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In what could be a win-win-lose situation for Samsung, Best Buy, and Apple, the Korean electronics maker announced today that it will open up Samsung Experience Shops in 1,400 Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile specialty stores across the U.S. These shops within a shop will allow customers to explore, purchase, activate, and receive service on a wide range of Samsung mobile products and accessories.
Samsung says it will stock its shops with a full range of mobile products, including smartphones, tablets, laptops, connected cameras, and accessories, all available in a single location within Best Buy. Just as there's a designated Apple section where customers can play with the latest iOS device, they'll now be able to do the same with products from Samsung, Apple's biggest competitor.
"Samsung has been delivering the latest innovation across the consumer electronics category for some time," said Dale Sohn, president of Samsung Telecommunications America. "With the Samsung Experience Shops, we are ensuring consumers get the most of that innovation by learning how to leverage their mobile devices across our ecosystem of consumer electronics. Consumers will have one place to not only explore and learn about our full portfolio of mobile products, but also the support of a Samsung expert to help with selecting and servicing them. This will truly be a unique mobile shopping experience."
These specialized shops will vary in size, the largest being around 460 square feet. Larger shops will showcase a "Samsung Connected Solutions" area to demonstrate Samsung devices being connected to and sharing content with each other.
The announcement comes on the heels of Best Buy ending a six-month pilot program that saw Geek Squad agents offer installation, repair, and warranty services to electronics customers at 29 Target locations. It also comes at a time when Apple and Samsung are vying for control of the mobile market with competing platforms (iOS and Android).