Samsung marked the sale of its 50 millionth full touch screen mobile phone globally this month, giving an upbeat forecast for 2009 mobile phone sales.
Samsung has sold approximately 40 million full touch screen devices this year through the end of November, compared with around 10 million in 2008. The growth in sales shows the rapid adoption of full touch screen phones by mainstream consumers.
Samsung said that it was on track to exceed its 2009 sales target of 200 million mobile phones, with full touch models accounting for approximately 20 percent of mobiles sold. Full touch screen models made up around 5 percent of Samsung?s sales in 2008.
Both Samsung and LG have recently boosted their smartphone line-ups to compete with Apple and Blackberry maker Research In Motion.
Apple's iPhone debuted in South Korea last week after local regulators cleared the final hurdle for its sales in a market that is home to 47 million mobile phone users.
Research firm Gartner said this month global mobile phone sales this year would be roughly on par with 2008 and grow 5-8 percent next year.
Samsung has advanced the widespread adoption of full touch phones over the past two years by introducing a wide lineup of devices ? from entry level to high-end. The Star (model: S5230), a multimedia mobile first introduced this May, became Samsung?s fastest selling mobile, surpassing 10 million units within six months of its launch. Other popular models include the F480, which has sold 9 million units since May 2008, and the Corby (model: S3650), a youth-focused model, which has sold 3 million units within only two months since its launch in September of this year.
"We?ve seen remarkable growth in full touch screen mobiles this year as consumers increasingly enjoy the user experience and convenience that these devices put at their finger tips," said JK Shin, Executive Vice President and Head of Samsung Electronics? Mobile Communications Division, Samsung Electronics.
"Samsung?s ability to deliver devices that appeal to a broad demographic of users has enabled us to accelerate the evolution toward full touch mobiles as mainstream devices. Samsung will continue to expand the global full touch phone market by introducing phones tailored to individual regions and user requirement with stylish designs, intuitive UIs and cutting edge features," he said.
By region, Samsung has sold its largest share of full touch devices in Europe with 19 million units, followed by the United States (6.3 million), China (3.4 million) and South Korea (3.0 million).
In the South Korean market, Samsung has led the trend toward full touch screen phones featuring "haptic" feedback, selling 4.4 million units since the introduction of haptic devices in March of 2008. Samsung?s haptic AMOLED mobiles (models: W850, W8500, W8550), for major local mobile operators have sold 420,000 units.