Thu, Oct 24, 2013 - Page 15 News List

CCTV criticizes Samsung over handset malfunctions

Bloomberg

Samsung Electronics Co, the biggest seller of smartphones in China, was criticized by the state-run national broadcaster for offering handsets that allegedly malfunction dozens of times a day because of faulty memory chips.

The Galaxy S and Note series handsets are crashing as many as 30 times a day and the chips need to be upgraded, according to China Central Television’s (CCTV) Economic Half-Hour program, which cited a mobile phone repairman it did not identify.

Samsung said it is committed to the highest quality.

The world’s biggest smartphone maker joins Apple Inc, Volkswagen AG and Starbucks Corp in being scrutinized by state-run media for their operations in China, the second-largest economy.

Samsung, the world’s largest producer of handsets, sells at almost 5,000 locations in China and had 18 percent of the market in the June quarter, according to Canalys.

“It seems like China is bashing some big foreign brands in turns,” said Lee Do-hoon, an analyst at CIMB Group Holdings Bhd in Seoul. “The reason behind all this may be because the Chinese government wants to protect the local companies.”

Samsung has identified the source of the problem as software and said customers can download a firmware patch or visit an authorized repair outlet for free service, CCTV reported.

“We remain committed to providing the highest quality products and services,” Chenny Kim, a spokeswoman for Samsung, said yesterday. “Upon verification of these reports, including their technical aspects, we will respond accordingly.”

China accounted for 14 percent of Samsung’s consolidated sales last year, compared with 29 percent for the Americas and 25 percent for Europe, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Samsung’s leading share of China’s smartphone market in the second quarter outpaced the largest local handset makers in the next five spots: Lenovo Group Ltd (聯想); China Wireless Technologies Ltd’s Coolpad (酷派); ZTE Corp (中興); Huawei Technologies Co (華為); and Xiaomi Corp (小米), according to Canalys.

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