x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Samsung flashes high-tech toys

Samsung shrugged off the furore around its potential $1 billion payout to Apple as it unveiled a host of new products at the IFA Berlin conference in Germany.

The new Samsung Galaxy Note II was introduced at the IFA Berlin yesterday. Sean Gallup /Getty Images
The new Samsung Galaxy Note II was introduced at the IFA Berlin yesterday. Sean Gallup /Getty Images

Samsung shrugged off the furore around its potential $1 billion (Dh3.67bn) payout to Apple as it today unveiled a host of new products at the IFA Berlin conference in Germany.

In total, the South Korean electronics giant launched the Galaxy Note II, the Galaxy Camera, which is run on an Android operating system, the Ativ S, a smartphone running Windows 8, and the Ativ Smart PC, a computer that can be used as either a tablet or a laptop.

In a conference announcement with much ceremony and pomp, Samsung underlined its global electronics credentials, reminding customers and competitors that is currently ships one million mobile devices each day and sells three televisions per second.

The release date and prices of the new products in the Middle East are still uncertain.

“Earlier this year, we promised to remove the barriers that exist between devices and content,” said Boo-Keun Yoon, the president and head of the consumer electronics division at Samsung Electronics,. “Today, you will see how far we’ve come in achieving this goal, with technology that will create unique experiences by putting the consumers at the centre, and building every product, content and service around them.”

Samsung could be forced to cough up $1bn in patent damages to its rival Apple after a US court ruled last week that the South Korean manufacturer plagarised certain elements of Apple products in its Android model phones. Samsung is appealing the ruling.

As competition in the electronics market hots up, Sony Corporation also laid out its wares this week at IFA Berlin, unveiling three new smartphones - the Xperia T, V and J - and a new Xperia tablet. Apple is not expected to unveil any products at the global conference.

Samsung has been quick to offer a wide breath of different products, using different systems, to cater to every taste in the market.

Sitting in the “phablet” segment of not quite a phone and not quite a tablet, the new Samsung Galaxy Note II has a 140.9mm high-definition Amoled (active-matrix organic light-emitting diode) screen.

“There is an interesting market for a phone with a slightly larger screen. I think we'll see Apple jump onto this trend with a larger screen on the upcoming iPhone 5, but it won't be as large as the one on the Note,” said Omar Kassim, chief executive of JadoPado, the online UAE retailer. “I think the Note serves an interesting niche of folks who want a phablet. Large enough to read and play games on, but also to take calls and use various various services.”

The new Galaxy Camera has a 21 times optical touch zoom and runs on the latest Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system. It includes, 3G, 4G and wifi connectivity so pictures can be uploaded to social media sites straight from the camera.

The 11.6-inch Samsung Ativ Smart PC combines with a detachable keyboard-docking system, has a 10-finger multi-touch screen and comes with a Samsung pen to navigate with.

“This tablet and the camera are really new products so we can't really predict the market's reaction, we do know however that iPad is still by far our best seller in terms of tablets,” said Julien Pascal, the chief executive of EmiratesAvenue, the e-commerce website. “The samsung Note 2 will be interesting, it has a category of its own sizewise, but users seem to have loved the Note 1. The Note 2 should be a big hit again.”

Samsung also showed off the Ativ S, the first smartphone to run Microsoft's highly anticipated Windows 8 system and with a 4.8in (12.2cm) display.

The manufacturer also unveiled the 55-inch OLED TV and 75-inch LED Smart TV in Europe for the first time.