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Sony Mobile plots patient share strategy against competitors

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Japan's Sony Mobile Communications AB said Tuesday it plans to take a step-by-step approach rather than launch a global war to boost its global market share at the expense of bigger rivals Samsung Electronics Co. and Apple Inc.

Kaz Tajima, senior vice president and head of UX Creative Design and Planning at Sony Mobile, said the Japanese handset maker needs to challenge “two giants” in the global smartphone market, referring to Samsung and Apple.

“At Sony, we have a kind of market-by-market approach. If we try to fight those two giants everywhere, it's impossible,” Tajima told a press briefing in Taipei.

“But as a challenger, we pinpoint the market, identify the market and take a two-digit share, (which) means stealing share from those two giants,” he said.

Sony Mobile has successfully applied that strategy to become one of the top three players in Japan, and the company has also been ranked among the top three smartphone vendors in Taiwan, according to the executive.

There are now nearly 10 markets in the world where Sony has achieved a market share of over 10 percent, including Spain, Poland, Russia, Sweden, Hong Kong and India, Tajima said.

“So we would like to increase that kind of market one by one — not having a full fight (but rather taking a) one-by-one approach — to achieve this performance,” Tajima said.

According to market research firm IDC, Samsung held a 30.2-percent share of the global smartphone market in the first quarter of 2014 on shipments of 85 million units. Apple came in second with a 15.5-percent share.

China's Huawei Technologies Co. ranked third with a 4.9-percent market share, followed by Lenovo Group Ltd. of China with 4.6 percent and LG Electronics Inc. of South Korea with 4.4 percent.

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