Samsung bypasses partners for SSDs

By Allie Coyne on Aug 8, 2012 11:08 AM
Filed under Hardware

Sells straight to consumers.

Samsung is selling solid state drives straight to consumers as hard drive replacements, in an effort to boost a flagging PC market.

According to a report by Bloomberg, the South Korean company is banking on customer demand for SSDs growing by 125 percent this year, 

"The word of mouth behind SSD is turning it into that aspirational technology,” Chris Geiser, a Samsung marketing manager, told the wire service. “We are seeing a massive increase in sales.”

Earlier this year, Samsung embarked on an unusual marketing campaign across Europe involving an ex-ambulance, four Samsung ‘SSD Angels’ and 50 Samsung 830 SSDs, offering laptop upgrades to willing participants. 

The team of Samsung product specialists upgraded the laptops with SSDs for 42 passers-by. The reactions of the laptop owners were recorded and broadcast - part of Samsung’s marketing plan to win over other laptop users with its SSD products.

Samsung launched its home-grown 830 SSDs in Australia last week, touting their fast performance, low heat output and reliability. 

The range is covered in brushed metal in deep black. It also boasts serial ATA revision 3.0 interfaces with 6GB/s SATA speeds, and is available from Samsung resellers now for between $129 for the 64GB model, and $899 for the 512GB unit.

Samsung Australia did not respond to CRN's requests for comment by the time of publication.

General manager for computers at premium Samsung retail partner Harvey Norman, Ben Macintosh, told CRN the initiative had promise and the retailer was open to discussions about a similar move locally.

“There is obviously a big difference in the retail operating environment between Europe and Australia, but we are happy to discuss any kind of opportunity or marketing campaign with Samsung.”

Macintosh said he did not see the move as Samsung shutting out its partners.

“I think it’s a great idea to bring the technology to customers,” he said. “I’d be concerned if there wasn’t a conversation, but in good partnerships everything can be discussed. The most important thing for me is the customers buying the technology."

Macintosh said he was unaware of plans to launch an Australian version of the European campaign, the success of which he said was unlikely to be replicated in the local market.

“I don’t think SSDs would stop traffic on George St in Sydney,” he said. “It’s exciting technology, but it’s not exciting to talk about. Having said that, I’d be looking at any opportunity to get the technology to customers.”

 
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