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Samsung scores big with S III
There was a time that Samsung was synonymous with consumer electronics: television, home and office appliances. Over the last decade, however, the brand has become a major force in the mobile phone industry, surpassing Nokia as the number one manufacturer of mobile phones in the world in 2011. It’s on the smartphone front, however, that Samsung has really established itself. With its series of Galaxy S phones, the Korean brand has become the closest rival to Apple selling 44.5 million smartphones worldwide from January to March, giving it 30.6 per cent market share while Apple sold 35.1 million iPhones, taking 24.1 per cent market share. The Galaxy S III, Samsung’s latest smartphone, launched in T&T more than a week ago, is expected to be the company’s top earner in 2012.
“We think it’s a combination of things where really you have everything working at the same time to get great results. You have great products, great technology and research and development behind it,” said Raul Rego, senior marketing manager, Samsung Latin America, as he sought to explain Samsung’s dominance in the industry. “In the past two years, it’s fortunate that it’s a time when people are using their phones beyond just a phone, it’s an extension of oneself. It’s all about convergence, you can have this device talk to your TV, have it seamlessly integrate and share a picture you have on your device without wires or complicated set ups,” he explained.
“It’s a perfect opportunity for Samsung to explode and take the technology from TVs and shrink it down to have it on the screen on a device.”
Rego and his colleague Nicholas Lannefranque, product development manager, were in Trinidad for the launch of the SIII at Hyatt Regency Trinidad hotel, Port-of-Spain. This country was the first in the Caribbean for the S III launch, which launched in the United States a week later after a court rejected Apple’s attempts to bans sales of the S III. Speaking to the Business Guardian, Rego and Lannefranque explained why Android users worldwide have increasingly made Samsung their brand of choice. What sets their phones apart, they said, is the fact that Samsung uses a personalised user interface over the Android platform, they offer one of the widest ranges of smartphones to cater to all types of users and they offer an open platform for developers to create different applications.
“Part of the success is that Samsung has also been able to partner up with Android and Google to maximise the benefits of the two companies and their strengths,” said Rego. While Samsung expects to ship 10 million S IIIs by July, cracking the local market may be a challenge. Blackberry is still very popular locally, thanks to BlackBerry Messenger, and the iPhone 4S is gaining in popularity. Rego and Lannefranque believe the S III has enough features to attract users of both phones, particularly those who are stuck on their BBM. One such feature is ChatON, an instant messenger service that allows users to chat with anyone across platforms.
Working the phone
With ChatOn you can conduct group chats, one-on-one chats, share short video and music clips, location and, said, Rego, it gives you a weekly buddy rank of the people you chat with most. If you change your phone, Lannefranque, you don’t need to change pins or anything like that. ChatOn will remember your phone number and automatically add other ChatOn Users. The Galaxy S III, he said, is geared towards anyone who wants to simplify their experience with a smartphone, whether it’s for work or play. Some of the more outstanding features include the S Voice, digital voice assistant similar to Apple’s Siri. Apart from taking instructions and answering questions, the S Voice allows users to use their voice to launch applications and even switch off their alarms in the morning. The phone’s tagline is Designed for Humans and is said to be sensitive to a user’s motions. Direct Call is an example of this. If you decide to make call while sending a text and you place the phone near your ear, the proximity and motion sensors on the phone will detect that you want to make a call and dial the number. The Smart Stay feature allows you to read or watch a video on the phone without dimming. As long as your eyes are on the screen, it stays on. The camera, which does not require an app, is also a boasting point for the S III. The camera has a feature called Burst Shot that allows the camera to shoot up to 20 pictures in 3.3 shots per second. The camera then selects the best photo, although you can do that manually.
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