Recently, things have not gone well for tech giant Samsung. In March, the South Korean electronics maker lost its position as the world’s top semiconductor producer to Intel. Earlier this month, the company announced its first-quarter revenue had fallen by 60 percent compared to last year. And last week, the firm delayed the launch of its new foldable smartphone because of its many design flaws.
Sadly, Samsung’s newly announced range of odd new televisions seems unlikely to revive the corporation’s fortunes. In particular, its newly unveiled vertical TV seems like a baffling misstep from a typically solid brand.
In an April 29 press release, Samsung touted its new lifestyle-oriented 4K set. The Sero is a 43-inch television that’s mounted on a tastefully designed rotating stand. As such, owners will be able to shift its orientation from vertical to horizontal like a smartphone screen.
The tech concern explained it intends for its new TV to appeal to Millennial consumers. The company’s logic is that Generation Y loves Instagram, so they’ll like a set that will properly display its portrait mode videos. The firm’s new television also has near field communication capability to easily sink with mobile devices.
Samsung doesn’t intend for the Sero to only be a laughable supersized phone display. It wants the unconventional product to serve as a 60-watt music player and a stylish digital picture frame.
The corporation did make one crucial mistake in the product’s rollout; the set’s launch price is $1,600. That price point will likely be a problem because studies have shown cash-strapped Millennials aren’t really interested in expensive appliances. That’s not to say America’s largest consumer demographic doesn’t like to splurge. Rather, Gen-Yers prefer to spend their disposable cash on ridesharing services, takeout cuisine, and student loans.
Furthermore, despite the stereotype, Instagram is actually more popular among teenagers (Generation Z) than Millennials. However, wealthy people also heavily favor the social media platform. One survey found 60 percent of Americans who earn more than $100,000 a year use the Facebook subsidiary. The one demographic that seems most likely to buy the Sero is image-focused rich people.
Samsung will release its impractical, expensive, and frankly insulting new television in South Korea next month.
The Good News
While Samsung’s components business is seriously underperforming and its TV segment seems headed for disaster, its smartphone sales are actually pretty strong.
In a recent earnings call, the company announced it shipped 78 million Galaxy S10 phones and 5 million S10 tablets in Q1 2019. Furthermore, the corporation predicts it will beat those numbers next quarter. The stock market responded favorably to Samsung’s robust phone sales. The firm’s stock price rose to $39.44 on April 29, a significant improvement on the $37.85 it traded at after the Galaxy Fold delay announcement was made.
So, if the conglomerate can make home kiosks a thing and wipe its doomed flexible smartphone from memory, it might make a real comeback in 2019.