After being the tech media’s darling as the company that would take over the mobile handset industry and destroy Apple, Samsung is finding the traveled road more and more difficult. Sales are flat or declining, and profits are down. They are being hit on the high end by Apple, and on the low end by some new Asian manufacturers, particularly Xiaomi.
To add insult to injury, Xiaomi is clearly making a bid to reach a wider market with their low-cost gear. The initial move in that direction was to hire a former Google executive to handle International sales, although there’s no clear message of a major push into the U.S. But you can still find the products listed at Amazon.
Now Apple and Samsung don’t always compete for the same customers. Apple has concentrated mostly in the premium category, although you can get an iPhone free with a wireless contract or extended payment plan. That, indeed, is Apple’s way to reach a wider audience in China, India and elsewhere without sacrificing profits.