Electronics giant Samsung is looking to steal some of Apple’s thunder with its latest promotion. If you have an iPhone and a one dollar bill, you can get in on it. The company just rolled out what it calls the "Ultimate Test Drive.” Here’s how it works: For a single greenback, you can try one of the latest Samsung phones for 30 days with no obligation. That’s a pretty bold offer.
“Your test drive kit will come with the phone of your choice, an activated SIM card, and a step-by-step guide to help you start your test drive,” Samsung said on its promotion page. “After 30 days, if you buy a qualifying Samsung device, there’s even more love in store for you.”
There is a catch. This is actually a rental program. If you break the phone, crack the screen, or it severely malfunctions due to water damage or some other issue, it will cost you. Specifically, you’ll be charged $100.
Will it Work?
We asked Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group, for his thoughts on Samsung’s offer. Is the company desperate? Or is this just clever marketing?
Enderle told us people are creatures of habit and the newest iPhone is now near replacement time. That puts Apple at its most vulnerable point in the cycle, he said.
“Folks like having something new they can show off and after about 30 days they should be comfortable with Android and less likely to switch back to Apple,” Enderle said. Of course, there’s no guarantee that people will like it and switch permanently and Samsung could end up with more than the expected volume of returns. But apparently, it seems like a good bet to the struggling smartphone maker.
“The window here is really tight because once Apple brings out the 6S or 7 this tactic will lose a lot of -- if not all of -- its power,” Enderle said. “So it is a good idea but it has a really tightly defined period when it will work and Apple could torpedo it by leaking some of the new iPhone's features early.”
Smartphone Market Suffers
Samsung needs to get creative. The company missed its earnings estimate in the last quarter. That marked seven straight quarters the Korean smartphone maker didn't hit the mark.
The big issue is the Samsung Galaxy S6 and the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, with its curved edges. The company had high hopes for the devices. Samsung probably could have sold more of the Galaxy S6 Edge phones, but the company didn’t produce enough to keep up with demand. By contrast, the Galaxy S6 wasn’t nearly as popular as the company had hoped.
But it’s not just Samsung that’s hurting. Global mobile phone shipments grew a lackluster 2 percent annually from 428 million units in the second quarter of 2014 to 434.6 million in the second quarter of 2015, according to Strategy Analytics.
“Samsung has stabilized volumes in the high-end, but its lower-tier mobile phones continue to face intense competition from rivals such as Huawei in Asia,” Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics, said in a statement. “Apple grew 35 percent annually and shipped 47.5 million mobile phones for 11 percent worldwide market share in Q2 2015. Apple outperformed as consumers in China and elsewhere upgraded to bigger-screen iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models.”
Posted: 2015-08-23 @ 9:47am PT
Please someone recognize a market for smaller smart phones. Iflips or existing smart flips sold in eastern nations would be a surprise market share in the west. Worth the experiment of an existing product for a new market share.