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Samsung projecting rapid smartphone growth

Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - 03:15

Feb. 28 - Samsung has unveiled a new smartphone which allows users to display multimedia content on walls using an inbuilt projector, as the company aims to corner and even greater slice of the mobile market. Andrew Potter reports.

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Samsung is aggressively chasing an even greater share of the global smartphone market. And on day two of the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona, it showed off a new variation of the successful Galaxy smartphone called the Beam. It has a touch screen like normal, but can also send a powerful beam of light to project media against any surface. Will Bin is the the phone's product manager and says the Galaxy Beam is like carrying a television in your pocket. (SOUNDBITE) (English) WILL BIN, SAMSUNG PRODUCT MANAGER FOR GALAXY BEAM, SAYING: "This phone can do what your TV cannot do. Because your TV is fixed to the wall, so you have to sit on the couch in the living room to enjoy your favourtie movie. Now, with this phone, you can take it indoors outdoors. To a camping site, to a classroom, to a living room and also to your bedroom and shoot it on the ceiling, while in bed with your kids to enjoy your favourite movies." The Galaxy Beam is only 12.5mm thick, and is capable of projecting an area up to 50 inches across. In time it could incorporate sensor technology, so users can interact with the content they're projecting. Samsung has also brought its a new version of the product it calls Note to Barcelona. With a 10 inch screen such devices are being called "Phablets", their size making them half way between a phone and a tablet. Samsung sold nearly 100 million smartphones in 2011. Its CEO told the Congress the company wants to double that figure this year. Samsung faces stiff competition not only from U.S. arch rival Apple, but fast emerging Chinese companies. One of those is Huawei. Its new Ascend D quad is set to be the world's fastest smartphone, according to Huawei marketing director Frederic Fleurance. SOUNDBITE: FREDERIC FLEURANCE, HUAWEI GLOBAL PRODUCT MARKETING DIRECTOR , SAYING (English): "As soon as you touch the screen it will be faster, much much faster. So anything that you will do with videos, gaming, browsing you will have a much more faster reaction on your device." Global smartphone sales remain strong, and crucially for manufacturers, profit margins are also bigger than other forms of handset. That makes this a fiercely competitive marketplace, and according analyst Ben Wood, the new Chinese companies are muscling in. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ANALYST BEN WOOD, SAYING: "Five years ago it was Nokia, Motorola, Samsung, Sony Ericson. Now brands like Huawei, from China are arriving with very very aggressive ambition. they are saying they want to sell 60 million smartphones this year. They say they have an expectation that they can sell like for like products some 15 or 20 percent cheaper than rivals. And it is a really daunting prospect for incumbents, so we are getting squeezed more and more with this smartphone race." A big headache for BlackBerry and Nokia in particular, who are struggling to keep up in the smartphone wars. Huawei and Chinese rival ZTE sold 35 million smartphones between them last year. That's around seven percent of the smartphone market, and just like Samsung, the companies are expecting their sales to double in the year ahead. Andrew Potter, Reuters

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Samsung projecting rapid smartphone growth

Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - 03:15

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