Samsung to focus on China for smartphones

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 09 June, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 09 June, 2011, 12:00am


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China and other emerging economies will be Samsung Electronics most important market for smartphones, according to a senior manager from the consumer electronics and mobile phone giant.

Samsung Electronics, the flagship subsidiary of South Korea's largest conglomerate, produced 280 million mobile phones last year, of which 9 per cent were smartphones.

Senior vice-president Young Hee Lee of Samsung Electronics' global marketing team, mobile communications business, said smartphones as a percentage of total mobile phone shipments were expected to reach 25 per cent this year and rise to about 30 per cent in 2012.

'Greater China is the most important market for our business,' Lee said. 'We are investing a lot in this area, in advertising, event-holding, retailer partnership, etc.'

She said the Chinese market represented huge potential. 'We know the future is here,' Lee said. Other emerging economies, such as India, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East, were also a focus for Samsung.

'In these markets we are still selling a lot of phones with basic features, but we are providing more affordable smartphones,' she said. Over the past four years, Samsung has increased its share of the mobile phone market in China from 10 per cent to 22 per cent.

The two largest telecommunications equipment makers in China, Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corp, have announced ambitious plans for boosting smartphone sales. Huawei said it expected sales to increase tenfold by 2012.

But Lee played down the threat posed by Huawei and ZTE, saying that although their sales volumes were strong, Samsung focused on high-end products and not just competitive pricing.

Samsung yesterday debuted its latest generation of smartphone in Hong Kong, the Galaxy S II. It said the 4.3-inch touch screen and 1.2 gigahertz dual-core processor had made it a big success in South Korea. 'Hong Kong is not a huge market but it is a very important one, as consumers here are very sophisticated and demanding,' Lee said.

Galaxy S II will be available starting on June 14 priced at HK$5,298.