Thu, Nov 29, 2007 - Page 11 News List

Samsung bullish on sales

PHONES UP The firm forecast shipments would be about 50 million in the current period, driven by demand from emerging markets and third-generation mobile phones


Samsung Electronics Co, the world's second-largest mobile phone maker, forecast shipments would rise by more than 25 percent next year, outpacing industry growth, on demand for handsets with faster download speeds.

Shipments may rise to 200 million from the estimated 160 million this year, Suwon, South Korea-based Samsung said in presentation material at a forum in Seoul yesterday.

The South Korean company overtook Motorola Inc in the third quarter to become the second-biggest handset maker after Nokia Oyj as it introduced models that offer quicker access to the Internet and higher-quality cameras. Samsung tapped growth in emerging markets as customers including China Mobile Ltd, the world's biggest carrier by subscribers, added users at a record pace.

"Samsung has boosted market share as it sells more phones through carriers such as China Mobile," said Frederick Wong, a Hong Kong-based analyst at BNP Paribas SA. "The company has been increasing its range of high-end models, which the mobile operators like as they help boost sales of non-voice services."

Samsung increased its global market share in the third quarter to 14.5 percent from 12.2 percent a year earlier, as Motorola's fell to 13.1 percent from 20.7 percent, a report by researcher Gartner Inc showed. Nokia widened its lead, increasing its share to 38.1 percent from 35.1 percent, the researcher said.

Gartner said global shipments will rise to 1.13 billion handsets or "slightly" higher this year, in line with its previous forecast. Worldwide sales gained 15 percent to 289 million handsets in the third quarter, led by the Asia-Pacific region, eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Gartner said.

"There's no looking back now for handsets," Chu Woo-sik, head of investor relations at Samsung, said yesterday at the forum. Chu predicted Samsung will maintain its ranking next year.

Samsung's handset shipment growth will be about double that of the industry next year, Chu said, without providing a detailed projection.

The company, which shipped a record 42.6 million handsets in the third quarter, forecast shipments will be about 50 million in the current period, driven by demand from emerging markets and third-generation mobile phones.

Samsung's handset margins in the current quarter will be lower than the previous three-month period because of increased marketing expenses, the company said.

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