Samsung claims “clear” UK handset leadership

Written by: Mobile News
Samsung claims “clear” UK handset leadership

Samsung managing director of mobile Simon Stanford says  smartphone sales have quadrupled in the last six months

Samsung claims it is now consistently outperforming its manufacturer rivals for handset sales and has overtaken Nokia to become “by far” the UK’s market leader.

In an exclusive interview, Samsung UK managing director of mobile Simon Stanford told Mobile News one in every four handsets sold in the UK is now a Samsung. Stanford said the Korean company is in the midst of one of the most “exciting times” in the manufacturer’s UK history.

Stanford (pictured), who joined Samsung in 2009, said in October he had targeted Samsung Mobile to become the UK’s market leader within two years, naming Nokia as its main rival.

And according to recent figures from Gfk, Samsung now has 24 per cent of the total UK market share for handsets. Nokia and BlackBerry have 15.7 per cent and 15.4 per cent respectively.

R&D investment

Stanford claims Samsung has outperformed its rivals through the levels of investment in its research and development department, releasing devices to cover different market segments and working more closely with its reseller partners to improve the instore experience.

He also stressed the importance of “getting it right” first time when it comes to the reliability and availability of handsets, suggesting this is not always the case with its rivals.

Samsung has made claims of UK leadership in previous years while under the leadership of its former VP of UK and Ireland Mark Mitchinson.

But Stanford said it only achieved this position for a matter of days based on Christmas sales, but has now maintained its position as number one for the past two quarters.

Stanford said: “The main difference now is that we are looking for a sustained number one position. This means being successful in many different areas across the market.

“Historically Samsung has got to number one only over the December trading period. But after 17 to 18 weeks at number one this has changed.

“The brand is now being seen as synonymous with quality.”

Android leadership

Stanford also says Samsung has more than quadrupled its market share in the smartphone market to more than 16 per cent in 2011, making it the fourth-largest by share, behind BlackBerry, Apple and HTC.

This has been aided by sales of new handsets such as the Galaxy S II, which has sold more than three million worldwide since it was launched in May.

But Stanford claimed Samsung will overtake HTC imminently, based on its sales projections.

This would also make Samsung the biggest manufacturer in the UK using the Android operating system.

“Smartphones are very important for us and we still strive to be number one in smartphone share. We very strongly believe that we will be the top performing Android vendor over the next six weeks.”

A Nokia spokesperson said of his claims: “With conflicting figures and opinions, based on different measures appearing regularly, it’s Nokia’s policy not to comment on industry rumour or speculation.”

HTC said it does not comment on sales and market share.

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