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Samsung Considers Withdrawing Smartphone Business from Japan
Withdrawal from Japan?
Samsung Considers Withdrawing Smartphone Business from Japan
  • By Jung Suk-yee
  • February 10, 2015, 07:19
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The Galaxy Note Edge offers more screen space than any other pad device.
The Galaxy Note Edge offers more screen space than any other pad device.


Samsung Electronics chose Japan as the first country in which to release the Galaxy Note Edge in October 2014, where YOUM technology was used on both sides of the phone. The company made its bid to increase its share of the Japanese market, the world's largest premium market, through the new model. However, the results were not good. 

According to industry sources on Feb. 9, Samsung is in a quandary over its struggling smartphone business in Japan. Some in the company are reportedly saying that continuing the business only causes losses rather than profits. 

The Korean tech giant accounted for 4 percent of the Japanese smartphone market as of December of last year, which put the firm in 6th place. Samsung was kept out of the top 5 for two years, and its share decreased from 17 percent to 4 percent. 

Apple topped the list, and Sony and Sharp followed. The Galaxy Note Edge only sold tens of thousands of units for four months after its launch. 

Apple, on the other hand, is riding high, since its share rose from 20 to 30 percent. The achievement is mainly attributable to the huge popularity of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6+.

Actually, consumers in the Japanese market have a strong preference for locally-made products. Hence, it is hard for foreign companies to dominate the market. However, iPhones have been logging strong growth, while Galaxy models have shown a downward trend. Sluggish sales performance in the market has placed Samsung's management in a quandary. 

Samsung already withdrew its TV business from Japan in 2007. Although it became the top-ranked TV marker in the world in 2006 for the first time, the Korean firm constituted merely 0.1 percent of the Japanese TV market in 2007. In the end, Samsung decided to pull out of the Japanese market, since its poor performance in the country had a negative effect on its image as the number one TV producer in the world.