Samsung SDI’s dominance in the market for small-sized secondary batteries shatters the long-standing nationalistic bias that a Japanese research firm has had.
According to one industry source on March 1, Japanese Techno System Research (TSR) announced that Samsung SDI nabbed the top spot for the first time last year in terms of share of global shipments of small-sized lithium ion batteries, with 25.1%, up 1.9% from 2011. The research firm had repeatedly put the Japanese firm Panasonic at top spot despite the fact that other research firms had publicly confirmed the Korean firm’s dominance in the market.
This time, the TRS said that Panasonic ranked No. 2, with a 20.7% share, followed by LG Chem, at 16%, and Sony, at 7.6%. One industry official said, “Such results indicate that Samsung’s technology has reached such a level that the biased point of view or manipulation by a Japanese research firm no longer works.”
In 2011, Samsung ranked No. 2, with 23.2%, after Panasonic, which reportedly recorded a 23.5% share. The Japanese electronics firm slid to second place, down 2.8% from a year earlier, which stood at 23.5%, followed by LG Chem, down 0.2% points to 16.0% and Sony, down 0.8% points to 7.6%.
TSR said that the Korean firm was raised to the top spot even by the research firm’s standards because it successfully diversified its portfolios by attracting new customers and expanding market, and proactively responded to the market demand for high-density, high-capacity products.
By country, Korea retained No.1 spot, with sales of 1,803 million cells last year. Japan maintained its second-place position with 1,366 million cells shipped, compared with 1.5 billion cells in 2011. China shipped a total of 865 million cells, up 13.4% from 762 million cells in 2011.
Experts expect Samsung to further widen the gap with No. 2 firm in the small-size secondary battery market as it regains more share down the line.
TSR forecasted that the market for secondary batteries used to power slate PCs will grow 12% from last year. Under such circumstances, Samsung SDI is responding to market conditions in a flexible manner by pushing to set up a new production line for secondary batteries used for tablet PCs.
Meanwhile, another Japanese secondary battery research firm IIT said that Samsung SDI continued to grab the No. 1 spot in the small-size secondary battery market share since 2010.