Samsung eyes Indochina expansion
Jan 14, 2013 (Bangkok Post - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Samsung plans to expand its emerging-market footprint in Indochina and Myanmar, positioning Thailand as its regional hub.
The strategy is intended to capitalise on opportunities stemming from the Asean Economic Community in 2016, said Gregory Lee, the president and chief executive for Southeast Asia, Oceania and Taiwan.
Samsung will move into Myanmar and Cambodia with a plan to form a sales team, said Mr Lee.
"Thailand will act as our Indochina hub as we expand into the two countries," he said.
Mr Lee said Samsung believes the first mover in the market can gain advantage through sustainable leadership.
Southeast Asia is a strong growth area for Samsung thanks to its sound economic growth and strong demand for mobile devices and home appliances.
"We expect our sales revenue in the region to grow at a double-digit rate this year," said Mr Lee.
He vowed that Samsung will this year strengthen its leadership position in smartphones, tablets and smart TVs in Thailand, its second-largest Asia-Pacific market behind Australia.
Assawin Chusatapornkul of Thai Samsung Electronics' product marketing group, said the company is in talks with several content providers for joint development of a streaming video service and online rental movie service for its smart TV sets. Samsung previously cooperated with GTH to offer exclusive movie services for its Galaxy smartphones and smart TV.
Based on an internal consumer survey, Mr Assawin said 61% of smart TV users stream video from the internet.
By June, Samsung plans to launch its first 85-inch ultra-high-definition (HD) TV in the Thai market after global demonstrations. It has a resolution four times greater than normal HD screens.
Mr Assawin said the smart TV trend this year will shift to sets with bigger screens of 46-55 inches priced from 30,000 baht compared with the existing 32-inch sets priced up to 20,000 baht.
"Sales of smart or internet-enabled TVs will account for half of the total flat-screen TV market in Thailand this year, up from 30% last year," he said.
Mr Lee said competition in the smartphone market looks set to be fierce this year due to the variety of new models and declining prices.
"We will continue introducing innovative products with multiple operating systems to retain our strong market share," he said.
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