Samsung to open research center in Finland, Nokia’s home turf

Telecom Lead Europe: Samsung will open its research and development (R&D) facility in Finland, phone major Nokia’s home country, on June 13.

The new R&D center in Finland will be a branch of the Samsung Electronics R&D Institute UK (SRUK).

According to media reports, Samsung spent 13 trillion won on marketing last year. That was $1.3 billion more than what it poured into research and development. The firm does not provide marketing and R&D spending forecasts. Some analysts said they expect Samsung to continue spending more on its marketing campaigns than on R&D this year as it fights the next wave of products from Apple.

For comparison, Apple ramped up its R&D expenditure to $3.38 billion in the year to September 2012, from just $712 million in 2006.

Samsung says the decision to set up a new R&D presence in Northern Europe reflects the importance of the European market.

The smartphone giant is opening its R&D in Finland at a time when Nokia is selling its headquarter to come out of the financial mess.

In December 2012, Samsung said it would be expanding R&D facilities and innovation centers in the U.S. with a 1.1 million square foot facility. Samsung Semiconductor is planning to build a 1.1 million square foot sales and R&D headquarters on the current site of its semiconductor and display panel businesses, north of downtown San Jose.

Chinese handset maker Huawei Technologies is also planning a new R&D center in Finland.

Gartner says Nokia’s global sales in Q1 2013 were down 24 per cent year-on-year and its market share shrank from 19.7 per cent to 14.8 per cent.

IDC, announcing mobile phone data for Q4 2012, says Samsung set a new record for the number of smartphones shipped in a single quarter and in a single year. Its broad and deep line-up of Android smartphones, particularly the Galaxy-branded Android family, combined with sustained demand for its mid-range and entry-level models to account for the remarkable shipment volumes.

2013 is shaping up to be a pivotal year for the company as its Tizen smartphone strategy takes shape. Samsung will continue to rely on Android as its primary operating system, however, as the move to Tizen will not likely take place overnight.

Baburajan K
editor@telecomlead.com