Samsung Electronics is considering increasing production of cell phones outside of South Korea but, contrary to a local press report, won't be moving its main phone production base overseas, it said Tuesday.
Several locations for the new factory are under consideration including China, India and Brazil, where it already has factories, and Vietnam, said Chae Su-Yeon, a company spokeswoman in Seoul. A decision has yet to be made.
The Chosun Ilbo national daily newspaper in South Korea reported in its Tuesday edition that the new factory will be based in Vietnam and have a capacity of 100 million handsets per year. It will become the company's main cell phone production base, the newspaper said, quoting "a company source."
Chae said the factory will focus on making handsets for developing markets, but it won't mean a scaling back of operations at its major cell phone base in Gumi, south of Seoul.
Samsung, which was the world's number three cell phone maker in the first quarter, recently signaled that it plans to spend more time and money developing lower-end handsets for emerging markets. Until recently the company has put most of its efforts into high-end phones for advanced nations.
In the first quarter of this year Samsung shipped 34.8 million handsets. That put it behind Motorola, which shipped 45.4 million phones, and Nokia, which shipped 91.1 million phones. Samsung was the only top-five cell-phone maker to report an increase in shipments during the three-month period.