Published : 2010-03-29 23:18
Updated : 2010-03-29 23:18
Samsung Electronics, the world`s No. 2 handset vendor, said yesterday it aims to triple smartphone sales and sharply raise the portion of models that run its own mobile operating system Bada this year.
The company also said it plans to roll out the first Bada-powered device in late March or early April overseas. Samsung`s first Android smartphone for the Korean market will be launched next month.
Samsung is striving to strengthen its smartphone business to tap into the fast-growing segment, in which it falls behind such global players as Nokia, Apple and Research In Motion.
"We aim to more than triple our smartphone sales to 18 million units this year," Shin Jong-kyun, president of Samsung`s handset division, said at a press conference.
As part of its efforts to achieve the ambitious sales target, Samsung will this year launch smartphones based on various operating systems such as Android, Windows Mobile and Bada, while expanding its application store to over 50 countries, Shin said.
In particular, Samsung seeks to boost the number of Bada-powered devices this year.
"Currently, Bada does not have a prominent presence in the market. But we plan to launch our first Bada phone in late March or early April globally... we seek to make a big success with Bada," Shin said.
"The portion of Bada devices will rise significantly this year," he said, without elaborating.
He said that the company faces challenges of boosting content and services, which are crucial in smartphones, and competing with not only traditional handset makers, but smartphone makers and PC makers.
"This year will be a challenging year for Samsung," Shin said.
Samsung aims to boost total handset sales by 19 percent to 270 million units this year, from 227 million units last year.
"We aim to achieve shipment growth of double the market growth this year. We target 260-270 million units sales," he said.
Shin said the handset market, which slumped 6- 7 percent last year because of the global economic downturn, is expected to return to growth this year, with the market forecast to expand 6-7 percent to 1.2 billion units.
"In particular, smartphones, full touch-screen phones and messaging phones will lead the market growth. We will strengthen our leadership in this high-end market," he said.
Samsung also plans to launch its first Android phone for the Korean market, which would vie with Motorola`s Android phone, Motoroi, and Apple`s iPhone. The new model, based on Android`s latest mobile operating system Android 2.1, is the first Android phone that features video-calling,
The new model features a 3.7-inch WVGA AM-OLED full-touch screen, a 5-megapixel camera and an 800-megahertz application processor, as well as mobile TV terrestrial digital multimedia broadcasting.
The phone, which will be launched via SK Telecom, will allow users to download software applications not only from the Android Market but also SK Telecom`s T Store. Samsung has also combined its own user interface with Android.
Samsung declined to disclose the price.
The local smartphones market is expected to jump more than five-fold to 4 million units to 4.5 million units this year, accounting for 20 percent of total handset sales, Samsung predicted. Last year, local smartphone sales reached 750,000 units, making up only 3 percent of the total market.
By Jin Hyun-joo