Samsung confident about S6 outlook



Samsung Electronics mobile chief Shin Jong-kyun presents Galaxy S6 during a news conference at Samsung Seocho office, southern Seoul, Thursday.
/ Korea Times photo by Shim Hyun-chul
Buoyed by a market-beating first-quarter performance, Samsung appeared to regain much of its confidence with its mobile chief appealing to customer loyalty for its latest Galaxy 6 and Edge smartphones on the eve of the start of global sales.”Sales of the S6 depend on the intensity of your support,” co-CEO Shin Jong-kyun said at a news conference to launch the device in Korea, Thursday.

He refused to speculate on potential sales, but was confident that they will exceed those of the S5, which proved to be a failure by the company’s standards.

“The response from consumers and distribution channels is really good. We hope the S6 will write a new history in terms of sales since Samsung entered the smartphone market,” Shin said.

Following a string of good reviews after the devices’ unveiling at this year’s mobile expo in Barcelona, Spain, officials said they expect the two S6 models, including one with a curved screen, to reinstate margins battered by competition with cheap Chinese and Indian mobile makers.

JPMorgan expects the shipment of 50 million handsets, with 75 percent being S6s and the remaining being Edges.

Samsung received more than 20 million pre-orders for the S6, which was a record.

The mobile chief said its S6 Edge version will have trouble meeting the huge customer demand due to yield issues, as the S6 Edge has dual-curved screens.

“We are trying hard to increase S6 Edge production,” a top executive said.

Solid demand for the curved-screen version, costing 130,000 won more than the flat S6 in Korea, could further improve margins for Samsung’s handset division.

Shin said Samsung Electronics is on track to invest more for the creation and development of various ecosystems for its smartphones. “Samsung is developing an ecosystem in sync with our smartphones. To meet with growing demand for our corporate clients, we are paying more attention to applications for the business-to-business segment,” Shin said.

He also responded to allegations that the S6 Edge is not strong enough, a controversy triggered last week after SquareTrade posted a video showing an S6 Edge model being put through a bending test alongside an Apple iPhone 6 by saying; “I am proud to say that S6 Edge is safe for use.”

Samsung said the two versions can handle pressure up to 35.8 kilograms of force without bending, more than the pressure an average human could exert when sitting on the phone in their back pocket. “We used strengthened aluminum on both the front and back,”Shin said.

He told reporters that Samsung is working on developing a new wearable device. “You will meet with the next Gear wearable device in the near future.”

Despite its decision to use its in-house mobile processors inside the S6 — ditching Qualcomm processors — Shin said Samsung’s partnership with the U.S. firm will continue as in previous years.

“We may use Qualcomm processors in our next models. Let’s see what happens. The one clear point is, Samsung should use the most-competitive engine to power our devices,” he said.


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