Samsung going in 'right direction' in China market, mobile chief says

Samsung going in 'right direction' in China market, mobile chief says


Samsung plummet to 1% in 2018 after being the biggest smartphone vendor in China in 2013

 SEOUL (Reuters) - Samsung Electronics' mobile chief said Samsung is "going in the right direction" in China, the world's largest mobile market, as it seeks to raise its lagging market share by boosting premium offerings and ties with local content firms.

Third-party data shows the world's largest smartphone maker is making small gains in its single-digit market share in China, said TM Roh, head of mobile experience at Samsung Electronics.

"We are making efforts to reach Chinese consumers with products that fit the China market, through software optimisation that fits the China market, and I think the results are coming out little by little," Roh told reporters this week.

Roh said Samsung's mobile business set the goal of "recovering" the China market via premium products and services like its new flagship foldable phones Samsung launched on Wednesday, as well as strengthening partnerships with local content firms.

Samsung, which was the biggest smartphone vendor in China in 2013 with about a 20% market share, saw that plummet to 1% in 2018 then dip further below, overshadowed by Apple and Chinese vendors like Vivo, Oppo and Honor. But by March, Samsung had recovered a 1.1% market share, according to Counterpoint data.

The current trend of premium smartphone demand outpacing demand for more bare-bones models is likely to continue for some time, Roh said, as "mobile users' device replacement cycles are getting longer and longer in the global market."

"I think they now decide buying the right product and using it longer is much more satisfactory and advantageous to their experience than replacing quickly with a new product."

As for the foldable phones Samsung pioneered in 2019, Roh said Samsung was working toward a lower-priced foldable model to widen its customer base, including in China and India.

Samsung, the world's largest smartphone maker, announces full second-quarter earnings later on Thursday.