Original Post by Tim Bajarin
If your name is Samsung, you should be pretty pleased with yourself these days. The company’s smartphones and tablets are number one in South Korea, which should be no surprise because that’s where it’s headquartered.
But Samsung is killing it all around the world. According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, “global tablet shipments reached 51.7 million units in the second quarter of 2013. Android secured a robust 67 percent global share, while Apple iOS declined further to 28 percent. Windows also fell back but secured a 4.5 percent global share.” My own research suggests that of all the branded tablet vendors, Samsung sells the most Android mobile devices and has become Google’s largest branded partner for Android. Keep in mind though, that a lot of this Android tablet growth came from white-box makers and ultra-cheap Android tablets.
So yes, Samsung should give itself a pat on the back. It has become aggressive in retail and even has its own dedicated stores within Best Buys, which allow it to sell through an additional channel as well as have a concierge desk to answer customers’ questions on the spot.
But the secret to its success seems to be tied to its various promotions that make it tricky for researchers to track profits. I happened to be in the United Kingdom last week and decided to go to CarPhone Warehouse, a top smartphone retailer, to buy a cheap unlocked phone that I could use in Europe. While in the store a special Samsung promotion really caught my attention. For $26 per month with a 24-month contract you could purchase a bundle that included a Samsung Galaxy Ace smartphone and a 7-inch tablet. For $42 per month with a 24-month contract you could buy a Galaxy S III$249.99 at Amazon Wireless and a 7-inch tablet. Both smartphone plans included 300 minutes of talk time and 500MB of data and of course, you could buy more talk time and data. This is a really good deal for U.K. customers but also for Samsung since both of the devices offered run Android and