By Darrell Etherington
Samsung (GM:SSNLF) is looking to move around 20% more mobile phones in 2013 than it did in 2012, according to a new report from The Korea Times. The Korean electronics firm wants to ship 510 million phones in the New Year, which exceeds the 420 million it projected for 2012. The 2013 increase adds anticipated holiday sales to its existing 288 million total devices sold through September. Around 76%, or 390 million, of that 510 million will be smartphones, according to a key Samsung supplier speaking to The Korea Times.
These figures are very optimistic compared to earlier projections from Gartner, which pegged Samsung at around 300 million smartphone sales next year at the upper limit. Samsung has since shown itself as a very strong competitor in the latter half of the year, thanks to devices like the Galaxy S III and Galaxy Note 2. Those have helped the smartphone maker become the top global cellphone brand in 2012, finally overtaking Nokia to win that honor, according to iHS iSuppli projections.
While Samsung execs see a possible slowdown overall for smartphone demand, the company will offer Windows 8 devices and smartphones shipping with TIZEN -- a joint project with Intel (INTC) -- in addition to its existing stable of Android-based handsets. It also claims in the report to be considering "better pricing" in developing markets to drive growth, and provide LTE-capable handsets at lower costs in more established markets like North America.
Put in perspective, Apple's (AAPL) iPhone sales for 2012 totaled just over 125 million, so Samsung's plan would see it outselling its strongest smartphone market rival by a considerable amount and outpacing its other Android handset maker rivals by even more of a gap. Given how strong the Korean electronics maker has come on in both the Android OEM race and overall smartphone market, that's not too surprising or unrealistic an expectation for 2013.