Menno Van Den Berg, marketing manager for corporate clients of Samsung Electronics Netherlands, explains details about “SGH-P960” mobile phone to participants at a launch event in Amsterdam.
But Samsung officials couldn’t be happy with the news that Apple’s iPhone is virtually ready to penetrate the Dutch market via the Netherlands’ biggest mobile operator KPN ― probably an ominous sign for Samsung with expected soaring marketing costs.
On Sunday, Samsung Electronics said it will commercialize the “SGH-P960’’ mobile that supports DVB-H OMA-BCAST technology in the Netherlands from Thursday via KPN ― for the first time in Europe.
The handset enables users to watch television programs with clearer images thanks to digital natural image engine technology. The device adopts a 2.6-inch QVGA liquid crystal display screen and features a 3.0-megapixel camera, Samsung said.
“The timing of the launch has been delayed for one month for technical reasons,’’ a Samsung spokesman said.
“Currently, we have no detailed idea of how many European mobile operators will support the DVB-H OMA-BCAST technology and in that sense the launch is a kind of litmus-test,’’ he added.
Samsung’s new phone has been in line with the Dutch incumbent player’s plan to launch a large-scale network that will offer TV through mobile phones from Thursday in time for the start of the Euro 2008 football championships.
The number of mobile phone users in the Netherlands rose to 18.9 million in 2007, representing a penetration of 115 percent due to the large number of cancellations of traditional telephone connections, according to industry estimates.
DVB-H, or digital video broadcasting for hand-held devices, which is also a sister standard of DVB-T, is the most widely used mobile-TV format in Europe and is supported by handset makers including Nokia, Motorola as well as Samsung and LG Electronics.
The European Commission said its latest decision ordering EU member countries to promote DVB-H over rival standards was necessary to get the technology off the ground.
“Samsung took a meaningful step. However, marketing costs will rise further in the Netherlands,’’ said a local analyst. KPN will launch broadcasts of 10 channels on Thursday and will initially sell two mobiles ― one from Samsung and one from LG, while it also plans to launch Nokia handsets, as well.
“As far as I know, talks regarding the sale of Apple’s iPhone on the Dutch market via KPN will be finalized soon, which is not great news for Samsung,’’ the spokesman said.
Research in Motion (RIM) Ltd’s BlackBerry increased its share of the U.S. smartphone market in the first quarter, while Apple Inc’s iPhone lost ground, according to a report from the global market research firm IDC. Apple iPhone’s market share in the smartphones category in the US is currently at around 19.2% percent, a plunge from 26.7% the quarter before.
Although iPhone’s market share was down in the first three months of the year compared to the last quarter of 2007, Apple will most likely make improvements once the second generation 3G iPhone is launched.
According to the report RIM’s share of the U.S. market share rose to 44.5 percent in the first quarter from 35.1 percent in the fourth quarter while iPhone’s share fell to 19.2 percent from 26.7 percent in the fourth quarter.
Motorola Inc, the leading phone maker in the U.S., also saw its sales dwindle to 2.6 percent of the market for smartphones from 7.5 percent in the fourth quarter.
Palm Inc saw its share increase to 13.4 percent from 7.9 percent in the fourth quarter while Samsung Electronics Co Ltd’s share rose to 8.6 percent from 5.1 percent, IDC said.
Smartphones are designed for Web surfing and e-mail in addition to voice calls and usually have alphabetic keyboards or touch screens. They account for a growing share of mobile phones sold, as prices descend and carriers complete their fast data networks.
IDC did not reveal the total number of smart phones sold in the quarter, but Apple said it sold 1.7 million iPhones in the first quarter, including overseas sales.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs is widely expected to announce a second-generation 3G wireless version iPhone at or around Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference 2008, which runs from June 9-13 in San Francisco, California.
The Apple 24-hour flagship 5th Avenue store in New York is closed right now for the public. It will open again Friday 9am. According to MacRumors Apple is shooting a commercial for the 3G iPhone in the store.
I have not seen any photos that would proof that the shoot is about the 3G iPhone. Apple is doing a good job to keep the iPhone paparazzi far enough away from the store.