Samsung looking at new growth options as smartphone market begins to cool

Consumer electronics giant Samsung will diversify its focus away from smartphones next year in a bid to reduce its reliance on a single product category.

The move was sparked by concerns within the company that smartphone sales growth might have peaked.

According to a report in South Korea’s Electronics Times, the company will initial place its short-term focus on accessories, including the Galaxy Gear smartwatch.

“Galaxy Gear sales have been slow. However, Galaxy Gear 2, which is released together with Galaxy S5, will be different,” an industry insider told the Electronics Times.

“The fashion-related functions in addition to hardware and software functions have been more strengthened.”

The company is also looking to make headway into the telecommunications equipment market, competing against Ericsson, Nokia-Siemens Networks and Huawei, with the establishment of the Samsung Network R&D Centre in Shenzhen, China.

Another area identified for growth is cloud computing and datacentres.

Over the long term, the company will invest in developing high-tech materials, with the conglomerate building on investments in glassmaker Corning and German company Nova LED.

The shift in strategy comes as Samsung is set to hold two major global strategy meetings later this month that will determine the conglomerate’s direction in 2014.

The first of the two meetings will take place at the company’s Giheung Nano Campus and brings together 600 managers from the company’s electronic components businesses, including Samsung Display.

The second meeting will bring together the company’s IT, mobile, and home appliance at Suwon Metan-dong from December 18 to 20.

Crisis awareness is set to be a key topic of discussion, with the meetings set to focus on preventing or managing unforeseen events that could cause the company’s downfall.

The review also included a management reshuffle that saw Seo-Hyun Lee, the daughter of Samsung chairman Kun-Hee Lee and granddaughter of founder Byung-Chull Lee, promoted to the status of divisional president.

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