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商业 - 科技

三星2014开局不利

Philip Elmer-DeWitt 2014年01月07日

大家之前也许还觉得苹果在2013年表现不佳,不过看看三星,你可能就不会这么想了。在刚刚到来的2014年,三星股价在第一个交易日大跌4.6%,创下单日最高跌幅纪录。三星老掌门坐不住了。

三星董事长李健熙,由女儿李富真和一名助手搀扶。图片:彭博社

    上周四,在发表一年一度的新年致辞时,现年71岁的三星(Samsung)董事长李健熙显得有些虚弱。

    李健熙自1987年开始执掌三星集团(2008年,李被裁定挪用公款和逃税罪名成立,随后离开公司达两年之久),而现在,三星集团也表现疲软。

    三星在全球很多市场上大力出击,在很多涉及苹果(Apple)的报道中也是如此,因此,人们要想看到这家全球头号信息技术制造企业的弱点有点困难。然而,2013年三星股价下跌了10%,并在2014年首个交易日进一步下跌4.6%,创下该公司股价的单日最高降幅,而这些正是分析师们在谈论的弱点。

    分析师们口中的三星的弱点在苹果投资者看来可能似曾相识:

    • 经济增长放缓——预计三星下周将公布四季度运营利润增长9.2%,《华尔街日报》(the Wall Street Journal)称,这个增幅远低于三季度26%的涨幅。

    • 竞争加剧——三星面临的竞争主要来自中国山寨手机厂商,后者制造智能手机的成本控制得比三星还低。

    • 利润下降——韩国投行Mirae分析师都铉宇(音译)向《华尔街日报》表示:“低端智能手机在三星手机总销量中所占的比例有所上升,挤压了利润。”

    不过,李健熙清楚,三星还面临着更深层的结构性问题。

    没有哪家电子产品制造商比三星更善于快速量产多种尺寸和规格的智能手机和平板电脑。但在为这家公司贡献了一半以上利润的移动设备市场,三星不敌苹果的软件生态系统。一方面,三星依赖谷歌(Google)的Android系统;另一方面,它似乎无法摆脱2012年苹果专利侵权案带来的负面影响。这起案件最终判定三星侵权,给它打上了“山寨”的烙印,不论三星为自己旗下的高端产品盖世(Galaxy)系列增加多少华而不实的创新,都无法抹去这个事实。

    李健熙20年前曾经说过一句广为流传的名言,建议三星的员工“改变老婆和孩子以外的一切”。而在上周四,李再次强调必须摒弃成规,开发新技术,尤其是新的软件技术。

    李健熙表示,三星必须“摒弃五年,乃至十年前的商业模式和战略,摆脱以硬件为中心的做法。研发中心应当全天候不停地运作。”(财富中文网)

    译者:项航

    Samsung chairman Lee Kun-hee, 71, looked a little shaky Thursday as he arrived to deliver his annual new year's address.

    And so did the conglomerate he's run since 1987 (not counting the two years he took off after his 2008 conviction for embezzlement and tax evasion).

    Samsung plays the heavy in so many global markets -- and so many Apple (AAPL) stories -- that it's a little hard to see the world's largest information technology manufacturer in terms of its frailties. But with shares down 10% in 2013 and another 4.6% in the first day of 2014 trading -- Samsung's largest one-day percentage drop in seven months -- those frailties are what analysts are talking about.

    Their list may sound familiar to Apple investors:

    • Slowing growth -- Samsung next week is expected to report fourth quarter operating profits up 9.2% -- "a sharp slowdown," according to the Wall Street Journal, "from the 26% gain in the third quarter."

    • Growing competition -- Mainly from Chinese manufacturers that can make knockoff smartphones even more cheaply than Samsung.

    • Shrinking margins -- "The proportion of less-premium smartphones appears to have increased within the portfolio, squeezing margins," Mirae's Doh Hyun-woo told the Journal.

    But Lee knows that Samsung faces deeper, more structural problems.

    No electronics manufacturer is better at rapidly turning out in huge quantities smartphones and tablets of different sizes and specs. But in the mobile device market that accounts for more than 50% of its profits, Samsung can't match Apple's software ecosystem, is dependent on Google (GOOG) for Android, and can't seem to shake off the 2012 Apple patent infringement verdict that branded it a "copycat" -- no matter how many flashy innovations it adds to its high-end Galaxy line.

    Lee, who 20 years ago famously advised employees to "change everything but your wife and children," stressed on Thursday the need to drop old habits and come up with new technologies -- particularly in software.

    Samsung must "get rid of business models and strategies from five, ten years ago and hardware-focused ways, he said. "Research & development center(s) should work around the clock, non-stop."

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