Samsung's resolution for 2018 is pretty simple—just sell as many smartphones as it did in 2017. That amounts to around 320 million handsets, and remarkably, that is considered playing it safe (to an extent). Normally companies like to increase sales on an annual basis, but for Samsung, it can afford to maintain its current sales threshold and still dominate the market, in terms of units moved.
Sources told The Investor that Samsung decided not to increase its sales goal because the market is a bit saturated at the moment. Let that sink in for a moment. Samsung plans to sell 320 million handsets, and that figure represents a market that is already flush with smartphones. Imagine if it weren't!
Despite not moving the needle, Samsung still figures to be the largest supplier of smartphones in the world. The company's next closest competitor, Apple, sells around 200 million iPhone devices each year. After that, Chinese manufacturer Huawei takes third place with around 150 million smartphone shipments annually. In other words, Samsung's goal is to sell 120 million more phones than its closest rival, and more than twice as many handsets as Huawei.
In addition to more smartphones, Samsung told its suppliers it is aiming to sell 40 million feature phones, putting its overall phone tall at 360 million. Samsung also plans to ship 20 million tablets in what has become a lukewarm market (the tablet craze started off and hot and heavy, but has since declined in the wake of bigger and more powerful smartphones, and 2-in-1 laptops) and 5 million wearable devices.
What's also impressive about Samsung's sales goals is that the company is still moving a lot of product despite an embarrassing recall. Defective batteries plagued Samsung's Galaxy Note 7, some of which overheated and caught fire, causing both property and personal injury. Looking back, that seems like ancient history, and Samsung's brand is as strong as it's ever been. Part of the reason for that is because did a good job handling the situation after initially stumbling.
Samsung has also benefited from its decision to go with a premium design on its flagship Galaxy products, switch from plastic to metal and glass. Buyers have had to give up the luxury of a removable battery in most cases, but have seem more than willing to do that.