Leading mobile vendors Nokia and Samsung have both signalled radically different strategies in their bids to boost market share with the unveiling of their latest handsets. Nokia, the world’s number one handset supplier, has taken on board criticism of the size of its high-end ‘Communicator’ smartphone – nicknamed ‘the brick’ in some quarters – and shed 45 grams and several centimetres from its latest model, the 9300. The Finnish company hopes the new design will lure more female buyers when it hits the shelves priced at around EUR700 early next year. ‘The Communicator’s history is not great because of its size,’ said a Nokia spokesperson. ‘A high percentage of current users are men. The new phone fits a lot better in a handbag…’
Samsung, meanwhile, has taken an altogether different approach with its latest big handset launch, the SPH-V5400. Available in South Korea later this month, with a worldwide roll out to follow early next year, the V5400 is the world’s first ever phone with a postage stamp-sized hard disc drive. The one-inch diagonal drive boats 1.5Gb of memory, around 15-times that of an average handset and capable of storing a vast library of multimedia data. In addition, the phone boasts a high-resolution QVGA 2.2-inch display and includes an MP3 player, electronic book and Korean-English/English-Korean dictionaries. A powerful microphone enhances the camcorder function, while Samsung claims that the inclusion of dual speakers will provide 3D sound. The company has yet to announce a price for the handset.
Samsung hopes that its technologically advanced handsets will help it continue to eat away at Nokia’s grip on the global market; the South Korean vendor saw its market share rise by 1.9% in the second quarter of 2004, according to Gartner. Nokia managed to claw back 0.8% of the sector to register a 29.7% share at the end of June, but that figure is still well down on the 35.6% it had twelve months earlier.