KOREA/SPAIN: Samsung expands its smartphone range, plans market dominance
Samsung is planning to strengthen its grip on the worldwide phone market, and become a major player in tablet PCs, with a range of new models featuring larger screens, thinner casework, enhanced technology and lower prices.
The Korean giant aims to be the world's biggest-selling mobile phone company, and has set itself the task of selling a total of 300m phones this year, while doubling the number of smartphones it shifts and achieving 500% growth in tablet PC sales.
That's the plan outlined by the president of the company's mobile division, Shin Jong-kyun, speaking at the Mobile World Congress, now running in Barcelona.
He launched new versions of both the Galaxy S smartphone and Galaxy Tablet tablet PC, and announced plans for a lower-priced smartphone, designed to sell for $150 (around £100).
This would enable the company to expand the success it has already enjoyed in the US, Europe and its home market, and grow sales in areas such as the Asian subcontinent, Africa and Latin America.
That forms part of the company's plan to grow sales of smartphones to 60m units this year, and boost its tablet PC sales to 7.5m units.
Samsung also plans to reduce its dependence on hardware sales, and follow Apple's lead in becoming a solutions company, delivering both software and content for smartphones, as well as the phones themselves.
And it's not alone in that ambition: Korean rival LG has announced an alliance with YouTube, concentrating on delivering 3D content to smartphones and tablet PCs.
The deal will allow easy upload of 3D content via LG's Optimus 3D and Optimus Pad devices, the Optimus 3D being the first smartphone to allow direct upload/download and viewing of 3D video on YouTube's dedicated 3D channel.
New Galaxy Tab 10.1 and S2 smartphone
The new Samsung devices launched at MWC are the Galaxy S2 smartphone and Galaxy Tab 10.1. Both are slimmer than the existing models, and feature larger screens.
The Galaxy S2 has a 4.3in touchscreen in place of the original's 4in display, and uses what Samsung calls Super AMOLED Plus technology to reduce power consumption while maintaining brightness and clarity.
A dual-core processor is used to give speed said to equal that of a PC, and the new phone runs Android 2.3, aka Gingerbread, a key function of which is the ability to make wireless payments.
Yet the phone is lighter and thinner than the original Galaxy S, shaving 5g off the weight and 1.4mm from the thickness: the new model is just 8.5mm thick and weighs 116g.
Shin says that the company hopes the Galaxy S2 will become the new standard for smartphones when it appears, and will build on the 10m+ Galaxy S phones sold since that model was launched eight months ago.
If the Galaxy S2 is designed to attack the iPhone, then the new Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet PC is all about taking the fight to the iPad. It has a much larger screen than the original model – 10.1in instead of 7in, and yet is thinner, at just 10.9mm.
It runs Honyecomb, Google's latest tablet PC operating system, on a 1GHz dual-core processor, and looks likely to be more expensive than the original Tab when it goes on sale.
That 10.1in screen means the new Galaxy Tab has a larger display than the 9.7in iPad, but Samsung will have an uphill struggle to match iPad sales: Apple has sold 14.8m iPads in just under a year, while the original Galaxy Tab is estimated to have sold 2m units since its October 2010 launch.
Follow whathifi.com on Twitter