Samsung is more than just an OEM, it’s a real mobile brand

High-traffic Best Buy locations will soon feature “Samsung mini-stores,” according to a report this morning from Geek.com, as part of the launch of a program that will eventually be rolled out to all of the retailer’s stores. The first Best Buy outlets “will soon be receiving instructions to remove two aisles next to their mobile department” that will be dedicated to Samsung products and will be clearly marked with the manufacturer’s brand. Best Buy employees in the mobile department will be trained specifically in Samsung’s hardware and features.
This is a very big win because Best Buy has become a major player in the mobile retail market: It sold more tablets than any other retail store or website in 2011, according to NPD Group, and was the largest non-carrier outlet for smartphone sales year. And as the Geek.com post points out, Apple is the only other retailer to enjoy the kind of exclusive treatment Samsung will reportedly soon receive. Not only will that provide a lift for sales of Samsung’s mobile products, it’s an indication that the company has truly arrived as a high-profile mobile brand in North America.