Samsung’s UK mobile boss Conor Pierce (pictured) has told Mobile that he wants Samsung to ‘re-ignite the smartphone market’.
In an exclusive interview at Mobile World Congress the Korean manufacturer’s new UK boss said that the brand had ‘very high ambitions to continue leading in the market’.
Pierce, who had been in post for just three weeks prior to the event in Barcelona, spoke of the importance of the company’s launch of new flagship devices at MWC; the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy 6 Edge.
Revealing that he has been delighted with the reaction of Samsung partners to the new products, he said: ‘What’s important for me is what I’m hearing from our partners, which is; “at last there is some significant innovation in the market”. We’re bringing something completely new that’s never been seen before and I’m really proud and confident that it will drive growth. The market needs it.’
The new Samsung UK boss also said that he would be using the coming months to look at the business and its routes to market.
He said: ‘I think we need to constantly assess how we engage with the market, especially now as we are really looking at a way to sell out rather than just volume selling and that will put a lot of dependencies on our distribution partners because they also need to change their way. It’s an important part of my market assessment and my Samsung assessment so it’s a question of watching this space. Looking at our distribution partners in the UK there’s definitely room for growth and we’ll continue to invest there.’
Pierce said that he would also be looking at Samsung’s direct strategy going forward: ‘Like our distribution strategy, I’m looking at who we’re going direct with and who we potentially could go direct with. Everything’s up for discussion at the moment. It’s an incredibly competitive market, which a lot of people say is saturated, but in fact there’s significant growth available, particularly in the mid-tier. I know the S6 and the S6 Edge will drive growth in the high tier because it’s something unique and people will migrate upwards.’
Explaining the firm’s retail plans, Pierce said that it was another area he would examine: ‘We’re addressing that at the moment. It’s not just about our own branded stores, we have to assess the way we approach the market. There is some consolidation going on in terms of retail and I think it’s important that we engage with our operator partners and with our retail partners and see how best we can work together.’
Breadth of product range was another area that Pierce highlighted as being key to the manufacturer’s plans in 2015. He said: ‘It’s important you don’t just look at the device. You need to look at the accessories too, so there’s a new channel to market there. You look at our wearables strategy you look at our tablets. We have a very broad portfolio and we have different ways to bring a device to market.’
‘If you look at where the market’s going, it’s inevitable we’ll end up in a “smart society”with the internet of things and I think Samsung has an important opportunity to create that, to lead it, and to win at it, because of our portfolio outside of mobility.’