Samsung Electronics held a global strategy meeting on December 17. The meeting was full of tension with the three business units of the company facing a lot of hurdles.
The Device Solutions (DS) Division of Samsung Electronics is about to enter an off-season past a boom in the global semiconductor industry. The IT & Mobile Communications (IM) Division is currently reorganizing its manufacturing facilities with Samsung smartphones losing their popularity in China. The Consumer Electronics (CE) Division has remained sluggish for a while.
Vice Chairman Kim Ki-nam, who is the head of the DS Division, called for a proactive response. At present, a supply glut in the memory chip industry is becoming reality with the DRAM price having fallen for two months in a row. Although artificial intelligence and automotive electronics are creating new demands, the division’s business in the mobile and server sectors is showing no signs of improvement. According to market research firm IC Insights, the global DRAM market is likely to shrink by 1% next year and the ongoing trade war between the United States and China can add to the difficulties.
At the meeting, the IM Division focused on how to market the Galaxy S10 and foldable phones to be released next year. The division’s manufacturing facilities in Tianjin, China were recently shut down due to poor performance. According to market research firm TrendForce, Samsung Electronics’ share in the global smartphone market for the fourth quarter of this year is estimated at 19.6%, 0.1 percentage points lower than that of Apple.
The CE Division examined product release plans along with its preparation for the upcoming Consumer Electronics Show (CES). “Samsung is the global number one, but the same does not apply to its CE Division,” said an industry insider, adding, “Samsung’s washing machines and refrigerators are struggling in multiple regional markets and the division’s performance will not improve unless it does better in the built-in home appliances market.”