Samsung said it will likely beat its 2009 handset shipment forecast of 200 million units, partly based on stronger sales of touchscreen devices.
The company, which sold 197 million phones last year, did not provide a new sales target. Samsung, the world's second largest handset maker by volume after Nokia, said it sold 40 million touchscreen devices this year through the end of November, up from 10 million in 2008. For the full year, the company said it expects touchscreen devices to make up 20 percent of its total handset sales, up from 5 percent last year.
The global handset market has contracted for much of the year, making Samsung's announcement surprising. However, Samsung shipped 60.2 million handsets in the third quarter, a new record for the company. Samsung's handset shipments in the quarter were up 16 percent from the year-ago quarter, when it shipped 51.8 million units, and up 15 percent from the second quarter, when it shipped 52 million units.
Indeed, research firm Strategy Analytics appeared to telegraph Samsung's position following Samsung's third-quarter earnings report. "Samsung's marketshare is at its highest level ever, surpassing the psychologically important 20 percent mark," the firm wrote in October. "This was the first time a vendor other than Nokia has shipped more than one-fifth of the world's handsets since Motorola's Razr-heyday performance of 2006. The key to Samsung's growth has been an attractive portfolio of touchphones and an expanding retail presence across multiple regions."
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