Samsung is taking drastic measures to sell its new flagship smartphone in Japan, the Korea Herald reports — ditching its “Samsung” branding altogether.
Instead, the Galaxy S6 will be sold as just that — the Galaxy S6. Online promotional material contains no mention of the company, and the phones themselves will not carry the Samsung logo. Instead, the devices will be called either the “Docomo Galaxy” or the “au Galaxy” — referring to the carriers that support the handset.
Samsung has yet to respond to our requests for comment (a spokesperson obliquely told the the Korea Herald only that they “think the Galaxy brand has been well established in Japan”), but the move is likely part of Samsung’s struggle to rejuvenate its smartphone business.
The runaway success of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus devastated the South Korean company’s profits, and propelled Apple to the position of biggest smartphone seller in the world — a position Samsung had held since 2011. Japan has historically been a weak market for Samsung, but it slipped even further in 2014: its share of sales fell from more than 15% in May 2014 to around 5% in November. Apple, meanwhile, skyrocketed.
According to a report in February by Business Korea, Samsung has even considered pulling out of Japan entirely, with the South Korean company reportedly making a loss on its presence in the country. There’s a precedent for this: The English-language news site notes that in 2007, Samsung decided to pull its TV business out of Japan due to dire sales.
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