South Korea's tech players will be able to boost their smartphone sales this year as they concentrate more on moderately priced models while global demand is likely to grow to a new high, local analysts said Wednesday.
"Samsung Electronics Co. is expected to sell 370 million units around the world in 2014," said Lee Seung-woo, an analyst at IBK Investment & Securities Co. "The number is above the 319 million units estimated a year earlier."
Lee based the strong outlook on Samsung's strategy with inexpensive models when the market for high-end products is becoming saturated, with added complications from ongoing patent suits with its U.S. rival Apple Inc.
"The Galaxy S5 will account for around 50 million units, while the next Galaxy Note lineup, slated for release later in the year, will take up 10 million units," Lee added. Galaxy S5, to be released in world markets later this week, is priced lower than its predecessor.
"Now the battleground is not in innovations, but how efficiently one can produce smartphones," Lee said.
Lim Dori, an analyst at Shinyoung Securities Co., projected that LG Electronic Inc., Samsung's smaller rival at home, will also be able to advance its smartphone sales to 60 million units this year, compared with the 47.6 million posted in 2013.
Most recent market data said Samsung is expected to account for
35.7 percent of the global smartphone market in the second quarter this year, with LG holding a comparable figure of 6.3 percent.
Samsung, the world's No. 1 smartphone maker, is estimated to have taken 32 percent of the global market in the October-December period of 2013, with LG taking 4.4 percent.
The outlook is supported by latest market research by Strategy Analytics that said global sales of smartphones will exceed 1 billion units for the first time this year, going as far as 1.2 billion, up 21.2 percent from a year earlier.
It said the Asia-Pacific will account for 53.8 percent of the total sales with 646 million units, trailed by North America with
153.2 million units and Western Europe with 150.9 million units.
The researcher, however, said the sales growth will slow in the coming years, capped at 1.6 billion units in 2020. (Yonhap)