Samsung Electronics, the South Korean electronics giant, aims to make Indonesia the main market for its products, betting that its large population and strong economic growth will increase sales.
“Indonesia is a key market for Samsung, and we wanted to bring the forum here,” said Gregory Lee, president and chief executive of Samsung Asia, during the Samsung Forum 2013 in Jakarta on Wednesday.
“Southeast Asia has taken on smartphones very quickly. With the smartphone market, [the region] has become a high priority,” he said. Samsung is a major seller of Android-based smartphones.
Southeast Asia, Oceania and Taiwan contributed 63 percent of the company’s global revenue, Lee said.
Samsung posted record revenue of $187 billion in 2012, up 31 percent from the year before.
In most countries in Southeast Asia, Samsung smartphones and tablets are either first or second in terms of market share, Lee said.
He said that Indonesia, with its vast population and economic growth at more than 6 percent annually in the past few years, had become the key market for achieving success in the region.
Android-based smartphones are continuously gaining traction against Blackberry as they become more affordable and increase penetration to the massive middle income group in Indonesia, according to International Data Corporation.
At the forum, the company launched its new Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 — a combination of tablet, diary and e-book reader — at this week’s forum. A new feature on the mini tablet is “multi-screen,” to optimize multitasking.
Lee said success in the region was achieved not only in mobile and tablet sales, but also in other electronics such as home appliances.
On Wednesday, the company also launched its new refrigeration and washing machine division, and an 85-inch ultra high-definition TV.
Reza Varindra, product marketing head at Samsung Electronics Indonesia, said that in 2012 industry-wide electronic home appliances sales in Indonesia rose by 25 percent.
He said Samsung sales in Indonesia exceeded that growth rate, but declined to disclose the figure.
This year, Reza expects the industry to maintain growth rate at 25 percent.
“Market penetration of electronic home appliances is still very small — with income increasing, more people are starting to spend money on washing machines, refrigerators,” he said.