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Samsung B2B revenue up 20 per cent, but shipments dip five per cent

Jasper Hart
May 20, 2019

The Korean manufacturer also unveiled a new rugged smartphone at the Data Select Platinum Club partner conference 

Samsung has announced growth of more than 20 per cent in its UK B2B revenue in 2018, reaffirmed its commitment to selling premium devices to businesses, and unveiled a new ruggedised device.

The UK’s B2B smartphone market was worth £2.5 billion in 2018 and is continuing to rise, according to Samsung head of sales Graeme Good (pictured). This is being driven by rising handset prices, which are more than offsetting a decline in shipments – with a five per cent fall in UK B2B volumes year-on-year in Q4 2018.

“About one in four devices shipped in the UK are B2B devices,” said Good, speaking at the Data Select Platinum Club conference this month. “We are seeing a 15 per cent growth in average selling price in a year. Someone buying a £300 phone a year ago is now buying a phone closer to £350: that’s a huge step up over a relatively short time.”

Good added that Samsung plans to focus more on the small and medium-sized business (SMB) segment, which accounted for 72.5 per cent of the B2B market in 2018.

“SMB is a real battleground for us, but we’ve under-indexed there versus our main competition,” he said. “Trying to turn that around and over-perform is a key focus for us this year – so from a marketing and a channel point of view we’re really going to be driving that focus on the SMB business.”

The premium market was also highlighted as an important segment for Samsung, accounting for 46 per cent of B2B market share among all UK smartphone vendors in Q4 2018, an increase of 11 per cent on the same quarter in 2017. Samsung’s flagship premium device in 2018, the S9, saw sales of more than 140,000 units in the B2B channel last year.

“This market share is a huge change from a couple of years ago,” said Good. “Our desire is absolutely to take the fight to the competition in the premium space, and we’ve got real confidence in our ability to do that.”

Samsung is also looking to take advantage of the B2B tablet market, which is set to grow seven per cent this year, compared to just two per cent growth for the smartphone market.

Meanwhile, channel manager Vinny Robinson unveiled a streamlined naming structure for new devices, with the J series merged into the A series when a new range was launched for the latter earlier this year.

Rugged phone
Robinson also announced a June release date for the vendor’s new ruggedised Xcover4s, an upgraded version of the Xcover4 phone.

The device has a 16MP rear camera, an octa-core processor, 3GB of RAM and 32GB internal storage. This compares with its predecessor’s 13MP rear camera, quad-core 1.35GHz processor, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage. It also has a USB-C socket.

The Xcover4s will be launched as a Samsung Enterprise Edition device, allowing for en masse remote device software and security updates via the vendor’s Samsung Knox and Enterprise Firmware-Over-The-Air platforms.

In addition, the device comes with four years of guaranteed software and security updates.

Robinson said: “At the end of a standard two-year life cycle, if you still want your device, it’s still protected by both Samsung and Google Android.

“We think a rugged device with that additional support attached could be key for us in the second half of this year, and something that customers we have spoken to want to see in the marketplace.”

Samsung’s Enterprise Edition devices also come with a further year’s warranty on top of the standard two-year warranty it offers.

Other Enterprise Edition devices that the vendor offers are the S10, S10e and Note9. The A40 will be available via the service from June.

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