Sun, 06 Feb 2000

Samsung dials success with cellular innovations

In this era of information, people have come to expect more from their mobile telephones. In response, mobile phone producers have attempted to create products which give users a means of communication while also allowing them to enjoy other activities at the same time.

One of the most successful producers of mobile telephones is Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. With 1998 sales revenue of US$16.6 billion, Samsung is a world leader in the electronics industry.

The Korean-based firm has operations in 46 countries and employs 42,000 people worldwide. The company consists of three main business divisions: Multimedia & Home Appliances, Semiconductors and Information & Telecommunications.

Samsung has recently produced the world's first combination TV and mobile phone unit, allowing users to talk on the phone while watching sports, dramas, variety shows and other programs, all while on the move. The product, called the SCH-M220 TV phone, is a 1.8-inch high-resolution TFT-LCD screen on a fold-down mobile phone handset with a built-in miniature TV receiver, providing mobility for both telephone and TV access.

Samsung's TV mobile phone represents the convergence of miniature mobile phone technology, TV reception technology and sophisticated display technology. The SCH-M220 features a high- performance antenna that can receive both mobile phone signals and TV signals. The phone circuitry has been integrated as tightly as possible and the TV receiver is incredibly small. As a result, the size and functions of a conventional fold-down mobile phone have been maintained.

The high-resolution TFT-LCD screen can be used to show both TV broadcasts and mobile phone functions. The unit also comes with a personal information manager, large-capacity phonebook and wireless data reception. The button for controlling the TV is located above the phone keypad. It only takes one touch of the TV button to turn on the TV, and if you receive a call while the TV is on, the phone mode is automatically activated.

The SCH-M220 comes in metallic silver, providing a sophisticated, 21st century image.

Samsung Electronics also introduced an Internet phone, Watch Phone and MP-3 phone this year. This track record makes Samsung the leader in multipurpose mobile phones. The TV phone will also give the company an edge in the market through mobile phone digital convergence.

The Internet phone is a small mobile telephone which combines Internet access and PDA functions with a cellular phone. It comes with a large touch screen and features an electronic notebook, PC data interface, sound/character recognition and wireless fax.

Besides voice transmission, Smart Phones also have the capability to transmit data and they boast tremendous storage capacity. English/Korean dictionaries, Christian hymnals, Buddhist/Canon songbooks and electronic games are built in.

The watch phone will remind people of Dick Tracy's famous watch brought to life. A digital watch and phone, this CDMA-based SPH-WP10 is the smallest and lightest wireless terminal ever produced, weighing just 50 grams with a battery. Features include 90 minutes of continuous call time, voice activated dialing, phone directory, an ear microphone and vibration alert.


The general manager for marketing at Samsung Electronics in Indonesia, Lee Kang Hyun, said these products would eventually hit the Indonesian market.

"Indonesia is one of Samsung's potential markets," he said.

Lee said Samsung's products, popular for their quality and pioneering designs and functions, were becoming more familiar in Indonesia.

Based on a recent survey conducted by Swa magazine, Samsung ranked third in terms of mobile phone brand awareness, and the company only entered Indonesia at the end of 1998.

He said Samsung sold 4,000 handsets in Indonesia in 1998.

"We saw 100,000 units sold last year," he said, adding that the company expected to sell 160,000 units in 2000.

He said the significant growth in sales indicated the Indonesian market had great potential in the coming years.

"That's why we also opened several showrooms and service centers, to show our commitment to our customers," he said.

One of these service centers is located at ITC Roxy Mas, the capital's leading mobile phone market. Samsung also plans to open service centers in South Jakarta, Bandung, Semarang and Surabaya.

The showrooms and service centers prove that Samsung is committed to ensuring its customers' complete satisfaction.

Lee said Samsung would launch six new products in Indonesia this year -- the SGH-2400, SGH-A100, SGH-2500, SGH-A200, Internet Phone and MP-3 Phone.

Samsung began making inroads with its cellular phone business in Indonesia in early 1999 with the introduction of the SGH-600. Within three months, the company ranked number two in Indonesia's cellular phone market.

Samsung will launch a new model, SGH 2400, at the end of February. This model is the Sydney Olympics official cellular phone. It is very thin, only 18 millimeters, and is equipped with aquagreen LCD.

Leading the way

Samsung currently leads in CDMA handset technology. This technology is seen as the most cutting edge technology in cellular phones, as is viewed as the most important technology for the future. The United States, Russia, Australia and China have all adapted CDMA.

Samsung's success in CDMA technology began with a market share of 65 percent of some 20 million cellular users at home. Its success in the domestic market helped Samsung gain further success in the global market. Samsung has been awarded several contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars in a number of countries, including the U.S. (a contract with Sprint PCS valued at US$600 million) and Australia (Hutchison, A$210 million).

Samsung's commitment to be a market leader has been further demonstrated by its becoming an Olympic partner in Sydney. Samsung was chosen as the Olympic's official wireless communications partner. It will provide 25,000 cell phones for the Olympics. Samsung has also prepared US$250 million for its Olympic marketing campaign.

With the new technology being developed, people will be accessible wherever they are, no matter what other activities they are involved in. Making calls, sending faxes, buying plane tickets, paying bills, checking e-mail, browsing the Net, watching television or listening to music will all be performed on simple lightweight and affordable mobile phones which fit in a shirt pocket.