Samsung tops in growing markets

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Samsung tops in growing markets

Samsung Electronics was the best-selling smartphone vendor in 14 out of 15 countries classified as emerging smartphone markets in the third quarter, according to U.S. market researcher Strategy Analytics on Wednesday.

Strategy Analytics studied 15 countries that account for over 1 in 10 of all smartphone sales based on their huge populations and lower penetration rates.

The survey included some Southeast Asian countries - such as Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines - as well as Nigeria, Colombia, Poland, Australia, Egypt, Malaysia, Portugal, Romania, Turkey, the Netherlands and Argentina.

Samsung was top in 14 of the countries, with the exception of the Philippines, where it was beaten by local budget phone maker Cherry Mobile. Samsung’s market share in Egypt was 53.6 percent and surpassed 40 percent in Turkey, Romania, the Netherlands and Portugal.

Among the countries studied, the world’s top smartphone maker recorded the largest sales volume in Indonesia, selling 10 million units to lead with a market share of 27.5 percent.

The second player was local producer Smartfren, which accounted for 13.7 percent.

Strategy Analytics said the Southeast Asian smartphone market grew 10 percent yearon year in the July-September period, which was largely due to five countries: Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia, in order of size. Their combined sales volume accounted for 13 percent of the total in the Asia-Pacific region.

“The five Southeast Asian countries led by Indonesia will sustain global smartphone market growth mainly because of their large population and low smartphone penetration rate,” said the research agency in the report.

Samsung late last year adopted a two-track sales strategy to maintain the global No. 1 position.

It beefed up profitability through high-end smartphones such as the Galaxy S6 Edge and Galaxy Note 5, and aims to raise sales volume and market share by selling budget smartphones in markets with high demand for such products.

Samsung has unveiled a series of lower-cost phones in the past year, code-named A, E or J for its Galaxy brand, as well as other models powered by the self-developed Tizen operating system - such as the Z1 and Z3 - for emerging markets. This year the company released four times more budget smartphones than premium models.

But Samsung’s woes are deepening as it is increasingly being outflanked by local brands in crucial markets. Xiaomi has become the No. 1 smartphone vendor in China and Samsung slipped to No. 4 in the second quarter, according to Canalys, a tech research firm. Second and third players were Huawei and Apple.

In India, the world’s fastest-growing smartphone market after China, Samsung was still the top brand but its gap with local player Micromax stood at a mere 6 percent in the second quarter, according to another market researcher, International Data Corporation. Out of the 1.2 billion people in India, 70 percent still don’t use a smartphone.

BY SEO JI-EUN [seo.jieun@joongang.co.kr]

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