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Monday, 24 June 2013

S4, Q10 and HTC One a disappointment? Not in our Opinion.

There was an interesting headline in 7Days today that quoted research and polling firm YouGov on the impression consumers had on the wave of new smartphone launches that happened in the last couple of weeks.

The article says "the S4 appears to be in front when it comes to impressing customers, but their 'general impression' of the brand plunged when it struggled to meet demand for the new handset."  This statement was a bit confusing for me as a retailer because we in fact thought Samsung did a great job securing supply this time.  There was a slight shortage for the initial two week period after launch but the moment Samsung launched the LTE model of the Samsung Galaxy S4 via Etisalat, we saw no shortage of stocks.  It was probably the first time we'd seen such strong supply of a new device and a lot of this goes down to Samsung's multiple manufacturing and logistics facilities.  In this case, Samsung was able to trump most other brands during that period in our retail outlets because Samsung was the only one who was in stock for most of this period.
BlackBerry Q10. Image: gizmodo.com

The second statement was more specifically about BlackBerry.  The article says "Blackberry took a hit in its 'satisfaction score', 'suggesting it did not meet the expectations of customers.'"  If anything, the BlackBerry Q10 surprised us with sales on the cash tills and has been far better received than the BlackBerry Z10.  Even if our sales figures are not considered, I compared it with sales reports from research firm GfK that tracks sales of most consumer electronics retailers where they've also shown that in the UAE, the share of BlackBerry in the smartphone segment jumped to nearly 25% for the weeks following the launch of the Q10.

The differences between what we've seen as retailers or what GfK reports as compared to YouGov may come down to the sample size that YouGov worked with.  For us as retailers, we saw a huge jump in our smartphone sales during the months of April, May and June because of these new phone launches.

As a consumer, I leave it to you to decide who you find more credible but I just tend to think that the consumer wallet is ultimately what gives a more accurate picture of the market landscape at the end of the day.

Posted by: Ashish Panjabi, Chief Operating Officer, Jacky's Electronics LLC