Samsung’s shift to innovative devices pays offBy Corrie Salientes-Narisma
Philippine Daily Inquirer
JAKARTA—After breaking into the Top 10 best brands in the world last year, based on global consultancy firm Interbrand’s 2012 list of the World’s Most Valuable Brands, Samsung is now fully fired up to reach new heights.
In a presentation at the recent Samsung Southeast Asian Forum in Indonesia, Samsung Asia Pte Ltd. president and CEO Gregory Lee says the company is now aiming to get into the ranks of the Top 5 by 2020.
The leap to the 9th position on Interbrand’s 100 Most Valuable Brands list, from No. 17 in 2011 and No. 19 in 2010, made Samsung one of the three fastest risers during the year.
The ranking was determined based on the financial performance of the products or services, the role of the brand in the purchasing decision process of consumers and the brand’s strength, according to the consultancy firm.
Considering that competition in the brand race spans all sectors worldwide, the climb to the Magic 5 may not be as easy as it appears.
During the forum, Lee highlights Samsung Electronics’ performance in 2012—global sales rose by some 20 percent to $187 billion while revenue in Southeast Asia soared by 63 percent.
Samsung is now No. 1 in several segments of the consumer electronics market, particularly in mobile phones and televisions. It aims to become the market leader in other segments as well. It is starting to establish its presence in the enterprise market, with the plan of growing this business to account for about a quarter of Samsung’s total revenue in 2020.
Lee shares with his audience some of the strategies that have enabled the company to reach its current targets and allowed it to inch closer to its future goals.
Make the best products and be first to market. Samsung’s R&D unit continuously works on new innovations enabling the company to come out with the products and services that meet the ever-changing needs of the market ahead of competition.
Provide the market with the best possible retail experience. Samsung’s retail partners have adopted a “touch and experience” approach, allowing consumers to have more fun in shopping for devices.
Localize content and services. This assures customers of the availability of products and service support for their Samsung devices.
Adjust local product innovations to specific needs of every market.
Customer partnership. “We are loyal to our customers. We help them become profitable and allow them to get the best from their units,” says Lee. “Relentless pursuit of new innovation is the key principle of our business, and it is what enables consumers to discover a world of possibilities with technology.”
Delivering on this promise, Samsung unveils to its markets in Southeast Asia, Oceania and Taiwan a wide range of new offerings—from televisions and mobile phones to washing machines and robot cleaners.
During the forum, it launched its new smart TV lineup that addresses consumers’ demand for premium design, smarter features, superior picture quality and larger screen sizes. Samsung says its 2013 Smart TVs allow users to enjoy a more seamless, integrated and immersive entertainment and viewing experience.
The crowd drawer at the event was Samsung’s first 85-inch Ultra High Definition TV which, displayed at the entrance of the forum hall, seemed to be floating in its frame. It features the Samsung “One Connect” solution that eliminates cable clutter, requiring only one cable to connect to the TV.
The UHTV, according to Samsung, features a timeless gallery design that is seen to set a new standard for TV craftsmanship.
Samsung also launches the ultra-thin F800 LED TV, which comes in sizes of up to 75 inches and features a quad-core processor that makes it easier and faster for users to toggle between apps, online services and on-air TV. It offers brighter and more vibrant pictures and is equipped with Samsung’s Intelligent Viewing system, which optimizes picture quality depending on the type of content.
The F800 LED TV features an ultra-thin profile, quarter-inch thick bezel and a wave-inspired arc stand.
“Consumers these days demand large TV screens, with the 46-inch TV now the standard size and it is getting bigger. They expect more fun, more connectivity in their sets. Our new TV line is part of our effort to meet the consumers’ demand,” Lee says.
To enable customers to stay up-to-date with the latest Samsung technology even without replacing their existing TVs, the company introduced the Evolution Kit. The kit offers both software and hardware updates that can be installed in a customer’s existing Series 7, 8 and 9 TV units to access the latest innovations in the 2013 models.
Living up to its leading position in the mobile industry, Samsung also introduced the latest addition to the Galaxy Note family: The Note 8 sports an 8-inch WXGA screen with a 1280×800 resolution. Slim and compact, making it perfect as an on-the-go work and play companion, the Note 8 is well-equipped to store and manage both personal and professional data. With the S Pen, it is also perfect as a digital scheduler and personal diary. It features a reading mode that turns the device into an e-book reader.
The Galaxy Note 8 is one of the devices that can provide Samsung Electronics the boost it needs to become a major player in the enterprise market. The device is complemented by the Samsung Knox which, when installed in the The Galaxy Note 8, essentially secures personal and business data in the device.
Further expanding the Galaxy family, Samsung introduces five new Galaxy smartphones: The Young, Fame, Express, Xcover2 and Grand. All are designed to meet specific preferences of the different segments of the market.
Also at the forum, Samsung introduced its PC lineup for the Asian market. It consists of two new devices—the Series 7 Chronos and Series 7 Ultra Notebook.
The Series 7 Chronos, which is just 20.9 millimeters thick with a 15.6-inch full HD display and 10-point touchscreen, offers a quad-core performance and features a new software solution called RAMaccelerator that provides up to 150 percent increase in speed for browsing and running apps. It runs on Windows 8 and has an 11-hour battery life.
The Series 7 Ultra notebook promises superior mobility and performance in an ultra-thin and light full aluminum body. Also running on Windows 8, it has an eight-hour battery life, a 13.3-inch full HD display and 10-point touchscreen.
Samsung also launches its new refrigerator, smart oven, the Wobble washing machine and the NaviBot CornerClean, which the company claimed to be “made for Asia.”
The refrigerator features a MoistFresh zone that controls air circulation to maintain optimal humidity and easy-slide shelf and detachable multi-storage basket. It also offers a 10-year warranty on its digital inverter compressor. The smart oven features a sensor technology, while the NaviBot, a robot cleaner, features a pop-out brush, a Visionary Mapping Plus system and dust awareness sensors.
Also introduced during the forum were Samsung’s latest camera model—the NX300 and the Galaxy camera (Wi-Fi).
The NX300, Samsung’s new flagship mirror-less system camera, features a 20.3-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor that captures high quality images, and a newly designed Hybrid Auto Focus or AF system for fast, accurate phase and contrast detection. It comes with a 1/6000 second shutter speed and 8.6fps continuous shooting speed.
The Galaxy camera (Wi-Fi) delivers an innovative photography experience with 3G/4G connection. It allows users to merge a complete Android 4.1 or Jelly Bean experience with professional style photography without a monthly data plan.
With the way the market is welcoming almost every product from Samsung, the company has earned its status as one of the world’s most valuable brands. It can be said that Samsung Electronics’ big shift in 1987—from mass production of lower-end goods to one that uses innovations and superior products to build a respected brand name—has paid off.
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