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Samsung Galaxy Note 7 disaster impacts search

After a month of recalls, exchange programmes and apologies, Samsung have finally called it a day on the Galaxy Note 7. They are taking an estimated £4.4 billion hit to profits this year with analysts predicting wider losses through a lack in brand confidence. All advice to consumers is to stop using them and return them, but where do we go from here and who has been impacted?

Search trends for the Galaxy Note 7 increased 300% from the 10th to 11th October. This follows the company’s announcement to stop production and offer a compensation scheme. So who has benefited from this?

Hitwise shows strong growth among many mobile operator websites such as O2, EE and giffgaff. These sites also show strong year-on-year as well as week-on-week search traffic gains. The smaller increases across the mobile retailer websites, like Carphone Warehouse and mobiles.co.uk, illustrate that consumers are informing themselves on the latest available deals and handsets. We have also seen a huge increase in search volume of breakout terms. Globally, Google’s Pixel phone and Huawei’s Mate 9 have seen the largest gains with the UK market moving focus to the iPhone 7.

Outside of the telecoms industry, the message to consumers is also clear. UK and global airlines may follow the US airline’s initiative to ban the Galaxy Note 7 from all flights. Additionally, the Royal Mail is refusing to handle the device leaving consumers in a tight spot when it comes to returning their device to Samsung. Interestingly Samsung’s ‘Find My Mobile’ site has seen traffic decrease over the past 3 weeks. This may be the result of fewer people needing to find their Samsung.

All Response Media Viewpoint

As the handsets are returned and customers look for replacement phones, how much of an opportunity exists? With a retail price close to £700, we expect many handsets have been bought on contract. With that contract still in place, customers may find themselves tied to replacements with their current provider leaving little scope to drive new business. We have seen differing reactions from retailers. For example, Carphone Warehouse deleted their Note 7 page, leaving users finding them through organic search on a 404 page – a potential missed opportunity. Other retailers are offering recommendations and suggested alternatives making the process easier for customers.