Samsung leads sales of affordable handsets in emerging markets, HTC stays behind

What: Samsung is the biggest smartphone maker worldwide and also the sales leader of affordable smartphones in emerging markets.
Why is it important: Samsung’s sales and marketing strategies have proven to be market-specific, meeting customer’s needs and possibilities.

Samsung’s third-quarter operating profit rose to about 10.1 trillion won (US $9.4 billion), beating analysts’ expectations on sales of cheap handsets in emerging markets. As it turns out, its aggressive sales strategy of making its smartphones available at every price point has proven to be quite accurate.

HTC Corp., on the other hand, one of Samsung’s biggest competitors –despite its revival of flagship One handset and a US $12 million marketing deal with actor Robert Downey Jr.–, posted a net loss of US $101 million in the same period, as its global smartphone market share plunged by more than half.

Samsung has expanded its range of mid-priced smartphones such as the Galaxy Golden and S4 Mini to capture sales in blooming markets such as China and India. The company has also benefited from rising prices for the memory chips it makes for customers such as Apple Inc.

“Samsung’s identity is all about speed, which is something that no one can easily mimic. The market is changing extremely fast”, said Lee Seung Woo, a Seoul-based analyst at IBK Securities Co.

Samsung sells at least 40 smartphone models, according to its U.S. website, thus satisfying the market’s constant demand for high-end devices. That compares to about 25 HTC devices.

“HTC needs to figure out if it just wants to focus on the high-end market or the mid- to low-end segment, and right now it is missing out on both,” said Wang Wanli, a Taipei-based analyst at CIMB Securities Ltd.

Source: Bloomberg.