Samsung reaches out to secure global mobile lead
Mar 29, 2012 (The Korea Herald - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
SEOUL (THE KOREA HERALD/ANN) -- Despite its ongoing patent suits in different courts around the world, Samsung Electronics is positioning itself as the global top smartphone manufacturer with the successful landing of its Galaxy Note.
The world's second largest handset maker said on Wednesday that it sold more than 5 million units of the 5.3-inch Galaxy Note globally since rolling out the gadget in October of last year.
Since taking up 67 percent of the local mobile market last month, Samsung has also secured the No. 1 spot in the overseas smartphone market such as China, France and Spain.
It also held the Galaxy Note launching ceremony in Tokyo on Wednesday, along with a developer conference for Japanese app developers and the Galaxy Note world tour, according to Samsung officials.
Samsung's mobile chief Shin Jong-kyun has said that the firm expects to sell 10 million units of the Galaxy Note by the end of this year as it introduced the bigger Galaxy Note 10.1 at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, last month.
"The recent total sales figure for the Galaxy Note indicates that the company has achieved success in creating a new market for the smart gadgets," said a Samsung official.
The Galaxy Note, equipped with a bigger display screen that is high-definition Super AMOLED, was released to show the firm's ambition to create a new market -- a wireless gadget in between a smartphone and tablet PC.
The gadget, labeled by many as a smartphone due to its voice function, also features a digital pen named the "S pen," which enables writing on the touchscreen that could be used in the memo, photo editing and scheduling applications.
Samsung has also gained the upper hand in the global mobile market with the rising popularity of smartphones that run on the fourth generation communications network technology Long Term Evolution.
The LTE networks technology provides greater capacity and upgraded data transfer speed compared to the third generation communications technology.
A recent report by market research firm Strategy Analytics also stated that this year is likely to be a breakout year for 4G technology as the global LTE phone shipment is expected to grow tenfold to reach 67 million units in 2012.
On top of such findings, Samsung already has a pool of LTE handsets, including the Galaxy S2 LTE and the Galaxy Note with the country's mobile service operators moving busily to offer nationwide LTE coverage.
The company sold 1.7 million LTE handsets in the final quarter of last year, while its rival LG Electronics sold up to 800,000 LTE smartphones during the same period, according to Strategy Analytics.
Another study found that Samsung was also one of the top three firms with the strongest portfolio for patents related to LTE technology.
The study, conducted by global patent research community Article One Partners and Thomson Reuters last month, Samsung owned 12.2 percent of the essential and highly novel patents, whereas Nokia and Qualcomm each took away 18.9 percent and 12.5 percent, respectively.
The study reviewed 3,116 patents and pending patents declared essential by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute as of last September.
Samsung, however, is still engaged in about 30 patent battles against Apple at a number of courts in nine different countries.
The firm is scheduled to attend two hearings -- one at a court in Netherlands and the other in Germany -- this Friday.
Most recently, the Korean IT behemoth filed another infringement suit against Apple in a Seoul court early this month, claiming that the U.S.-based firm's iPhone 4S and the iPad 2 infringed three of its patents including a user interface related patent.
On March 2, the Mannheim Regional Court in Germany also dismissed two patent suits, one filed by Samsung against its U.S. rival over its 3G wireless technology and another filed by Apple on claims that the Korean firm infringed its slide-to-unlock technology.
With the lingering of talks surrounding the two firms agreeing on a cross-license, the two currently remain locked in patent legal battles in Germany, Australia, the U.K., the U.S., Japan, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Korea on issues involving design, user interface and wireless communications technologies of their wireless gadgets.
The stock price of Samsung Electronics surpassed 1.3 million won for the first time on Tuesday, but slightly dropped on Wednesday.
The record-breaking figure comes as many analysts are giving improved expectations for the result of the company's first quarter earnings, with some saying the global electronics giant will record up to 5 trillion won in operating profit.
Samsung was expected to reach somewhere in the 4 trillion won range in operating profit earlier this year.
"The company will continue to earn good figures in the smartphone business and businesses in the semiconductor field are also likely to brighten up from the second quarter," said Lee Ga-geun, an analyst at Hana Daetoo Securities.
Daishin Securities suggested the highest target for Samsung's stock price on the prediction that the firm will record an operating profit of 5.1 trillion won, up 71.4 percent from the same period last year.
Samsung plans to unveil the guidance for the first quarter earnings on April 6.
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