponement on its method for the Japan marketplace, Samsung declined to comment, indicating only it would go on to deliver innovative technology for Japanese clients irrespective of when the Games commence.

Samsung may well be the world’s No. 1 smartphone maker by quantity but it has just a portion of the Japanese marketplace.

In contrast, Apple which very first began advertising the Apple iphone in Japan in 2008, gained share thanks to an intense promoting and pricing marketing campaign from SoftBank – at the time its sole distributor. Japan has considering the fact that become a loyal top quality marketplace and crucial revenue centre for the U.S. agency.

Apple at the moment commands fifty three percent of the Japanese marketplace, Sharp has 12 percent and Sony has seven p.c, according to Counterpoint Analysis. Samsung, which has dropped ground considering the fact that 2013, has four p.c.

Harajuku hopes
Indicative of Samsung’s struggles was its 2015 final decision to drop its title from smartphones marketed in Japan and just go with Galaxy branding – the only marketplace in which it does so. It truly is a shift some analysts attribute to historical tensions that usually flare up between South Korea and its neighbour.

“I think they did so because of to the growing quantity of Japanese individuals who consider political elements into account in their purchase things to consider,” explained Shengtao Jin, a investigation analyst at Canalys.

In its run at Apple’s stronghold, Samsung experienced laid the groundwork for a concerted marketing campaign.

In March past calendar year, it opened the world’s major Galaxy store in Harajuku, Tokyo’s common purchasing district for youth trend and pop culture. Boasting eight floors, the glitzy developing has an exterior embellished with more than 1,000 smartphones. Samsung’s cell and network division main Koh Dong-jin, officials from the Global Olympic Committee and Tokyo 2020 organisers attended the opening ceremony to mark five hundred times right up until the Games.

Then in Might, Samsung’s heir and de facto head, Jay. Y Lee travelled to Japan, meeting with executives from cell carriers NTT DoCoMo Inc and KDDI Corp to focus on 5G cooperation.

DoCoMo and SoftBank Corp, the domestic telecom arm of SoftBank Group, are at the moment rolling out 5G expert services. But the hold off of the Games means 5G is not envisioned to achieve momentum right up until Apple launches a 5G-capable Apple iphone, analysts explained.

That phone is envisioned to get there by conclude-2020, nevertheless some media stories have explained it may well be delayed by the pandemic.

“Samsung could have taken an early lead in 5G but the Games postponement is a setback,” explained Jeong Ok-hyun, a previous LG cell executive and a professor at Sogang College in Seoul.

“The virus could also lead to delays in the enhancement of the 5G marketplace, which will be a reduction to Apple.”

For the time remaining, it continues to be to be seen if Samsung will proceed with programs to promote a particular Olympics version Galaxy S20 phone with 5G capability. The phone to be marketed by DoCoMo was because of to be launched in June and Samsung began taking pre-orders this thirty day period.

Requested if the system is on track, Samsung explained aspects will be determined immediately after discussions with the IOC and DoCoMo.

© Thomson Reuters 2020