Samsung aiming to keep its No. 1 smartphone spot

MOBILE LEADER::Following a strong showing last year for the South Korean firm, it aims at maintaining its local dominance as more users shift away from feature phones

Staff writer, with CNA

Fri, Jan 04, 2013 - Page 13

Samsung Electronics Co is set to maintain its lead in the local smartphone market this year thanks to sales of mid-range and entry-level models, a company executive said yesterday.

Andy Tu (杜偉昱), general manager of the Samsung Taiwan mobile communication team, said the company has been the largest smartphone vendor in Taiwan since May last year, with a market share of more than 30 percent.

“We hope to maintain the No. 1 place this year,” Tu said at a news conference to launch the Samsung Galaxy S III mini phone, a smaller and cheaper version of the South Korean firm’s flagship Galaxy S III.

Mid-range and entry-level smartphones accounted for about 20 percent of total local smartphone sales last year, and the ratio is expected to rise this year as more consumers shift from feature phones to smartphones, he said.

Samsung, which launched three to four mid and low-end smartphones in the country last year, will adjust its product strategy in this category this year based on market demand, he added.

Mid-range smartphones are those priced at between NT$10,000 and NT$15,000, while entry-level smartphones typically sell at under NT$9,000.

Tu said Samsung became the largest tablet computer vendor in Taiwan in the second half of last year because of new product launches.

He said that tablet sales in the country reached about 100,000 units per month, and the numbers may increase significantly this year.

Last month, the International Data Corp forecast that Taiwan’s smartphone and tablet shipments for this year are likely to grow by 13 percent and 44 percent respectively, thanks to the launch of new products and technologies.