Published: 9 December, 2010
Samsung continues to notch up the milestones in terms of device sales. After announcing 5m Galaxy S shipments wordwide in mid-October, it crossed the 3m mark in the US alone last month and shifted 1m Galaxy Tabs in 14 days. Now it says it will have shipped 5m handsets running its homegrown operating system, bada, by the end of the year. Overall, this belated breakthrough in the smartphone space will help the Korean vendor achieve its goal of increasing its total handset shipments in 2011, to 330m devices.
In Q3, Samsung broke the 70m-unit barrier for the first time in a single quarter, with a 19% leap in sales. This growth was heavily dependent on the Galaxy and Wave ranges, and Samsung is close to catching Nokia in some territories, even the Finn's European heartland.
Many dismissed bada, which was launched early in the year and started selling, on the original Wave handset, in June. But 5m units in half a year is a strong showing and Samsung plans to broaden the family next year and put renewed efforts behind building its developer and apps base. So far, the vendor says there have been almost 50m downloads from the Samsung Apps Store.
In November, Samsung began to ship the Wave II, the most recent bada product, in France, and it is being rolled out to other markets, such as south east Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, India and China. This made a total line-up of six bada cellphones (Wave, Wave II, Wave525, Wave533, Wave575 and Wave723).
The rising importance of handsets to the whole Samsung group was seen in the firm's recent corporate restructuring, which involved the promotion of no fewer than 489 executives. The moves brought more mobile employees into management positions and also aimed to increase the youthful influence. Although promotions of children of chairman Lee Kun-hee gained most of the headlines, another attention grabber was Lee Min-hyouk, at 38 the youngest of Samsung's 1,800-plus executives. He is a handset designer, who created two of the three cellphones that have sold over 10m units at Samsung.