Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. is planning a major marketing campaign in North America to promote the upcoming line of Galaxy S smartphones.
The company's marketing budgetwould be comparable to the heavy advertising a major U.S. carrier would typically spend on one of their flagship devices, Paul Golden, chief marketing officer for Samsung's North Americantelecommunications arm, said in an interview Tuesday. Verizon Wireless and Motorola Inc. are believed to have spent $100 million late last year promoting the original Droid.
There's a lot at stake for Samsung.While a leader in the handset industry, the company has fallen behind players such as Apple Inc. and the iPhone in the smartphone segment, and is only recently catching up. It unveiled the phones at asplashy event in Manhattan on Tuesday night, a prelude to the marketing campaign it will launch to bolster awareness of the device, a different version of which will be available to every nationalcarrier.
"We wanted to launch the Galaxy S as our flagship phone but stick with our DNA of focusing on the carrier relationship," said Omar Khan, chief strategy officer and product guru for SamsungTelecommunications America.
Rather than strike a deal with a single service provider, the South Korean consumer electronics giant decided to tweak the hardware and software to create a unique modelfor each national carrier. By going that route, Samsung is maximizing its distribution to as many subscribers as possible. But it is also limiting the amount of marketing support it will receive fromthe carriers. Verizon Wireless or AT&T Inc., for instance, will likely want to put their advertising dollars behind a phone that they have the exclusive rights to, instead of a phone that every othercarrier offers. That puts the onus on Samsung to take the lead in advertising.
The first version, the Vibrant for Deutsche Telekom AG's T-Mobile USA, will hit the market on July 21, with the others...