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South Korean Tech Giant Samsung Struggles to Make Global Strategy Amid US-China Trade War

Lee reaffirmed that the company will maintain its earlier plan to invest 133 trillion won in the non-memory chip sector to become the world’s top industry player by 2030

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Samsung, speaker
Samsung files new patent application for 3D displays.

Samsung Electronics Co. has been facing a double whammy of a weak memory chip and smartphone market, as well as uncertainties from a trade war between the US and China, so this is the right moment for its senior management to discuss ways to deal with the rising business challenges.

Starting on Thursday through next week, senior executives of the South Korean tech giant are set to gather for biannual global strategy meetings to review performances in the first half and craft plans for the latter half, according to company officials, Yonhap news agency reported.

The key topic for the IT and mobile division’s meeting that began earlier in the day is how to turn around its handset business in the flattening global smartphone market.

The world’s largest smartphone maker has grappled with slowing growth in the premium smartphone market while losing a market share in the low-end and mid-tier segment to cost-effective Chinese makers.

According to industry tracker Strategy Analytics, Samsung shipped 71.8 million units of smartphones or 21.7 per cent of the total in the January-March period, with its market share falling 8 per cent from a year earlier.

Samsung took a step forward in its smartphones this year, expanding the company’s flagship Galaxy S10 series, including a 5G version and focusing on budget devices, including the Galaxy M and A series.

Although the company tried to boost demand in the high-end market with its Galaxy Fold priced at $1,950, the tech giant’s April launch schedule has been constantly pushed back without further notice over durability issues.

Early reviewers pointed out that the device’s protective screen layer was easy to peel off and gaps made it easy for debris to damage the foldable display. Samsung said earlier this week it will announce the updated schedule ‘in the coming weeks,’ without elaborating.

Industry watchers speculated that the Galaxy Fold may come to the market next month, ahead of the launch of Samsung’s latest phablet, the Galaxy Note 10, widely expected in August, but the prospect remains unclear whether the foldable handset can win consumers in the early stages.

The task for the device solutions division will boil down to how to respond to the US ban on Huawei Technologies and the company’s ripple effect on its mainstay memory chip business.

Samsung India
DJ Koh, President and CEO of IT and Mobile Communications Division, Samsung Electronics. (IANS)

While some market watchers held an optimistic view on Samsung’s smartphone and net sales in the wake of Huawei’s troubles, the Korean firm has been taking a cautious stance as the firm’s value chain is tightly interwoven with the Chinese company, also one of its major clients for memory chips.

Samsung earns over half of its money from the US and China, leaving it more vulnerable to prolonged trade conflicts between the world’s two largest economies.

According to a recent report by The New York Times, the Chinese government last week summoned major tech companies, including Samsung and other US companies, to warn of the consequences if they follow the decision by President Donald Trump’s administration to cut off Huawei from sales of its technology.

“We are closely monitoring the latest development related to Huawei but making a statement in this politically sensitive time is not appropriate as it could affect our global business,” a Samsung official said, asking not to be named.

Amid rising uncertainties, Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong held a meeting with five heads of the firm’s major divisions earlier this month to tell them to keep working on technology innovations to foster new growth drivers.

“We shouldn’t be swayed by short-term opportunities and performances,” Lee was quoted as saying during the meeting in June. “Samsung should focus on securing fundamental technologies for long-term businesses in a rapidly changing environment.”

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Lee reaffirmed that the company will maintain its earlier plan to invest 133 trillion won in the non-memory chip sector to become the world’s top industry player by 2030.

Besides the challenge of doing business internationally, Samsung’s leadership is under growing pressure at home from the expanding prosecution investigation into Samsung BioLogics Co., a bio-health unit accused of accounting fraud.

On Wednesday, prosecutors pressed charges against two vice presidents of Samsung Electronics under arrest on allegations of masterminding the destruction of evidence related to Samsung BioLogics, putting a burden on 51-year-old Lee, who is also awaiting the Supreme Court’s ruling on his bribery case. (IANS)

Next Story

This New Smart Watch By Samsung Allows You To Make Calls While You Jog Or Drive

The new Samsung Galaxy smart watch allows you to make calls while you run or drive

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Samsung Galaxy Smart Watch
Samsung introduces its new smart watch- Galaxy 4G. Pixabay

By Md Waquar Haider

As the market for wearable devices gain momentum in India — which reaching an all-time high of 3 million shipments in the second quarter this year — Samsung which is one of the formidable players in this segment has become aggressive in launching new smart watches in the country.

Globally, Samsung shipped 1.9 million smartwatches worldwide in Q3 2019, almost doubling from 1.1 million a year ago, according to Strategy Analytics.

To make further inroads, the company has launched the 4G version of its successful Galaxy Watch, a year later after launching it globally.

The Galaxy Watch 4G has come to India, starting at Rs 28,490 (42mm dial version).

If you are looking for a smartwatch with a massive face and a bright 1.3-inch display, this can become your perfect companion.

The smartwatch does everything, from tracking heartbeat to making calls.

It terms of design, Galaxy Watch 4G is more conventional and appealing owing to its traditional round face along with rotating bezel.

The rotating bezels helps navigate through the user interface (UI) on the smartwatch in a fashionable manner.

The rugged buttons on the side are decent and are meant to change menu as well as double up as power button.

The device features two dials — 42 and 46mm dial (we reviewed 46mm variant which costs Rs 30,990) — which is huge for a person with solid wrist. It is also heavier than most smartwatches out there and could weigh down heavily on your hand if you have thin wrist.

Samsung watch allows calls
Samsung Galaxy watch allows users to make calls while they perform any physical activity. Pixabay

It sports a 1.3-inch AMOLED display and, as expected, the touch screen worked extremely fast. In terms of brightness, the display performed well in various light conditions. The device provides a wide-selection display faces.

The smartwatch comes with standard silicone straps which were comfortable and did not irritate throughout the day.

It is also one of the very few smartwatches in India to come with LTE connectivity on the go. With LTE support, one can receive calls, messages and stream music on the smartwatch, while performing daily workout or driving.

One can add 4G service on the Galaxy Watch 4G through the Wearable app, by adding an Airtel or Jio number during the initial pairing process. During the review period, it worked fine without any lag via Airtel network.

Alternatively, a user can get a new eSIM from a Reliance Jio or Airtel store. The watch is currently compatible with Samsung smartphones.

In terms of performance, it runs on Samsung’s in-house “Tizen OS” instead of Wear OS which is quite good.

The device has 472mAh battery which lasted up to 48 hours.

The advanced fitness tracking features will keep you motivated. It automatically tracks six of the most popular exercises — walking, running, cycling, elliptical machine, rowing and dynamic workouts.

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The device also features 21 new indoor exercises from a selection of 39 activities.

Additionally, the smartwatch is designed to help users track food and water intake as well. It also comes with sleep and stress tracking features.

Conclusion: If you are planning to buy a smartwatch that is equivalent to a smartphone, Samsung’s Galaxy Watch 4G is worth buying. It offers you all the premium features that you need in daily life at this price range. (IANS)