Samsung Electronics, the world’s No. 2 mobile phone maker, aims to grab a bigger slice of Taiwan’s handset pie this year by launching more lower-priced smartphones, a company executive said.
Last year, Samsung had a 29 percent share of the local handset market, the company said. Globally, the South Korean company had a 17.7 percent share, with sales of more than 314 million units last year, trailing behind Nokia Oyj, according to market researcher Gartner Inc.
This year, Samsung’s growth would build on the market’s expansion, said Andy Tu (杜偉昱), general manager of Samsung Taiwan’s mobile communication team.
Tu expects overall Taiwanese handset sales to increase to 8 million units this year, up 14 percent from last year’s 7 million.
“We are optimistic about our market share [expansion],” Tu said.
He declined to comment on media speculation that Samsung was aiming for a 35 percent share of the market.
Rising demand for smartphones would be the main driving force, Tu said.
“Growth in the low-end segment will be very strong,” he said.
Low-end smartphones carry price tags ranging from NT$6,000 to NT$10,000.
Demand has exceeded Samsung’s expectations, with the company “unable to fully satisfy customer demand in January and February after local telecoms operators launched more promotions to sell low-end smartphones to drive data usage,” Tu said.
“Telecoms companies consider smartphones as the best tool to boost data traffic,” he said.
Tu expects the smartphone penetration rate in Taiwan to rise to 70 percent by the end of the year.
Smartphones made up 26 percent of all handsets sold in the middle of last year, according to market researcher ADI Research.
“To cater to customer demand, Samsung will throw in a lot of low-end models,” Tu said.
To help boost sales, Samsung also plans to more than double the number of its retail outlets to 225 stores at the end of this year, compared with 92 last year, Tu said.