Wed, Jan 11, 2006 - Page 11 News List

Samsung aims for No. 3 spot in cellphone market

AGGRESSIVE MOVE The South Korean company plans to boost its marketing budget by 50 percent to raise its Taiwanese market share to 13 percent this year

By Lisa Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Samsung Electronics Co, the world's third-largest mobile phone vendor, plans to boost its marketing budget by 50 percent this year as part of its efforts to expand its market share in Taiwan, a company executive said yesterday.

"This year consumers will see Samsung products more often on TV commercials," Y. S. Jeon, president of Samsung Electronics' local branch, said yesterday.

Jeon made the remarks on the side of a press conference to introduce the firm's new cellphones.

The South Korean handset maker used to skimp on marketing campaigns in the Taiwanese market, compared to industry leaders Nokia Ojy's and Motorola Inc's lavish product launches.

In the past, Samsung only used TV advertising to promote flagship models for a short period of time following their launch, Jeon said. But now it plans to significantly increase spending to boost media exposure, he said.

Double the expense

Samsung plans to spend around US$30 million for its marketing campaign this year, up 50 percent from US$20 million last year, said Jeon, who leads the newly established marketing division.

The increase in spending will be reflected in an expanded market share, Jeon said.

Samsung aims to more than double its market share in Taiwan to 13 percent this year from around 6 percent last year, allowing it to catch up with its global share of some 15 percent, according to Jeon.

Just 12 months after taking the job, Jeon has helped Samsung lift its ranking in Taiwan from number eight to number four by the end of last year.

During his second year, Jeon hopes Samsung can overtake Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB to be the third-largest mobile phone brand in Taiwan after Nokia and Motorola.

Along with the expansion in market share, Samsung said it expects revenues of the local branch to grow by 30 percent this year from US$200 million last year, with half of the amount coming from mobile phone sales.

Slim is in

Samsung said it also plans to roll out more models -- around 20 to 30 -- in the Taiwanese market this year to spur handset sales. This would be up from the 19 models introduced last year.

The focus this year will be on slimmer models that are only around 0.89mm thick, including a third-generation slim model scheduled to be unveiled in the first half of this year in light of the popularity of Motorola's RAZR handset last year.

"Slim models will be one of three major directions of our new products for this year," Jeon told reporters.

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