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Samsung aims to retain global market lead

Despite expected steep competition next year, tech giant expects record-high revenue

Samsung Electronics launched a series of conferences for next year’s global strategies on Tuesday, where its hundreds of executives at home and abroad are expected to discuss ways to maintain the firm’s leadership in the global market.

The electronics firm’s three major business units ― device solutions, consumer electronics, and IT and mobile ― will hold the meetings in Giheung and Suwon in Gyeonggi Province until Friday.

Vice chairman Kwon Oh-hyun, DS unit chief Kim Ki-nam, CE division chief Yoon Boo-keun, mobile unit chief Shin Jong-kyun and CFO Lee Sang-hoon will participate in the meetings, Samsung officials said.

Chairman Lee Kun-hee’s eldest son and heir apparent Lee Jay-yong will likely attend a meeting with top executives.

Samsung, which has set an annual sales goal of 421 trillion won ($400 billion) by 2020, reportedly aims to earn 250 trillion won in revenue next year, up 10 percent from this year’s expected 222 trillion won.

Market watchers, however, expected there would be many challenges for Samsung, especially due to heated competition in markets for smart devices and semiconductor chips.

“It would very difficult for Samsung to differentiate its high-end smartphone models since Chinese smartphone makers will release premium handsets equipped with quad full HD next year at cheaper prices,” said Kim Young-woo, an analyst at HMC Securities.

“How to maintain profit margins will be one of the main issues discussed at the meetings,” Kim added.

Market experts also say the executives will discuss expanding the firm’s presence in the business-to-business market. Mobile chief Shin previously said that the firm would reinforce the B2B business, hinting that he would aim to supply tablet PCs and its mobile security solution Knox to government agencies and global companies.

Samsung reportedly set its sales goal of tablet PCs next year at 100 million units, up from around 40 million shipped this year.

On the semiconductor front, Samsung’s executives are expected to seek ways to maintain the leadership in the DRAM market and spearhead the vertical NAND flash memory market.

“The center of the discussions will be increasing the production of 3-D NAND memory chips while reducing that of PC DRAM and securing new customers for Samsung’s System LSI products, including mobile application processors,” said Nam Dae-jong, an analyst from Hana Daetoo Securities.

Even though Samsung ranked second in the global chip market with a 10.5 percent market share, the firm should stay on its toes, market analysts said.

“After failing to mass-produce a 20-nanometer mobile AP, Samsung now has to jump into rolling out 14- or 16-nanometer products,” said analyst Kim Young-woo. “That will be a burden for the Korean chipmaker.”

Increasing the market share in the Chinese TV market will be an important task next year for the Korean tech firm, which ranks sixth in the flat-screen TV market, according to DisplaySearch, a leading display market research institute.

To that end, the Korean firm is likely to put more emphasis on mass-producing high-end and mid-range ultra-HD TVs.

“The global TV market will surpass $100 billion next year, and the UHD TV market will grow more than fivefold,” Yoon said at a recent investor relations session, adding that Samsung would strive to produce cheaper and various UHD TVs.

By Kim Young-won (
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Korea Herald daum