Luke Lin, DIGITIMES Research [Friday 15 March 2013]
Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics and Sony Mobile Communications demonstrated different product strategies for their smartphone businesses at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2013, but they all aim to ramp up sales in emerging markets, according to Digitimes Research.
Instead of releasing new flagship high-end models at MWC, Samsung was showcasing its entry-level models targeting emerging markets; LG was being more aggressive by presenting a compressive product line ranging from flagship models, mid-range LTE smartphones and entry-level models; Sony did not display new models at the show and instead continued to highlight its Xperia Z, which it had unveiled at CES at month earlier.
While the three brands are expected to continue to strengthen their deployments in the high-end smartphone segment, the vendors are adopting a similar strategy to push sales to emerging markets: They are utilizing reference designs offered by chipset solution vendors in order to reduce their R&D investments and hardware costs, while enabling them to roll out low-cost as well as dual-SIM/dual standby models that can meet the market demands emerging markets in a fast manner, said Digitimes Research.
Despite rising competition in emerging markets which will slow Samsung's shipment growth in 2013, the vendor is expected to be able to ship over 100 million smartphones in the first half and a total of 230 million units for the whole year, Digitimes Research estimated.
Buoyed by the growing popularity of LTE phones in Korea plus a competitive pricing strategy and its early deployment in emerging markets, LG will manage to ship over 15 million smartphones in the first half of 2013 with annual shipments surpassing 35 million units; Sony is likely to ship 40 million smartphones in the year, optimizing its brand image in Asia and Europe and its aggressive approach to emerging markets.