Samsung details aggressive smartphone plans

Samsung said it plans to triple its smartphone sales this year as part of its effort to increase its overall handset sales by 19 percent. The company also boasted that this will put it into direct competition with smartphone leaders such as Apple, HTC and Research in Motion.

The company, the world's No. 2 handset maker by unit shipments, said it will increase its smartphone sales in 2010 to around 18 million units, up from 6 million in 2009, by focusing its efforts on Google's Android platform, Microsoft's Windows Mobile and its own bada OS.

"There'll be a big change in our smartphone strategy this year," J.K. Shin, the president of Samsung's telecommunications division, told reporters in Seoul. "We plan to strengthen our smartphone business this year by not just improving hardware offerings but also beefing up content, applications, services."

The focus on smartphones, where Samsung has been a relative laggard compared with some of its competitors, is part of a broader effort to outpace the wider handset market. In late January, Samsung predicted the overall handset market would rise 10 percent in 2010 compared with last year. While Samsung enjoys 20 percent of the overall global handset market, it only has around 3 percent of the global smartphone market. According to research firm IDC, Nokia commanded the lead in the smartphone market in the fourth quarter of last year with 38.2 percent share, followed by RIM with 19.6 percent, Apple with 16 percent, Motorola with 4.6 percent and HTC with 4.4 percent.

Interestingly, Samsung's South Korean rival LG recently proclaimed similar smartphone ambitions, and also plans to rely on Windows Mobile and Android.

For more:
- see this Dow Jones Newswires article (sub. req.)
- see this Bloomberg article
- see this Reuters article

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