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From bit player to global behemoth, the Samsung parade rolls on. But can it shake an Apple bugbear?

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Daily Mail
Apr 22, 2013
Show Us Ur Apps

Forget Samsung vs Apple (Two Moon to a Galaxy, Apr 8), whatever happened to our Indian electronic brands? In the late ’80s and early ’90s, we had some wonderful brands, fiercely competitive and with innovative marketing campaigns. Most of them have died out, a few barely survive. They could have become LGs and Samsungs if not for our outdated state policies and fourth-world infrastructure.

Prasanth Nambiar, Melbourne

Samsung has done a few things well, like bringing the latest technology within reach of everyone, price brackets for every type of customer, a tactical fusion of Japanese and Chinese technology etc. That said, aping others’ technology is not healthy in the long run. Samsung and Apple have their day in the sun now, but who knows what the new dawn brings?

M.Y. Shariff, Chennai

The quotes in the piece are amusing and very revealing. So Samsung are the doers and the Indians are left in the passive head clerk/analyst role. This is what casteism does to a country. Mind you, it’s not a bad strategy. Samsu­ng’s energies will eventually dissipate and they will start mak­ing mistakes. Meanwhile, the analysts can simply move on.

M.K. Saini, Delhi

If Apple is for the classes, Samsung is both for the mas­ses and the classes.

K.C. Kumar, Bangalore

Mar 30, 2013
03:20 PM

If the story of $1 Bn to pay Apple is a hoax, Mr. Katju must hold this mag accountable for publishing this as news.

Male Unblocked
Chennai, India
Mar 30, 2013
03:30 PM

 This is to inform all regular readers of Outlook
that the current Editor Sri Krishna prasad (fondly called KP)
has been elevated to the post of PRO (Samsung) to improve
the revenue of Outlook.

pattambi, India
Mar 30, 2013
03:49 PM

this article is amusing and very revealing. So Samsung are the doers, and the Indians are left in the passive head clerk / analyst role. Thats what casteism does to a country.

Mind you its not a bad strategy. Samsung's energies will eventually dissipate and they will start making mistakes. Meanwhile the analysts can simply move on

MK Saini
Delhi, India
Mar 30, 2013
04:39 PM

“Difference between SAMSUNG and APPLE is like ROASTED CHICKEN sold in a ‘DHABA’ and in ‘KFC’ – although both taste equally SAVORY, at one place the bird undergoes MULTIPLE LEVELS OF TESTING & TASTING BEFORE ENTERING & AFTER COMING OUT OF THE FURNACE and at the other place it is just ‘CULLED & GRILLED’ with no guarantee of not carrying ‘H1N1’.”

Rajneesh Batra
New Delhi, India
Mar 31, 2013
05:46 PM

 Samsung does it well. Their S series Laptops, and T. V.'s are not only good, but are not unusual in many dealers. I think Newsweek mentioned, that Samsung can make improvements and innovations widely applied to their products.

Aditya Mookerjee
Belgaum, India
Apr 01, 2013
10:13 AM

Remember late 80s and early-mid 90s? We had some wonderful Indian electronics brands thriving at that time. They were fiercely competitive and had innovative marketing campaigns. Now what had happened to those BPLs, Optonicas, Onidas,Videocons, and Dyanoras? (My dad’s Onida KYFX TV -bought in 1994- still works and it’s sound system is far far superior to the 52inch Sony LED TV bought by my brother last year!!!!)

Economic reforms were just starting and MNC brands (including Koreans) were not present in India. Those Indian brands had a wonderful opportunity to grow and become world leaders like their IT services counterparts. They could have become the next LGs and Samsungs internationally. But that did not happen. Most of the brands simply died and few of them barely survive.

Now why did they fail? First of all, none of these companies had deep pockets to survive the MNC assault- most of them were young, independent, stand-alone companies. Means, there were no TATA, Reliance, or Birla electronic brands. Secondly our government policies effectively killed them. They were basically manufacturing companies and India simply did not have good manufacturing infrastructure in place to support mass manufacturing and exports. Our governments failed to build decent roads, ports and electric plants!!!! Government also did not have any incentives to manufacturing companies. I know in a capitalist system only the best and capable survives and the rest perish. But it looks like 100% of Indian electronic brands failed- and I don’t think all of them were uncompetitive ‘bad’ companies lead by mediocre people. I think our nascent electronic brands were culled by out-dated government policies and 4th world infrastructure.

May be we still have a good chance to bring out successful electronic brands- but for that to happen, government has to improve the manufacturing infrastructure and big companies like TATAs should consider getting in to electronic business by acquiring/reviving brands like Onida and BPL.

Melbourne, Australia
Apr 02, 2013
01:34 AM

"Samsung famously sent over $1.05 billion to Apple’s headquarters in 30 trucks filled with 5 cent coins"

I would have thought that the author of this article would have checked his facts. This is not a tru statement rather an urban legend floating on the internet. It makes me question the credibility of the entire article.

Ruchika Kumar
San Francisco, United States
Apr 02, 2013
12:29 PM

While Samsung may beat Apple, it will remain a copy of great design pioneered by Apple. Assuming that they are ahead of Apple, where will they get the next design from?

Dinesh Kumar
Chandigarh, India
Apr 03, 2013
12:41 PM


Dhaba Tandoori chicken is Tandoori Chicken (there is no H1N1 at 100degC) whereas KFC is not Chicken at all...

The example was improper but the message was conveyed...

pankaj hedaoo
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Apr 03, 2013
02:51 PM

@ Prashant - Sorry, it is okay to be nostalgic for the good old times but brands like Onida, Videocon, Dyanora and BPL lacked the technological capability to design even rudimentary TV sets. They merely imported kits from abroad and assembled them. Tata had a presence in this space with a brand called Nelco (run by Ratan Tata before he took over the Tata empire). They were little more than traders and never had it in them to take on the MNC's. Regarding the sound quality of the modern superslim LED TV's, it has to be necessarily substandard given the space constraints (down-firing tiny speakers) which is why connecting them to a decent Home Theatre system is a must. 

The fact remains that India lacks a proper industrial infrastructure and a conducive political environment. Unless we have a world class infrastructure and the requisite political will, we cannot dream of emulating the Korean chaebols who have taken on iconic brands like Apple and Sony. 

Visakhapatnam, India
Apr 03, 2013
03:30 PM

 10 D DL Narayan   I agree with your post.
I would like to add that thogh we are good
atanalytical thinking, we lack the killing instinct
or say the business acumen shown by Koreans.
I remember the present airtel chief telling that he failed
in business and went to korea there he saw the push buttontelephone
decades ago. He purchased a couple of them, carried home, manufactured
and entered in telcom business.Idea and vision and ofcourseffort. 

pattambi, India
Apr 04, 2013
04:04 AM

As usual, the Modi articles get 100s of comments/responses and an actually relevant(globally) article doesn't!
If Samsung can indeed achieve this 'shaking up' of the behemoth that is Apple, it will be a slap, nah, slaps are fruity, it will be a full blooded left hook right on the jaw of every single protectionist around the world that screams about the perils of globalisation.

Just Joe King
Gotham, India


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