Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. said on Thursday it sees global mobile phone sales growing faster than expected this year while its own handset sales would meet its target.
At first we expected some 900 million in sales this year, now it looks like 950 million, Lee Ki-tae, president of Samsung's telecommunication networks business, told a news conference held on the sidelines of the Samsung 4G Forum.
In July, Samsung forecast 910 million unit sales in the global handset market.
Lee said Samsung expected to meet its own mobile phone sales target of 115 million this year without problem and its handset business would improve in the second half from the first.
But he admitted the company was losing market share by underperforming rivals: The most urgent problem is market share, Lee said.
Samsung, trailing Nokia and Motorola Inc. in the handset market, saw its mobile phone sales fall in April-June from the previous quarter as Motorola enjoyed booming sales due to its blockbuster RAZR.
New models and seasonal demand should help (a recovery), but it won't be enough for Samsung to significantly regain market share against Nokia or Motorola, said Choi Yong-kyu, a fund manager at IBK SG Asset Management.
Analysts blame Samsung's lack of cheap models for emerging markets and its failure to differentiate from other strong brands for its sluggish sales compared to rivals.
Samsung hopes its phones with advanced mobile technology, such as high-speed wireless Internet service or mobile TV, would strengthen its edge once those services become widespread.
The company in June launched new ultra-slim handsets to tap into the runaway success of Motorola's thin clamshell RAZR.
Meanwhile, Lee said four more global operators would soon choose mobile WiMax, after Sprint Nextel Corp. picked the technology for its future wireless Internet service.
Another six carriers were up for trial of the high-speed wireless broadband technology, backed by suppliers including Samsung, Lee added. He did not disclose the names of the companies.
Sprint Nextel said earlier this month it would spend up to $3 billion over two years to build a high-speed wireless network using WiMax technology along with Samsung, Motorola Inc. and Intel Corp..
Samsung will supply network gear and mobile phones. Lee said he expected Samsung to get about 35 percent of orders for telecoms systems in the project, without elaborating.
Shares in Samsung, also the world's biggest maker of memory chips, ended down 0.31 percent at 650,000 won, compared with the wider market's 0.85 percent gain.