Samsung boosts smartphone sales target for 2010

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Samsung increased its smartphone sales target for the year, and the company hopes to boost both its smartphone market share and handset profit margin into the double digits, a top executive said.

J.K. Shin, the president of Samsung's Mobile communications division, told reporters on the sidelines of the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin that Samsung expects to ship 25 million smartphones this year, up from a previous target of 18 million. That earlier target, announced in February, was itself triple the number of smartphones Samsung shipped in 2009. The recalibration reflects in part Samsung's growing confidence in the smartphone arena.

Additionally, Shin said the company expects to reach a double-digit profit margin from its mobile unit during the third quarter. The company's handset unit posted sales of $6.78 billion in the second quarter quarter, down 5 percent from the year-ago period. The South Korean electronics giant said its telecommunications business--which includes both handsets and wireless network equipment--posted profit of $531.3 million, down 36 percent from the year-ago period. That division's operating margin fell to 7.2 percent in the second quarter, down from 10.8 percent in the year-ago quarter.

Despite the relatively weak second quarter, Shin expressed confidence about the company's prospects. He said Samsung hopes to grab a double-digit global market share for smartphones by year-end, and that the handset maker's smartphone sales likely will double next year compared with this year.

To achieve the lofty goals, Samsung likely will rely on its Galaxy S line of Android phones. The company announced earlier this week it shipped 1 million Galaxy S smartphones in the U.S. market in the gadget's first month and a half of availability.

Android is a key priority for the company. "We are prioritizing our Android platform. Android is very open and flexible, and there is a consumer demand for it," Y.H. Lee, the head of marketing at Samsung Mobile, told Reuters at the IFA show. Samsung also is planning bada and Windows Phone 7 devices.

For more:
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)
- see this Reuters article

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