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Samsung drops Brightstar as mobile and tablet distributor

Paul Withers
June 17, 2015

Westcoast (tablets only) also axed as manufacturer appoints Data Select, Exertis, Tech Data Mobile and Ingram Micro Mobility to manage mobile and tablet distribution in the UK

Samsung has dropped Brightstar and Westcoast (tablets only) as distributors of its mobile and tablets in the UK following a two-month review. The manufacturer has instead appointed Data Select, Exertis, Tech Data Mobile and Ingram Micro Mobility following a “competitive pitch”.

Samsung first issued a ‘request for information’ (RFI) to all of its existing partners back in April as part of plans to “refocus and realign” the UK mobile and tablet business. The review was spearheaded by the manufacturer’s UK and Ireland IT and mobile vice president Conor Pierce (pictured).

It said the successful partners were chosen for their combined blend of B2B and B2C expertise, adding they share its ambition for its mobile business and have the right credentials to meet the challenges of today’s market, which includes its intent on leading the way in the connected home and Internet of Things (IoT) space.

The mobile and tablet tender was put in place to streamline Samsung’s channel programme, reducing the total number of distributors from six to four to enable it to develop deeper relationships with those that share its “long-term vision for the market and brand”.

Pierce said: “With the completion of a highly competitive tender process, we believe we now have the right distribution landscape in place to support us deliver against our ambitious business goals, with four committed distribution partners who, in our view, are in the best position to supply the UK market.”

Samsung originally informed interested partners a final decision would be given by last Wednesday. However, it was understood to have contacted each distributor involved in the tender to request further details around their routes to market, but also value added services such as finance and insurance, available to customers.

Pierce, who famously axed Data Select and 20:20 Mobile as Nokia partners back in 2011 in favour of Exertis (then Micro P) and Ingram Micro Mobility, told Mobile News back in April he expected the number of partners to be reduced.

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