Samsung Sees Cheaper Tablet PCs as Way to Regain Market Footing

After having been outpaced by Apple and Amazon to slip to third place in the global market for tablet PCs, Samsung Electronics looks like it is preparing to turn the tide by rolling out cheaper products to regain its competitive edge.

At a press conference on Sunday (local time) ahead of the opening of World Mobile Congress (WMC), which kicked off in Barcelona, Spain, this week, Shin Jong-kyun, the head of Samsung's mobile communications business, revealed the company's future plans to develop new models.

"We targeted sales of 7.5 million tablet PCs last year, but just fell short of 6 million," Shin said. "In the first half of this year, we may be launching low-price versions to target this end of the market."

Apple dominated the market in annual sales last year by shipping some 40.49 million units of its iPads, while Samsung finished second and Amazon third with the introduction of its Kindle Fire e-book reader. However, during the last quarter of 2011, Samsung was overtaken by Amazon, which sold 3.88 million units of its Kindle Fire, and slid to third with 2.14 million tablet PCs sold.

Shin stressed that the company plans to diversify products to regain its footing in the market. It has debuted a 7-inch and 10.1-inch Galaxy Tab 2 at the ongoing WMC, the world's largest convention for mobile devices, along with its Galaxy Note 10.1, a stylus-based variant of the similarly sized-and-named Galaxy Tab.

The Galaxy Tab 2 also touts an upgraded LCD screen and enhanced dual-core CPU. It runs on Google's latest version of Android OS 4.0.

englishnews@chosun.com / Feb. 28, 2012 10:37 KST