Samsung pins hopes on Tianjin hub
Samsung Electronics, flagship subsidiary of South Korea's largest business conglomerate, expects its mainland manufacturing operations to help drive the rapid global development of its digital camera business.
'We have invested a lot in terms of manufacturing cameras in China, where most of our compact cameras are produced in Tianjin,' said Park Sang-jin (pictured), president of Samsung Electronics' digital imaging business.
Samsung Electronics, the No 3 global supplier of compact digital cameras, may make additional investments depending on the next trends in the industry, Park said.
Since 1993 the company has invested about US$1.6 billion in establishing 12 manufacturing and research and development enterprises in the Tianjin Economic and Technological Development Zone. Products made here include mobile telephones, digital cameras, television sets and various electronic components.
This set-up allows the group's expertise in optics and lens technology to complement other product lines across consumer electronics, information technology solutions and home appliances, Park said.
A lot is apparently riding on the market success of the company's new NX100, the second generation of its NX-line of 'mirror-less cameras'. This has become the most lucrative segment of the market because it features more compact design and professional-quality imaging with the use of interchangeable lenses.
Outside of manufacturing, Park said Samsung's goal was to position its digital cameras as a leading brand in much the same way its television and mobile telephone products are perceived in the domestic market.
'We are also making a lot of investment to effectively communicate that to the market,' Park said. 'If we are successful in China, we should be successful in the global market.'
According to market research firm International Data Corp, digital camera shipments to the Asia-Pacific region will reach 27.3 million units this year, which would still be behind the 34.6 million units forecast for the United States.
'Our aim is to dominate the mirrorless camera market,' Park said. 'Although we are late in this area, we expect this business to grow very quickly.'
Samsung Electronics aims to achieve a global digital camera market share of 20 per cent by 2012.