Samsung's Reputation Hit As Price Slashed

22 April

Several reports of slow performance have dogged Samsung Electronics' Galaxy S22 smartphone, which has seen carriers halve its price at home in South Korea just weeks after its launch, harming its image as a competitor to the iPhone. Consumers have complained - and a class-action lawsuit has even been filed - about the handset maker In an advertisement for the company's most powerful smartphone yet, they provide scant details about performance management software that they claim drastically slows down the premium device when used with processor-intensive apps. Korea's Fair Trade Commission began investigating the world's largest phone vendor last month following complaints of such nature. In attempting to make up for revenue missed by analyst projections and reverse a decline in market share over the past two years, the controversy could damage Samsung's reputation for high-end smartphones, as "Samsung's credibility will suffer from the dispute," said an analyst Lee Seung-woo at Eugene Investment & Securities. Samsung's Game Optimising Service (GOS) is viewed as the principal reason for complaints. GOS regulates device performance during gaming in order to prevent overheating and preserve battery life. A series of battery fires led Samsung to eventually pull its premium Galaxy Note 7 just months after the introduction of the software.

As far as the S22's processor is concerned, Geekbench, a widely used processor performance scorer, found that GOS paralyzed it by as much as 46 percent when gaming or running other processor-intensive applications.


Pace limits

The extent to which GOS slows down the S22, the lack of information about the software in marketing materials, and the inability to disable it set social media ablaze.

IT  Sub, a YouTuber with 2.1 million subscribers who specializes in gadgets, said in a YouTube post: "This is an unprecedented, crazy issue that cannot be excused in any way."

Users can now disable Samsung's software without risking their safety, Samsung said in a statement. In addition, the company says it will continue to keep investing in both hardware and software innovation.

Reviewers said they found a cooling component called a vapor chamber missing from the lowest-priced S22, which made managing overheating more dependent on software.

In the past few years, the software has been more prominent than hardware due to a renewed emphasis on cutting costs, analysts said, a policy that undermines the company's reputation as an innovator.

Lee said Samsung "is putting too much emphasis on cutting costs, which led to this unfortunate case."

The Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman and Chief Executive said in a recent shareholder meeting that he "will not compromise quality to cut expenses and will continue to introduce products with first-rate quality and experience."

There are 1,885 consumers unconvinced and have filed a class-action lawsuit claiming Samsung inflates the S22's performance in its marketing.

one?" asked Kim Hoon-chan, the lawyer representing the consumers, adding that about 1,500 people have joined the second class-action lawsuit.

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