Samsung Electronics Co., the world’s largest maker of flat-screen TVs by shipments, is pinning its hopes on African countries to fuel sales growth of flat-screen TVs, a company executive said Thursday.
“Africa has huge growth potential,” Yoon Boo-keun, president of Samsung’s visual display division, told reporters ahead of his departure to the continent. “Cathode ray tube (CRT) TVs have been mainstream products in Africa, but they are shifting to flat-screen TVs. There will be a lot of replacements this year.”
Yoon and Samsung’s vice chairman Choi Gee-sung are scheduled to visit five to six African countries during Choi’s first visit to the continent.
Samsung accounted for 39.8 percent of the TV market in Africa last year, according to market researcher GfK Group. The continent’s TV market is estimated to grow to $1.75 billion this year, according to DisplaySearch, and it is among the fastest growing emerging markets.
Along with LG Electronics Inc., the runner-up in the TV industry, the two Korean TV makers claimed more than 60 percent of the continent’s TV market in 2010.
On the high-end front, Samsung is trying to create momentum with Web-connected, so-called smart TVs and gain greater clout in developed countries’ 3-D TV markets.