Samsung Aims to Cement Its Domination of the Mobile Market -- Here's How
The Korean semiconductor giant seeks to expand its already massive global position with new devices, milestones, and initiatives.
Samsung Electronics (KRX:005930) is seeking to extend its lead in the mobile devices market with an even wider product portfolio and aggressive expansion -- that much can be clearly inferred from recent announcements.
The sole leader of both the mobile phone and smartphone markets -- it holds a 23.6% share of the former, and 30.8% of the latter -- Samsung looks set to reveal several new products at the recently announced Premiere event in London.
It will be the second major international event for Samsung this year: In March the firm held an upscale presentation of its flagship Galaxy S4 smartphone (SGS4) in New York. The device sold like hotcakes. Samsung recently reported it had shipped 10 million SGS4 smartphones in just 26 days (it took 50 days for the S3 to hit that number, and five months for the S2). The hype is still shy of Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) astonishing achievement, selling 5 million iPhone 5s within the first three days of its release, but Samsung is getting closer.
To build on the heavily advertised S4 brand, the company plans to widen its product line. The London event will feature new Samsung Galaxy (Android-based) and ATIV (Windows-based) devices. The presentation is rumored to feature a Samsung S4 Zoom – an advanced Android cameraphone and a Galaxy S4 Active in a tough case. Samsung is also likely to officially introduce the Galaxy S4 Mini – a downscaled version of the SGS4 the company officially announced last week.
Samsung Headquarters in Seoul, Korea (Wikimedia Commons)
On the tablet side, Samsung continues to storm Apple's stronghold by rapidly growing its own presence. While Apple still controls 39.6% of the market (according to the IDC report on the first quarter of 2013), Samsung managed to increase its shipments nearly fourfold year-over-year, grabbing 17.9% of the market – compared to 11.2% in the same quarter last year. The company has just announced two new Galaxy Tab 3 tablets being added to its already rich family of tablet devices. Samsung has also switched to Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) processors in one of the new releases.
Another major move for Samsung recently came from the patent world. The company has established a $25 million office in DC (to be called Intellectual Keystone Technology, IKT) to safeguard its intellectual property in the US.
Samsung has featured in a number of recent stories from the patent world: The Dutch Supreme Court recently ruled that the look of Galaxy Tab 10.1 does not infringe on Apple iPad design; news from the US trade panel overseeing the Samsung-Apple patent fight will be released Tuesday, June 4.
Samsung -- the mammoth global vendor -- is now able to produce most of the components for its devices in-house. That fact, coupled with its massive financial power and global ambitions, spells trouble for the company's rivals, namely Apple in smartphones and tablets, and Nokia (NYSE:NOK) in mobile phones.
According to IDC, Samsung has just outsold Nokia on its home turf -- the Finnish market -- in the first quarter. To secure its position within the land of its fiercest rival, Samsung announced plans to open an R&D center in Finland this June.
Samsung Electronics shares are currently trading at 1,532,000 KRW ($1357), very close to its all-time January 2013 high, and the share price has been on the rise since mid-2012.