New Galaxy Note 'won't address Samsung's challenge'
Vendor faces issues with forging meaningful relationships with customers, Forrester says
It will take more than a new Galaxy Note to address Samsung's challenge in forging an enduring relationship with customers, according to Thomas Husson, principal analyst at Forrester Research.
Writing in a blog, Husson said that Samsung is at risk of being seen as an interchangeable Android device maker - a by-product of the fact that handset competition is shifting from devices to ecosystems.
Because of this, Husson wrote, Forrester expects that Apple will maintain its leadership in the high-end smartphone market, as Cupertino maintains a strong ecosystem of software, content and services.
"I expect Apple to maintain its leadership in the high-end smartphone market. Why? Not only because Apple is extremely good at maximizing the profitability of its product lines by extending product lifecycles through software, content, and services," he said.
"Apple is in a very strong position to retain and expand the deep, diverse, and meaningful relationships they've built, enhancing the reach and seamless experiences for customers of all brands that join in with Apple's digital platform."
Indeed, with Apple expected to launch its iPhone 6 next week (just days after yesterday's Samsung Galaxy Note 4 launch), Husson said he expects the new device to do more for Apple's complete mobile offering as a whole.
He wrote that he expected Apple to make the iPhone 6 the hub of new connected experiences. By bundling together hardware features, software and its ecosystem of partners, Apple can make the iPhone 6 enable brands to deliver more seamless experiences, reducing the friction in offline customer journeys, he said.
"The iPhone 6 could become the central brain coordinating the signals it gets from sensor-laden wearables such as the iWatch and the physical world, enabling more differentiated health or payment experiences," Husson opined.
Husson said that Apple, not Google's Android, is best placed to leverage such technologies, due to the fact that Android's ecosystem is still massively fragmented.
Samsung has this year announced disappointing earnings reports, as it faces tougher competition at the low end of the market from Chinese vendors selling Android smartphones. Its position at the high end will also be under threat if and when Apple releases a larger-screen iPhone next week.