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SEOUL – Samsung Electronics a dominant player for an array of tech products from chips to smartphones, has a weakness: digital cameras.
As sales of point-and-shoot digital cameras continue to decline, the Korean technology giant is eyeing a technological shift to grab more market share.
The bet is on the convergence of smartphones and cameras. On Wednesday, Samsung unveiled its Galaxy S4 zoom, a new version of its top-of-the-range smartphone containing a high-quality camera with an optical zoom that extends out of the body of the phone.
Smartphone cameras have improved in recent years, but resolution and zoom quality continue to trail dedicated cameras. Samsung is testing the idea that a high-quality camera can now be packed into a smartphone that's slim enough to appeal to finicky phone customers.
Sharing the same basic software as the company's Galaxy smartphones, the device comes at a time when the camera industry is struggling with plunging sales of digital cameras. By 2016, the digital camera market will be three-fifths of what it was at its peak of nearly 145 million units in 2010, research firm IDC estimates.
Digital cameras are one of the few business segments where Samsung has failed to replicate its successful model of evolving from fast follower to market leader with its formula of hefty investments, efficient production and distribution, and savvy marketing.
Read more about the new Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom at The Wall Street Journal.