Samsung eyes TV sales in Japan after 2007 exit

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Samsung eyes TV sales in Japan after 2007 exit

Samsung Electronics Co., the world’s top TV supplier, is considering a reentry into the Japanese TV market after it quit the country four years ago, an industry source said yesterday.

Negotiations between Samsung and one of the top three Japanese retailers are underway, which could see sales of Samsung TVs begin as early as 2012, according to this source.

Samsung halted TV sales in Japan in 2007, failing to address challenges such as the consumer preference for domestic brands and Japan’s complex retail networks that are difficult for foreign firms to break into. The company held a 0.4 percent share of Japan’s TV market in 2007.

Samsung has since maintained relationships with corporate customers in Japan, mostly for its semiconductor business.

A spokesman at Samsung said the company has not made any decision regarding its TV business in Japan.

Samsung’s potential reentry into the Japanese TV market would match the path of its hometown rival LG Electronics Inc.

LG, the world’s second-largest TV maker, restarted TV sales in Korea’s neighbor in November 2010, launching aggressive marketing campaigns with Korean pop singers who are widely popular in Japan.

Samsung’s solid performance in Japan’s cellphone market probably prompted the Korean company to reconsider its TV business in Japan, according to the source.

Samsung has seen brisk sales of its Galaxy smartphone in Japan, outselling Apple’s iPhone in recent months.

Japan’s TV market could reach 14.5 million units this year, according to DisplaySearch, making it about seven times larger than Korea’s TV market. Yonhap

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