Samsung threatens to quit laptop market
By Matthew Sparkes in South Korea
Posted on 14 May 2008 at 13:32
Samsung will pull out of the laptop market within three years unless it can triple sales, according to a senior manager.
Speaking today at Samsung's South Korean office, Sukyong Hong, senior manager of overseas sales and marketing at Samsung, claimed that the company needs to ship 11 million laptops in 2011 in order for its notebook division to remain "sustainable".
The Korean manufacturer currently enjoys 1.7% of the global laptop market, but will need to more than triple that to 5.7% within three years to meet what was described in a presentation as a "minimum survival" volume.
"We should meet the target," claims Hong, explaining that a move into the US market and an as yet unnamed European country is expected to bring with it substantial sales growth.
Unusually for a notebook manufacturer, the company fabricates 80% of laptop components in-house, including hard disks, batteries, TFT panels and optical drives.
The company also manufactures TFT panels and memory for several large manufacturers, such as Apple and Acer.
The shock news comes as the company is undertaking an overhaul of its senior management. Samsung announced today that its CEO, Yun Jong-yong, will be replaced, as will the head of its semicondictor business, Hwang Chang-gyu.
Late last month the company's long-standing chairman, Lee Kun-hee, stepped down following allegations of tax evasion.
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