Samsung expects higher smart phone growth in South Asia: Samsung Official

Mar 30, 2015 (LBO) – Korea’s Samsung says the smart phone market in South Asia is likely to grow more in the future with the increasing per capita income in the region.

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“There will be experiential growth in smart phone segment in South Asia driven by India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh,” Rajiv Mishra, vice president communication and media, south west Asia, Samsung Electronics said.

“These four markets are important and emerging markets where per capita income is on rise and people want to shift from feature phone to smart phone,”

“If you compare the growth rate of these markets to any other developed market, you will find that the growth percentage is very high.”

The total mobile market which comprise feature phone and smart phones will now experience a major shift from feature to smart. Many companies who are in the mobile phone business, introduce added features, longer life battery and developed camera facilities to smart phones to stay competitive in the business.

Smartphones have an operating system which can run many applications, similar to a small computer, while remaining connected to the internet compared to so-called feature phones which are now in wide use.

Samsung says, its strategy is to keep on investing in development and research.

‘About 7 percent of our top line is on research and development (R&D) more than 14 billion dollars of our expenditure was on R&D, last year,”Mishra told.

“We have 36 research and development centers all across the globe and we have three centers in south Asia.”

He was speaking to LBO at the launch of Samsung’s newest smart phones, GALAXY S6 and GALAXY S6 edge which will be available in Sri Lanka from mid April 2015.

“Sri Lanka is an extremely important market for us, and it is growing,” Mishra told.

“If you look at Samsung strategy, we are everywhere in range of price, we start from 50 dollars or 100 dollars and goes to even 1000 dollars,”

“So a market like Sri Lanka is a match for us.”

Sri Lanka’s mobile phone sales reached one million unities in the third quarter of 2014 while smart phone shipment up by 100 percent which accounts for 20 percent of the total sales, a market report said.

“Sri Lanka mobile handset shipments continue to show consistent growth in both the Feature phones as well as Smartphone segments, making it among very few South East Asian markets where growth was seen in both segments,” said CyberMedia Research, a Market Intelligence and Advisory firm in its report.

The report says the market grew 11 percent in unit shipment terms, quarter-on-quarter (3Q CY 2014 versus 2Q CY 2014), and 43 percent growth year on year. Smart phones segment up 100 percent to 0.2 million units while feature phones up by 33 percent to 0.8 million units year on year.

In the smartphone market segment, Samsung leaders with a 20.6 market share followed by E-Tel with 17.7 percent market share.

Huawei accounts for 14.3 percent in the market.

Sri Lanka feature phone shipments reached 0.8 million units in the quarter. Nokia had a market share of 25.7 percent in the quarter, followed by Micromax (20.1 percent) share.

About 6.8 million people in the world use smart devices and about 20 percent of the population use smart devices in Sri Lanka data showed.