Wed, May 16, 2012 - Page 12 News List

Samsung expects smartphone growth

NEWEST TOY:The South Korean electronics firm unveiled its Galaxy S III yesterday and said it hopes to capture 30% of the smartphone market in Taiwan in the second quarter

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

Samsung Electronics Taiwan managing director Moon Sung-hyun and Samsung Taiwan mobile communication team general manager Andy Tu, third and fourth from left, take part in a promotional event for the new Samsung Galaxy S III smartphone in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: CNA

Samsung Electronics Co, the world’s No. 1 smartphone brand, expects the growth of its sales of handset devices — including feature phones, smartphones and tablet PCs — in Taiwan to outperform its average global growth forecast this year on the back of momentum driven by its newly launched flagship smartphone model.

The South Korean consumer-electronics maker unveiled its Galaxy S III smartphone in Taiwan yesterday, with the model set to go on sale through local channels on June 1.

“Taiwan is one of the first-round markets launching the sales [of the Galaxy S III],” Andy Tu (杜偉昱), general manager of mobile communication at Samsung Taiwan, told a media briefing.

Tu said he is confident that sales momentum of the Galaxy S III in Taiwan would outpace that of the Galaxy S II last year, further driving up the company’s handset shipments in Taiwan.

In February, the company said it expected to sell about 380 million handsets around the world this year, up about 27 percent from a record 300 million handsets sold last year.

“Growth in Taiwan will definitely outperform this figure,” Tu said, citing strong demand for high-end smartphones.

Tu said Taiwan’s smartphone market is still in a fast-growing phase, with sales of high-end smartphones accounting for 30 to 40 percent and their average selling prices maintaining their climb.

This would extend the sales momentum of the company’s “Galaxy” series models, further helping the brand maintain its leading position and market share in Taiwan’s handset sector this year.

Meanwhile, the company is also strengthening its marketing strategy in Taiwan by expanding the number of outlets of its exclusive retail store called “Smart Shop” to 100 by the end of next month.

These shops, as well as another 70 shop-in-shop experience areas, will offer customers a high-quality environment for experiencing the company’s various products, Tu said.

Samsung’s move was in line with the latest marketing strategy launched by HTC Corp (宏達電), the world’s No. 5 smartphone brand.

The Taiwanese smartphone company announced on Monday it has set up new experience areas in about 200 shops in Taiwan for its “One” series of smartphones.

Other than marketing strategy, the two smartphone brands have also initiated a “price war” in Taiwan, with the price of the Galaxy S III matching that of HTC’s One X.

The suggested retail price for a 16GB Galaxy S III is NT$20,900, the same as that of the One X.

Tu maintained an optimistic view that Samsung would hold at least a 30 percent market share in Taiwan in the second quarter. He did not specify the company’s forecast for sales this year.

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