Taipei, Jan. 3 (CNA) South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co. is set to maintain its lead in Taiwan's smartphone market this year thanks to sales of mid-range and entry-level models, a company executive said Thursday.
Andy Tu, general manager of the Samsung Taiwan mobile communication team, said the company has been the largest smartphone vendor in Taiwan since May 2012, with a market share of over 30 percent.
"We hope to maintain the No. 1 place this year," Tu said at a news conference to launch the Samsung Galaxy S III mini phone, a smaller and cheaper version of the South Korean firm's flagship Galaxy S III.
Mid-range and entry-level smartphones accounted for about 20 percent of Taiwan's total smartphone sales last year, and the ratio is expected to rise this year as more consumers shift from feature phones to smartphones, he said.
Samsung, which launched three to four mid- and low-end smartphones in Taiwan last year, will adjust its product strategy in this category in 2013 based on market demand, Tu added.
Mid-range smartphones are those priced at between NT$10,000 (US$345) and NT$15,000, while entry-level smartphones typically sell at under NT$9,000, he said.
Asked about Samsung's strategy for tablet computers in 2013, Tu said the company became the largest tablet vendor in Taiwan in the second half of last year because of new product launches.
Tablet sales in Taiwan have reached roughly 100,000 units per month, and the numbers may increase significantly this year, he said.
International Data Corp. (IDC) forecast in December that Taiwan's smartphone and tablet computer shipments for 2013 as a whole are likely to grow by 13 percent and 44 percent, respectively, thanks to the launch of new products and technologies.
These growth rates are also lower than those forecast for this year -- 34 percent for smartphones and 56 percent for tablets, the research firm said.
Google Inc.'s Android operating system will remain the most popular mobile platform in Taiwan, taking a 53 percent market share, beating Microsoft Corp.'s Windows and Apple Inc.'s iOS, which are expected to hold a 21 percent and 17 percent share, respectively, IDC said.
(By Jeffrey Wu)