For the first time in over three years, Samsung is investing more capital in advertising and promotion than it is in the research and development of new products. And while some have accepted the news as inevitable given the need for a serious competitive push, others fear that the eventual result could be one of innovation suffering just when the technology market is becoming more advanced than ever before.
On Friday, Samsung made the announcement that its quarterly earnings will for the first time in two-years not be breaking any records. At the same time, it came to light that the South Korean tech giant intends to invest mind-blowing sums of money in pushing its latest series of mobile devices, fronted by the soon-to-be-launched Galaxy S4 Smartphone.
The theory is of course one geared toward snaring those currently loyal to the iPhone and the iPad, during one of the biggest dry-spells in Apple’s product history.
Scheduled to hit the market sometime later this month, the company’s flagship Galaxy S4 Smartphone was officially unveiled in New York City last week and did a pretty good job of turning heads. However, despite offering an array of new functionalities including hand-gesture control and the ability to sense where on the screen the user’s eyes are focuses, analysts are worried that the S4 simply isn’t enough to scoop up the world’s attention and hold onto it.
They argue that while the S4 indeed demonstrates innovation, it does move the goalposts or change the rules of play in the same way many launches from Apple have over recent years.
For 2012, Samsung spend an astonishing $11.6 billion on promotion and advertising campaigns alone – a full $1.3 billion more than was pumped in the R&D of new products. And while the company doesn’t put out projections in terms of marketing or research spending for the year ahead, there are plenty of analysts expecting a repeat of last year.
For some, the Smartphone market as a whole has stalled and can be seen in the way in which each top-tier manufacturer seems to be doing little more than adding a few extra garnishes to a recipe we’ve already been playing with for years. From larger screens to faster processors and every-improving cameras, no matter how it’s look at it really is serving after serving of the same.
The one positive thing Samsung may have going for it this year however is the way in what Apple’s lack of a hit with its most recent iPhone and iPad launches has led to even further criticism of the Cupertino company’s potential for innovation. After rocketing past $700 last September, Apple’s stocks have fallen a bewildering 70%.