Here's a shocker during what is otherwise a pretty dead afternoon on 'iPhone Friday': Samsung is to stop selling all its consumer products in Japan. Bit out of left field? Apparently not...
While Koreans and Japanese haven't always been best of chums *cough* the reason Samsung is citing for the withdrawal is poor profitability. In short, Samsung - by great contrast to its price slashing dominance in the UK - has found it impossible to outmuscle Matsushita, Sony and Sharp in Japan without losing all margins.
"We judged direct sales to individual consumers are less profitable than business-to-business sales," said Sammy spokeswoman Lee Eun-hee, in an ultra concise statement.
So what do we mean by consumer products? Pretty much everything you can expect to see on TR: TVs, DVD/Blu-ray players, MP3 players, cameras, the works. It will continue to sell monitors, LCDs and mobile phones to corporate clients however and supply components to third parties.
To my surprise, this isn't out of the blue either. Lee admitted Samsung stopped selling to Japanese retail outlets in August last year while online sales came to an end last month.
Can anything be read into this? Not really, Japan is a notoriously closed market (just ask Microsoft) so failure to make headway in this region is hardly shocking. That said, when a company as buoyant, internationally successful and progressive as Samsung has been in the last few years throws in the towel what chance do the rest have...?