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Samsung Eyes Tab Market

By Oonagh Reidy | Friday | 08/11/2013

Galaxy wants to be No. 1 tablet. And that means outrunning the current leader - Apple

Phone giant Samsung is eagerly eyeing the tablet market, as reveals $50bn cash stockpile for strategic acquisitions, at an investor day in Soul this week.

As Samsung held its first investor day in eight years, senior management reassured worried investors that it was reinvesting capital and promised higher future dividends. 

Samsung Mobile CEO JK Shin also revealed big plans for tablets, revealing its aim to be 'No. 1 in tablets', a position it current holds in the smartphone race. 

Shin wants the Korean giant to lead the 'Post PC' era and strengthen its Galaxy tablet range. 

Samsung's Galaxy Tabs and Notes enjoyed rapid tablet growth since H2 2012, selling more than 40m units, to date. 

It now predicts CAG of 15% (2013-17), but it has even higher expectations for demand for 10" plus models, forecasting 20% demand spurt growth. 

Recent analyst figures show No. 2 Samsung is steadily catching up to Apple - increasing marketshare to 23% last quarter, or over 10.6 million, up almost 25% on Q2, noting a "vigorously" boosts to shipments in 12 months. 

'Samsung has expanded its tablet lineup over the past year, mirroring the approach that has brought it success in the smartphone market, with an array of offerings geared to hit a variety of price points', say analysts IHS. 

Speaking to investors, Shin pledged to "leverage our Galaxy brand, distribution channel and global networks," as well increase the number of Samsung Experience stores, globally.

"Our tablet sales significantly increased already this year. So we are ready for the next step", he declared. 

Shin also predicts continuous growth in the smartphone market, this year alone will see over 100m Galaxy S and Notes sold, predicts higher growth in 'premium' A+ devices, and eyeing emerging markets for growth like China, Brazil. 

Samsung estimates smartphone demand will surge from 1 billion currently to 1.7bn units by 2017. 

"Significant investment"

The world's biggest tech company is also looking for the next big thing in tech mobile, according to Shin's presentation, citing "big data, 'flexible devices', 'wearable device', and 'convergence' as future tech drivers.  

Samsung CFO Lee Sang-hoon also pledged to effective use of global R&D resources, and is putting aside a $50 bn war chest for mergers and acquisitions and other strategic investments, as Samsung looks for the next big thing. 

"I know we have been somewhat conservative in M&A but it may be different in the future. Based on this, I don't believe the current level of net cash balance is excessive," he said.

"We plan to allocate a significant portion of our annual cash flow into capex and R&D to secure future growth and shareholder return".

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