Samsung Expects Better Future for Smartphones, Chips in 2018 | Be Korea-savvy

Samsung Expects Better Future for Smartphones, Chips in 2018

Samsung Electronics Co. holds a shareholders meeting in Seoul on March 23, 2018. (image: Samsung Electronics)

Samsung Electronics Co. holds a shareholders meeting in Seoul on March 23, 2018. (image: Samsung Electronics)

SEOUL, Mar. 23 (Korea Bizwire)Samsung Electronics Co. said Friday it is expecting a better future for its smartphones and semiconductors this year on the improved performance in China and demand for premium chips.

The South Korean tech giant held a shareholders meeting, where heads of each divisions delivered the latest updates of respective businesses.

“China is a complex market that is different from what is found domestically,” said Koh Dong-jin, head of Samsung’s IT and Mobile business, acknowledging that Samsung earlier failed to fully understand China’s retail and commerce customs, although this has improved recently.

Industry watchers have estimated that Samsung market share in the world’s most populous country is in the single digits due mainly to the strong competition with local rivals rolling out price-competitive models.

Koh said Samsung replaced China-related managers and simplified decision-making process related to its business in the country.

“This year, the market environment for smartphone will be more challenging considering the slowed growth and intensified competitions among rivals,” Samsung said, adding it will continue making notable innovations to remain competitive.

To solidify its market presence, Samsung said it will focus on promoting sales of the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus smartphones, and also diversifying its product portfolio to tap deeper into the emerging markets. Releasing customized tablets and wearable devices for different markets is also one of its strategies, it added.

Samsung said it will seek to invite more partners to the ecosystem of Bixby, its voice-recognition program, and have its solutions connect to devices and services of other companies in line with the development of the Internet of Things industry.

As for the crucial chip and display segment, the company said it will focus on meeting the rising demand from the 5G, IoT and automotive industries.

“This year, the chip market will experience an increase in demand from the 5G, IoT and automotive industries amid the fourth industrial revolution,” said Kim Ki-nam, president and CEO of Samsung’s device solution business.

“There will be new demand for high-capacity and high-performance products that can effectively process massive data,” Kim added, apparently hinting that the industrywide boom in computer chips will continue this year as well.

Kim said Samsung will continue to expand second-generation 10-nanometer DRAM products and seek to maintain growth by utilizing its new manufacturing line in Pyeongtaek that was completed last year.

Samsung also plans to expand gaps with rivals by developing third-generation 10 nanometer DRAM and sixth-generation NAND flash in the near future.

Concerning the display sector, Kim said Samsung will face uncertainties due to the expanded production of LCD products by China.

“We will deal with the rising demand from smartphone makers for the OLED displays and also enhance competitiveness in the LCD segment through the quantum dot and high-resolution products,” Kim said.

When asked about the rise of Chinese rivals in the chip industry, Kim said although it is true that the Chinese companies are making inroads into the market with the support of the Chinese government, the technology barriers in the industry remain high.

“The technology gap cannot be narrowed just by short-term massive investment,” Kim said.

Kim then apologized for the recent blackout at its Pyeongtaek line, which resulted in a loss of some 50 billion won (US$46.3 million), saying the company will bolster efforts to prevent such incidents in the future.

Kim Hyun-suk, head of Samsung’s consumer electronics business, said the company expects to confront stiffer competition not only from established players in this sector but emerging firms this year.

“The competition will become more complex, as we will not only compete in terms of price and performance but also in the artificial intelligence and IoT technologies,” Kim said. He said the company will carefully study the needs of consumers to tackle challenges.

Samsung said it plans to bolster leadership in the TV sector through the premium QLED TVs that are larger than 75 inches.

The company also said it will push into the smart signage industry, along with other business-to-business projects.


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