Sony Ericsson Being Aggressive in Thai Market

Arthur Huang, general manager of Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications (Thailand) Co. said at Mobile Expo 2007, which was held on September 1, 2007 and September 2, 2007 at Queen Sirikit National Convention Center that Sony Ericsson would continue its aggressive marketing in Thai market in the year 2007 with a plan to introduce seven or eight new models in the fourth quarter.
The average handset prices for Sony Ericsson have fallen about 15% from a year earlier in Thai market although the number of mobile-phone customers has grown significantly, more than 80% of that was the mass market in the provinces.
The company has set four key strategies to differentiate its brand and products this year, he said. They include focusing on the four sales driven product segments. For instances, Walkman, Cyber-shot, smart phones and fashion phones; introducing a wider range of handset prices from 2,000 to 25,000 baht; focusing on the high-growth upcountry market; and strengthening retail relationships and distribution networks.
Phones incorporating Walkman and Cyber-shot technology accounted for a combined 75% of Sony Ericsson’s product portfolio, with business phones making up 15% and fashion phones 10%. Mr Huang said the company planned to build three more exclusive Sony Ericsson shops upcountry, bringing its total to 10. It also has 120 dealers nationwide. ”We expect to have a 10% share in the Thai market.”
Thailand’s economic slowdown and large stocks of mobile phones have caused local handset prices to drop to record lows this year. The local handset market in the third quarter is also expected to grow by only 5%, a low rate compared to other sectors, as people spend less. Overall prices of mobile handsets in the Thai market have declined by up to 30% in the first half of this year.
”Shrinking consumption spending due to sluggish economic growth and the large accumulated inventory of mobile phones in the Thai market have forced major handset manufactures to cut their prices.””Handset prices are expected to fall further in the third quarter, thanks to continuing slow new handset demand,” he said.
However, Mr Huang said the market was expected to rebound in the fourth quarter due to an expected improvement in economic conditions after the general election and eased competition among vendors.
Even though Thailand’s mobile-phone market in the first half registered high growth with more than seven million new customers, Mr Huang said he expected to see between seven and eight million handsets sold industry-wide in the year 2007.

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