Samsung mulls comeback to Japanese TV market: source
Samsung Electronics Co., the world's top TV supplier, is considering a reentry into the Japanese TV market after it quit the country four years ago, an industry source said Tuesday.
Negotiations between Samsung and one of the top three Japanese retailers are underway, which could start sales of Samsung TVs as early as 2012, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Samsung halted TV sales in Japan in 2007, failing to address challenges such as consumer preference for domestic brands and Japan's complex retail networks that are difficult for foreign firms to break into. The company held a 0.4 percent share of Japan's TV market in 2007.
Samsung has since maintained relationships with corporate customers in Japan, mostly for its semiconductor business.
A spokesman at Samsung said the company has not made any decision regarding its TV business in Japan.
Samsung's potential reentry into the Japanese TV market will follow the path of its hometown rival LG Electronics Inc.
LG, the world's second-largest TV maker, restarted TV sales in the neighboring country in November 2010, launching aggressive marketing campaigns with Korean pop singers who are widely popular in Japan.
Samsung's solid performance in Japan's mobile market has likely prompted the Korean firm to reconsider its TV business in the country, according to the source.
Samsung has recorded brisk sales of its Galaxy smartphone in Japan. The Galaxy S2 smartphone outsold Apple Inc.'s iPhone in the Japanese market during the first three months of this year, according to Strategy Analytics.
Japan's TV market is estimated to reach 14.5 million units this year, according to DisplaySearch, about seven times larger than South Korea's TV market. (Yonhap)