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South Korean conglomerate Samsung has suffered a blow following the announcement that the CEO of Samsung Electronics in North America has decided to retire.
Tim Baxter has been with the company for over 12 years and has played a pivotal role in establishing Samsung as a powerhouse in the North America ICT market in his role as CEO.
Baxter has shown incredible leadership and vision and as ensured Samsung’s products has resonated with American consumers. He announced his decision to retire in a LinkedIn post, and confirmed that he pass the reins to his current deputy in North America Young Hoon Eom.
Samsung confirmed the departure in an official statement to Mobile World Live and placed on record its sincere thanks to Baxter who they described as an ‘exceptional business leader’ that has helped define Samsung as a pioneering innovator in the consumer electronics industry.
Baxter joined Samsung as EVP of sales and marketing for consumer electronics in 2006, and held various leadership positions before being appointed to his current post in July 2017. The role gave him full autonomy of Samsung’s $30 billion consumer and enterprise businesses in the US and Canada, including oversight of teams across mobile, consumer electronics, home appliances, customer care, services and new business.
The move comes at a pivotal moment as mobile operators across the US and Canada, start the transition towards the deployment of 5G. All four tier-one US operators have confirmed that they are working with Samsung on 5G handsets set for release in the first half of 2019.
Q2 growth for tablets and business smartphones was up slightly this year, as the market shows signs of a rebound, according to research by Strategy Analytics. Business smartphone shipments grew 14.8 percent year-on-year to reach 107.1 million units in Q2, up 6.1 percent sequentially from Q1. Tablets reached 17.3 million units in Q2, up 7.5 percent from Q1.
While Q2 2017 showed signs of an increase on a slower first quarter, suggesting signs of an improvement for the remainder of the year, the outlook still remains volatile, according to Strategy Analytics, with longer replacement cycles and GDPR (general data protection regulation) likely to impact the market over the short to medium term.
“Overall, the business smartphone industry expanded steadily in the second quarter, Samsung saw positive shipment growth while Apple's shipments slipped by 11 percent,” said analyst Gina Luk. “Android and iOS are the two dominant operating systems in the market, as Windows 10 smartphone shipments continued to be squeezed out by the industry with close to zero market share.”
Through the first half of the year, the pace of business mobile devices shipments appears to be on trend with what the industry is accustomed to seeing with the current expansion – shipments registering disappointing first quarter growth performance to be followed with a stronger pace of growth in the second quarter, according to Strategy Analytics.
“The worldwide business tablet market remains volatile; it rebounded slightly to reach 17.3 million units in the second quarter, a 7.5 percent increase from Q1 2017, but year on year growth was flat at 0.7 percent on Q2 2016. The picture is still quite mixed,” said Andrew Brown, Executive Director of Enterprise Research at Strategy Analytics.
“North American business tablet volumes were up 5.4 percent sequentially in Q2 2017, however shipments declined 4.2 percent year-on-year,” he added. “The story was similar in Central & Latin America, which grew 2.2 percent quarterly, but shrank by 6.1 percent from Q2 2016, although other regions are registering positive quarter-over-quarter growth.”
Facebook launched its ‘Marketplace’ feature in October last year – a place where users can trade and sell goods to one another without leaving the social media platform. The feature is now expanding to 17 countries across Europe, having already launched in the US, Australia, Canada, Chile, Mexico, New Zealand and the UK.
Marketplace will be introduced to Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. Facebook said the feature will “give more people a single destination on Facebook to discover, buy and sell goods in their local communities.”
The Facebook feature could challenge the likes of eBay and Craigslist. According to Facebook, the new platform is a way to formalize what its some 2 billion users have already been doing in Facebook Groups for years – buying and selling goods with other users.
“Whether you’re a new parent looking for baby clothes or a collector looking for a rare find, you can feel good about buying and selling on Marketplace because it’s easy to view the public profiles of buyers and sellers, your mutual friends, and how long they’ve been on Facebook,” the company said in a release.
In May this year, more than 18 million new items were posted for sale in Facebook’s Marketplace in the United States, and that number continues to grow, the company said. The platform is in fact a second attempt by Facebook to launch a Marketplace, after a failed attempt in 2007.
The best thing about the new Marketplace feature is that Facebook is not charging its users for it. However, the selling platform could have the future potential to further monetize Facebook’s global base, and keep them on the network, AFP reported.