4/30/2009 11:26:00 AM
Samsung pins hopes on Tocco Ultra Edition to regain number one spot
Samsung is looking to its new lead handset, the Tocco Ultra, to reclaim the number one position in the UK market after a tough start to 2009 resulted in a sharp drop in market share.
The manufacturer fell five percentage points to around a 22% share of the market from January to mid-April, according to retailers.
Samsung’s strong 2008 performance was attributed to prepay handsets such as the J700, E250, G600 on prepay and the original Tocco as well as the U600 (Soul) on contract.
Since the start of the year, Nokia and LG have reduced Samsung’s share with the 5800 touch-screen and Cookie respectively.
Samsung saw its prepay share fall 10 percentage points to 34% in a nine
week period up to the middle of April. Prepay was where Samsung made some of its strongest gains in 2008, amid an exceptional year of growth in the UK for the manufacturer.
The Tocco Ultra launched three weeks ago with giant ‘interactive’ versions in windows of flagship stores, and is the lead phone for many retailers and networks.
Samsung held its lead in the UK market from November 2008 until February this year – the first time anyone has broken Nokia’s stranglehold of the UK handset market for a concerted period of time.
UK general manager Derek Williamson (pictured) said Samsung was aiming to have a strong product for every segment of the handset market, adding it would offer touch-screen devices for almost all budgets.
It intensifies competition with Samsung’s Korean adversary, LG, which saw its share of the prepay market almost double to around 20% since the beginning of 2009, fuelled by the Cookie and Etna (KS360).
Nokia’s share has edged ahead to over one quarter of the market, with the 5800 its lead handset and the E71 continuing to sell strongly – especially as 3 is currently promoting it on a £20 per month unlimited texts deal.
Earlier this month, Nokia said the 5800 was its top revenue and gross margin generating product, and was the number one volume and value UK product in the first quarter.