On Wednesday, Hong Won-pyo, Executive Vice President of Samsung Mobile, said during the company's weekly executive meeting held in Seoul that Samsung will become the leader in the global mobile phone and smartphone markets, beating out both Nokia and even Apple here in the States.
The challenge isn't surprising given Samsung's current legal dispute with Apple over patent infringement claims regarding the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet. As of late, the company has become less of a long-time Apple supplier and more of an actual competitor, releasing both smartphones and tablets using Google's Android OS.
"Samsung will become the world’s biggest handset maker within the year as we have good product mix-up according to markets," he said. "In smartphones, Samsung will further bolster our presence in developed markets with promoting premium lineups. In emerging markets, Samsung has a strategy to boost our share by selling more mid- and low-end phones."
Samsung is reportedly expecting sub-$200 models to account for more than half of the overall smartphone market by 2015. The company is also hoping to narrow the market gap with Apple here in the States, and may begin its assault on the iPad/iPhone maker with its mysterious "Something Big is Coming" announcement slated for September 1 (which may only be the Galaxy S II reveal).
According to Hong, the global demand for mobile phones is expected to rise to 1.55 billion this year, while the number of smartphones is expected to be 420 million. "In South Korea, 80-percent of phone users have smartphones," Hong said. "In North America, the portion of smartphone users rose to 49-percent, while that percentage also increased to 49-percent, 25-percent and 16-percent in Europe, Asia-Pacific and Central & South America respectively," Hong said.
The company also plans to take on Apple up in the clouds by heavily investing in its own S-Cloud service while also increasing the sales of its Galaxy-branded tablets fivefold by the end of 2011. "The tablet market is the one that Samsung should not lose," he added. "Demand will rise to 150 million tablets by 2015 from an estimated 59 million this year and Samsung sees the tablet market will grow 53 percent annually."
In related news, Samsung indicated on Wednesday that it has no plans to purchase HP's PC division should the offer be brought to the table. "Samsung will not take over HP's PC business," Samsung spokesman James Chung said. Meanwhile, a Dutch court on Wednesday imposed an EU-wide preliminary injunction against Samsung Galaxy smartphones.