Samsung Forum hosted in Dubai
South Korean manufacturer touches multiple markets with diverse offerings
Samsung Electronics yesterday unveiled new products and services for the B2B segment and the consumer electronics industry at the company's Middle East and North Africa Forum at the Grand Hyatt Convention Centre, Dubai.
"Thanks to our understanding of consumers and their lifestyles in the Middle East and North Africa, Samsung has seen tremendous growth in the region," said Kyung-tae Bae, president of Samsung Electronics in Middle East and North Africa.
"We have achieved 65% sales growth in 2012 and stand as a leading consumer electronics brand, and we plan to continue pushing the company forward this year. From Smart TVs that are redefining the TV experience to hyper-connected cameras, intelligent home appliances and the most versatile PCs, our regional product line-up this year reflects our commitment to delight consumers, bringing not just what they expect, but what they'd never dreamed was possible."
TV technology and design
In 2012, Samsung achieved 18% growth in revenue and 19% growth in unit sales in the total regional TV market.
The company launched its flagship F8000 LED TV, the first Samsung television to feature a quad-core processor. Available in sizes up to 75-inches, the F8000 features an ultra-thin profile, a quarter-inch thick bezel and a wave-inspired Arc stand that makes the TV look as if it is hovering.
Samsung also introduced its first 85-inch Ultra High Definition TV (UHD TV), the 85S9. The 85S9's Timeless Gallery design gives the TV the appearance of floating within its frame.
According to Samsung, the UHD TV 85S9 offers four times the resolution of Full HD displays to deliver "unmatched picture detail and clarity". It also includes an up-scaling engine that can automatically up-convert HD and Full HD content to UHD resolution. The company said the 85S9 also makes Samsung the first TV brand to offer support for the new high compression video codec, HEVC, which delivers higher streaming video quality over lower bandwidth.
Samsung's 2013 Smart TVs provide a completely redesigned Smart Hub, which organises a viewer's content into clear, dynamic menu panels: Apps; Photos, Videos & Music; and Social. Viewers can use their mobile devices as a remote control or simultaneously enjoy two different pieces of content from a TV or Blu-ray player on a second screen. They can also mirror their Smart TV content on a tablet to take it with them around the home.
Samsung also demonstrated the use of its 2013 Evolution Kit. By simply adding the Evolution Kit to a Samsung Smart TV (by slotting a small hardware box into the back of the TV itself), users can have immediate access to the latest Samsung Smart TV offerings, including quad-core CPU power and the newly updated Smart Hub.
Exclusive to the Middle East and North Africa region, Samsung and content partner OSN launched a new platform called OSN Play, which allows consumers to watch TV online anytime, anywhere with a variety of devices, such as Samsung smartphones and cameras. OSN Play will soon be available on Samsung Smart TVs.
In the audio category, Samsung introduced the HT-F9750W and HW-F751 to the region. The HT-F9750W is Samsung's flagship 7.1-channel home-theatre system that acts as a companion to its 2013 Smart TVs. The system features a 1,330-watt sound system and is powered by Samsung's Gallium Nitride amplifier and vacuum-tube amplifier, designed to create a pure, natural sound. Additionally, HD content can be up-scaled to UHD picture quality, thanks to Samsung's 4K Scaler Processor.
The HW-F751 is Samsung's first AirTrack, a sound bar that can connect with a TV via Bluetooth, or double as a wireless speaker for smartphones or tablets. Its integration of a vacuum tube into AirTrack - also a world's first, according to Samsung - delivers a warmer, more immersive sound with virtually no distortion.
The new Samsung refrigerator (RT38) is powered by Samsung's Digital Inverter Compressor, the new refrigerator automatically makes small adjustments between five different speed levels to respond immediately to cooling demands, allowing consumers to save energy. The compressor is backed by a 10-year warranty. The refrigerator also offers features like MoistFresh Zone, which controls the air circulation to maintain optimal humidity for perfectly stored vegetables and fruit, and Multi-Storage Basket, which provides five litres of storage space.
In the washer category, Samsung's new "ecobubble" washer (WF80F5E) uses a generator to create bubbles that are mixed with detergent. The result is faster fabric penetration, powerful cleaning performance using cool water, and the ability to save consumers more energy.
Additionally, Samsung announced its Smart Oven (MC32F606), which features a smart sensor and pre-programmed recipes; a yogurt maker; and a slim-fry setting.
As the newest addition to Samsung's NX range of cameras, the NX300 blends Wi-Fi sharing with features such as Hybrid Auto Focus and 3D still and video capture.
The NX300 is complemented by the new Samsung NX 45mm F1.8 2D/3D lens, which Samsung claimed is the first one-lens 3D system for a consumer camera, capable of capturing both still pictures and full 1080p HD video.
Central to the NX300's design is its new 20.3 Megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, capable of capturing high-quality images for a range of users. A newly engineered Hybrid Auto Focus (AF) system aims to deliver fast, accurate phase and contrast detection AF, while its 1/6000 second top shutter speed and 8.6fps continuous shooting mode provides enhanced capture capabilities. Also, Samsung's latest DRIMe IV imaging engine enables better color reproduction and greater noise reduction. Support for full 1080p HD video capture in both 2D and 3D-when combined with Samsung's new 45mm F1.8 2D/3D lens-is also available through the DRIMe IV's engine capabilities.
The NX300's 84mm (3.31 inch) AMOLED screen comes complete with a tilt display allowing capture from any angle, high and low, while making it easier to review images. The AMOLED screen is combined with touch-screen capabilities and a 5-way manual key interface.
The new Series 7 Chronos is aimed at professional performance in a thinner and lighter form factor, with quad-core performance, as well as a new software solution called RAMaccelerator, which provides up to a 150% increase in speed, according to Samsung, and is intended as "a true desktop replacement". Its 15.6-inch Full HD display with 10-point multi-touch screen is optimised for Windows 8. The Series 7 Chronos is just 20.9mm thick and carries a back-lit keyboard and 11-hour battery life.
The Series 7 Ultra comes with an ultra-slim and light, full aluminum body. It combines an eight hour battery life; a 13.3-inch Full HD display with a 10-point multi-touch screen, an i5/i7 CPU for fast-processing; and up to 256GB SSD of storage. Like the Series 7 Chronos, it will run on Windows 8.
In addition, Samsung introduced its ATIV Smart PC line-up to the Middle East and North Africa. The Smart PC is only 9.9mm thin while the Smart PC Pro is just 11.9mm thin. Both devices feature a vivid 11.6-inch display, as well as a detachable keyboard-docking system that allows consumers to easily switch between a clamshell notebook PC and a tablet PC form factor.
To round off its computing offerings, Samsung launched the Series 7 Touch (SC770), which is its first multi-touch display optimised for Windows 8. Supporting up to 10 points of simultaneous multi-touch, users can drag, rotate or select objects on the monitor using their fingers.
There is much interest and investment from governments around the world in Smart Education, and in the Middle East and North Africa, Samsung actively targeting this market. The company will be equipping five demonstration classes in four countries with technologies such as Note PCs, e-boards and mobile solutions. Also, more than 6,000 online textbooks will be available via an open market content platform.
Beyond education, Samsung also announced the results of its joint study with IDG regarding the attitudes of IT executives and consumers toward bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies. According to Samsung the results revealed that an overwhelming majority of IT executives believe that BYOD programmes will become standard in business within the next two years, and consumers expect the mobile device to be the primary computing device for work within five years.
On the assumption that the success of such BYOD programmes depends on whether hardware and software providers can address the security concerns of IT executives, Samsung has launched its Samsung For Enterprise (SaFE) programme, which is built on security standards intended to help companies find mobile devices that are safe to use. SaFE devices carry advanced data features and device-based verification.
SaFE is a suite of security standards, apps, on-device encryption, VPNs and mobile device management solutions. With the development of SaFE, Samsung is seeking to simplify mobile device administration and remove concerns about the fragmentation of the Android platform.