The spin cycle
Samsung had another less than stellar quarter? Well, you know what it’s time for: spin control!
“Samsung Profit Misses Estimates As Cheap Phones Struggle” (tip o’ the antlers to Daring Fireball).
Well, technically that’s the title in the URL. The title on the page is the more Samsung-friendly “Samsung Sees Phone Rebound After Earnings Miss Estimates.” Probably because “Samsung Predicts Shower of Unicorns and Nothing But Adorable Baby Goats as Far as the Eye Can See” seemed over the top.
It seems there may be something to an analyst’s report that tougher competition for Samsung from firms like Xiaomi would mean that Apple would enjoy higher growth. This, of course, despite the fact that every pundit in the land was predicting Xiaomi meant doom for Apple and only Apple.
Writing for Tiger Beat in the Valley, Eric Blattberg says “Samsung’s dire earnings preview should scare every smartphone maker” (tip o’ the antlers to @mylestaylor).
Well, that’s one perspective. Whose do you think it is?
Samsung expects to post a massive drop in both sales and profit for the second quarter. The way Samsung spins it, that’s bad news for Apple, HTC, Xiaomi, and every other smartphone maker, not just the Korean electronics giant itself.
That’s right. It’s Samsung’s. Well, certainly no bias there. Really, if anyone would know best how Samsung’s ills are really the ills of other companies, it would be Samsung, right? That just makes sense.
It’s not like Apple doesn’t try to spin its own results, but Samsung’s harsh reality is probably a little hard to swallow for those who’ve spent the last couple of years waving the checkered flag in a race that isn’t close to over.
Better analysts, not surprisingly, know better. As Forrester’s Frank Gillett notes in Blattberg’s piece, unlike Apple and Google, Samsung’s in a hard spot because it doesn’t make its own services. Or, well, it does make some, but they suck. As Ben Thompson puts it:
The fact is that many people buy iPhones (and Macs) because of the operating system that they run; moreover, that operating system only runs on products made by Apple. Not grokking this fact is at the root of almost all of the Apple-is-doomed narrative (which, by the way, is hardly new).
This is why Xiaomi has always been a greater threat to Samsung than Apple. Whether pundits don’t get this for congenital reasons or choose not to get it because making things about Apple drives more page views is anyone’s guess.