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Samsung eyes 6th place in laptop market

Apple’s MacBook Air expected to be firm’s biggest competition


Samsung Electronics aims to become the world’s sixth-largest player in the mobile PC market by establishing itself as a high-end brand, the company’s executive vice president Nam Seong-woo said Thursday.

The electronics maker launched a super-slim laptop computer as a part of its strategy to carve a bigger share out of the high-end market currently led by Hewlett-Packard.

Samsung as of last year had a 5 percent stake in the global mobile PC market, after having sold just over 7 million units as of the third quarter.

“We only did 5 percent last year, but this year we want to increase that significantly, especially in the high-end market,” Nam said. 
Models show Samsung Electronics’ new super-slim laptop computers Thursday. (Kim Myung-sub/The Korea Herald)
Models show Samsung Electronics’ new super-slim laptop computers Thursday. (Kim Myung-sub/The Korea Herald)

He added that he wants to replace all existing high-end PCs, including Apple’s portable computers, with Samsung’s laptops.

The lightweight Sens Series 9 laptop weighs just 1.31 kilograms and has a 13-inch-wide display. Measuring just over 1.5 centimeters wide, the wafer-thin laptop was designed to resemble a paper folder ― a so-called “aero-dynamic” design.

Its lightweight was attributed to the use of Duralumin, a light alloy of aluminum used for constructing aircraft.

Samsung’s newest laptop’s biggest competition was expected to be Apple’s lightweight laptop ― the MacBook Air ― which was launched in October last year, industry watchers said.

The MacBook Air laptops began sales in Korea in November, in two sizes ― displays measuring 11.6 inches and 13.3 inches. At 1.06 kilograms, the 11.6 inch model weighs less than Samsung’s latest laptop.

Apple’s computers were also priced significantly lower at 1.69 million won ($1,500) for the 13-inch model, compared with 2.49 million won for Samsung’s new laptop.

The Seoul-based firm said it will launch the Series 9 computers next month, beginning in the Americas and Europe.

Nam yesterday forecast that the mobile computer market would grow an annual 15-20 percent, contrary to concerns that laptops were losing competitiveness amid the growing popularity of tablet PCs.

By Kim Ji-hyun (jemmie@heraldcorp.com)
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