Seoul, Korea-based Samsung plans to sell phones to Vodafone K.K. by summer 2006, entering Japan’s $3.9 bn handset market for the first time, according to company officials involved with the talks. Sophia Kim, a Samsung spokeswoman, and Vodafone’s Tokyo-based spokesman Matthew Nicholson declined to comment. Vodafone Group already buys Samsung phones for markets outside of Japan. Interesting! We were just talking about this the other day! — Eds.
Samsung lags market leaders Nokia Oyj and Motorola Inc., which have agreements to supply handsets to DoCoMo. For Vodafone, the talks may result in the company gaining access to Samsung’s cheaper handsets which include the world’s slimmest model and a phone equipped with a hard drive that can store up to 750 songs.
“Samsung’s biggest advantage is it can offer handsets to operators that are about 10,000 yen ($86) cheaper than domestic makers such as NEC Corp.,” said Michito Kimura, an analyst at researcher IDC in Tokyo. Continue