Samsung expects continued U.S. growth

Samsung said it expected continued handset growth in the U.S. market despite the widely predicted global handset slowdown forecasted for 2009, according to a company executive at the International CTIA Wireless 2009 show in Las Vegas.

"We don't expect the market to decrease," J.K. Shin, the head of Samsung's mobile communications division, said in an interview with Dow Jones Newswires. Shin said the company expected continued growth in smartphones and touchscreen handsets. Smartphones have been predicted to be the saving grace for the U.S. market in 2009. Shin said he was expecting growth in emerging markets as well as in Western Europe. Samsung is now the world's second largest handset maker by volume behind Nokia.

Samsung is expected to launch a smartphone based on Google's Android handset sometime in the second half of the year. It has also committed to touchscreen phones and its proprietary TouchWiz user interfaces as the key differentiating factor for its phones. The company plans on making touchscreen technology available on more mid-tier devices and not exclusively the province of high-end smartphones.

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