Samsung targets Nokia’s backyard for growth

Having sold nearly 55 million handsets in Europe last year, Samsung has stated that it now wants to increase its 25 per cent share of the market to above 30 per cent in 2010.

Given that Nokia has dominated the European market for decades – with a current 40 per cent share, Samsung’s ambitions have been taken as a direct assault on Nokia’s existing midrange and smartphone product portfolio. Samsung’s CEO has claimed that the company would look for closer to 20 per cent growth in handset revenues from Europe as it ramped up its smartphone activities and moved towards higher priced models, fiercewireless.com says.

Samsung is backing almost every smartphone OS that has been launched including its own bada operating system. The company said that bada would provide it with strong market differentiation – something that Android didn’t–and believed its new bada-enabled Wave smartphone would be the single most important handset in its European strategy.

Samsung presently has handsets supporting Symbian, Android, Windows Mobile and now plans to launch more phones running the LiMO OS, to join the existing Vodafone H1 and M1.

Some observers, however, are concerned over the strategic emphasis being taken with bada and question whether Samsung can attract significant developer support for another new, and unproven, mobile OS in Europe.

Regardless, Samsung claims it can make progress in Europe due to consumer upgrade cycles that have been stretched out during the credit crunch, but is expected to release pent-up demand in the second half of this year.

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