Samsung Bets on Business Demand for Tablet Computers

Samsung Electronics Co., seeking to challenge the dominance of Apple Inc.’s iPad in the market for tablet computers, expects demand from businesses to help boost the sales of its touch-screen device.

“There will be pretty big demand,” said Lee Don Joo, senior vice president of Samsung’s Mobile Communications Division, in an interview at the company’s headquarters in Suwon, South Korea, yesterday. Demand from hospitals and insurance companies will lead sales to businesses as doctors and insurance agents replace paper and bulkier laptops, he said.

Demand for the Galaxy Tab in Korea has been “explosive” since the model with a 7-inch screen went on sale last week, Lee said. Research in Motion Ltd., the maker of the Blackberry, is also winning business users for its PlayBook tablet with insurer Sun Life Financial Inc. and an ING Groep NV unit commiting to buy the device that’s slated to go on sale next quarter.

Samsung rose 0.5 percent to 799,000 won at the close of trading in Seoul, while the benchmark Kospi index climbed 1.6 percent to 1,927.86.

Samsung, which unveiled the Galaxy Tab tablet in September, will be able to sell 1 million units by the year-end, Lee said.

Apple Inc. controlled 95 percent of the market for tablet computers in the third quarter, when global sales totaled 4.4 million units, according to researcher Strategy Analytics.

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