EXCLUSIVE: Samsung who is the number two mobile phone vendor in Australia is in talks with Telstra and several other carriers to sell their new range of Netbooks and long life notebooks. The move by carriers into this market is a logical move say analysts due to shrinking phone margins.
Recently, Telstra Business Group Managing Director, Deena Shiff told ChannelNews that she was keen to sell notebooks via their new business store operations, which also deliver new Telstra business applications and video conferencing capabilities.
According to analysts penetration in the mobile phone market is approaching saturation, and the recession is damping enthusiasm for pricey new phones and services. So to avoid a slowdown in sales growth, carriers including Optus and Vodafone are looking at the sale of a new generation of Netbooks on business plans similar to a mobile phone.
Samsung’s new General Manager of IT Phil Newton said “We see carriers as a logical partner for notebooks which is why we are talking to them. Our brand is already known by their customers and the sell process is not dissimilar to the way that a mobile phone is sold”.
In the US AT&T jumped in earlier this year selling Samsung netbooks at its stores in Philadelphia and Atlanta. These devices are already a big hit.
According to Telstra retail executives, the Company aim to expand into a whole range of computers, digital cameras, game consoles, and other such products. The objective is to find fresh revenue streams and stoke demand for their new, data networks.
In the US the Netbook’s appears to be hot sellers with carriers. On May 17, Verizon Wireless began selling Hewlett-Packard netbooks with a two-year data contract starting at $40 a month. “We are ramping up very nicely,” says Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam in a recent interview with the WSJ.
Two days later, AT&T announced that by midsummer it would broaden its own Netbook range to all its stores nationwide.
According to Newton technical problems will be handled by Samsung with the Korean Company already cutting a deal with DHL to arrive at a customer’s office or home with a “special padded box” to pick up the notebook if there is a problem.
Another market targeted by Samsung is the consumer notebook market. After beating up Sony in the TV market Samsung is now going to go after the Japanese Company’s share of the consumer notebook market. They are also set to take on Acer and in particular ASUS and Lenovo.
Key to the battle will a massive investment by Samsung into marketing for their new IT division and the introduction of “Live” in-store merchandising kiosks that will be used to promote Samsung, monitors, printers and notebooks.
Fresh from meeting with mass retailers Newton said that he is confident “that this time” Samsung has the model right and that retailers across the Country will embrace the Samsung offering because of the new found power of the Samsung brand “particularly in the TV and home entertainment market”
“Samsung’s past attempts in this market failed because of a lack of support, poor marketing, the wrong product and a lack of focus by local management who should never have entered the market in the first place.
This time we are concentrating on the consumer market with notebooks that have 9 hour battery life, LED screens and great sound systems. “We want user to be able to watch a movie on our notebooks while on a long flight or at home. We have introduced a common battery that works across all our models. It will deliver for a lot longer than batteries from other vendors. We are also planning new touch screen notebooks for later this year along with an expanded range of business notebooks.
Among Samsung’s arsenal of new products are two new mini-notebook’s including the NC20 which has a 12.1-inch LED wide screen with a resolution of 1280 x 800.
It also incorporates the largest keyboard in a mini-notebook say Samsung.
Samsung has adopted the VIA Nano processor for the NC20 to offer a powerful performance and longer battery life. It also has an integrated 1.3-megapixel digital motion camera.
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