Saturday , 15 December 2018
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Unsatisfied with smartphones, Samsung gets really, really serious about air conditioners

Samsung reminded us today that it’s a big company, with a big appetite, and perhaps even bigger eyes. And that’s not just limited to its smartphone ambitions, which have been steadily losing ground to Apple in the premium segment and to Chinese rivals at the lower end.

In a move that seems to have popped up out of nowhere to all but the closest Samsung-watchers, the South Korean tech giant announced Wednesday that it wants to beef up its air conditioner business in a big way. I mean, really beef it up. Specifically, Samsung wants to reach annual sales of $10 billion in the space by 2020.

That’s a big number, and here’s why — most reports kicking around today only project the global air conditioning market to be worth about $24 billion by 2020. So, Samsung is essentially beating its chest and proclaiming from the rooftops that it has its eyes on nearly half that market — or about 40 percent.

The other reason this is a huge surprise is because Samsung is today a nearly-non existent player in the air conditioning market. In a report this month listing the key competitors, it includes Daikin, Haier, Hitachi, LG, and Mitsubishi. Other prominent vendors are Aux, Carrier, Electrolux, Panasonic, Toshiba, and Whirlpool.

Samsung isn’t playing around, though.

In typical Samsung fashion, it’s throwing huge amounts of marketing dollars at the push, announcing plans to bring its new “Samsung AC Forum” to 117 cities in 50 markets. It claims to have on board 750 global partners and media for the South Korea event alone, with 9,000 in total signed up to take part across other markets.

This isn’t going to be a cheap campaign by any stretch of the imagination. Samsung’s president and chief executive of its consumer electronics business, B. K. Yoon, said the company is aiming to “lead the future of air solutions business.”

While Samsung is no doubt one of the world’s most powerful tech behemoths — and no one is doubting that it has the muscle to make serious inroads into pretty much any segment of consumer electronics it wants (yes, that includes air conditioners) — we wouldn’t be the first ones to question how much of its lofty goals and vision (known as “Vision 2020“) it can actually pull off.

Will we all have Samsung ACs in our offices and living rooms by 2020 and beyond? Maybe. Who the heck knows.

Samsung Group is a South Korean multinational conglomerate company headquartered in Samsung Town, Seoul. It comprises numerous subsidiaries and affiliated businesses, most of them united under the Samsung brand, and is the largest Sout… read more »

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