SEOUL, July 21 (Korea Bizwire) – The Solid-Optis consortium, which recently acquired cash-strapped handset maker Pantech, is seeking to grab a lion’s share of the Indonesian mobile communication market to revive the company.
Byun Yang-kyun, chairman of Optis, a local optical manufacturer, said at the signing ceremony for its M&A contract with Pantech, “We will join together with Pantech and throw ourselves to Indonesia.” His remark is evidence that the consortium aims to make noise in the Indonesian market, which is transforming its 2G mobile service to a 4G network.
In reality, the Indonesian IT market including mobile network services is expected to boom, as the national government is throwing its weight behind the sector in preparation for the upcoming Asian Games in Jakarta in 2018. Starting from next year, Indonesia will undergo a transition from its existing 2G mobile service to a 4G network. The new Pantech will stake everything it has to tap into Indonesia’s smartphone market.
Optis is trying to expand its business from optical products to smartphone accessories and networks to Internet of Things products, while Solid is trying to export its broadcasting and communications devices to the Southeast Asian market. For them, Indonesia represents a land of opportunity, and Pantech, which plans to manufacture its new products in Indonesia, will be their strategic base.
For Pantech, which has no hopes of survival in a domestic market dominated by Samsung Electronics and Apple, Indonesia could be considered as one of the markets where it has a better chance of competing head-to-head.
The handset market is undergoing fierce competition among local manufacturers, like the age of rival warlords, and global brands like Samsung, Apple and even Xiaomi are facing a stern test.
A detailed revival plan for Pantech will be finalized in early September at the latest, including new products.
An industry watcher said, “The revived company is expected to manufacture not premium smartphones but low- and mid-cost phones. In that aspect, Indonesia could be an optimal market for Pantech.”
By John Choi (firstname.lastname@example.org)