The Samsung Ecosystem – Will the galaxies fit?

The New Galaxy of devices

Having a device is one thing.

Having a device that connects seamlessly with other devices is a different story, altogether. 

Having five devices that can talk to each other seamlessly, connect with other services  and still give with a unique user experience; that is the holy grail. 

Brett Jones of the Nielsen Connect Partner Network, refers to that holy grail as an ecosystem. First used by British ecologist Arthur Tansley back in 1935 to describe the relationship between organisms and their environment, an ecosystem has become a sort of buzzword within technology circles. Brett refers to ecosystems as being about dynamic interactions between people, software, data, systems and services and how they connect, share, grow and transform together. 

During Samsung Mobile’s first ever virtual Galaxy unpacked event held on August 5, the gospel of Samsung’s growing ecosystem was repeated throughout the 1hour 33 minute sermon; and for good reason. Five devices were outdoored:

  • Galaxy Note 20/Note 20 Ultra: The flagship smartphone range 
  • Galaxy Buds Live: The flagship wireless ear piece 
  • Galaxy Watch 3: The flagship smartwatch  
  • Galaxy Tab S7/S7+: The flagship tablet 
  • Galaxy Z Fold2: “Cutting-edge smartphone with a 6.2-inch screen which unfolds into a 7.6-inch tablet-like display

Marketing Manager at Samsung Electronics West Africa, Tracy Kyei in an interview indicates that the growing Galaxy ecosystem, “works together seamlessly so you can spend your time focused on what matters most. The Note20 when paired with the Galaxy Buds Live, Galaxy Watch3 and Tab S7 delivers a connected experience across fitness, health, entertainment and even more.”

That is an ideal world, when you think about it. 

Imagine receiving a call while driving and picking up on your watch instead of on your phone. Imagine having a genius idea for a building project while in the bathroom and being able to sketch it on your phone with an enhanced stylus with a latency of just 9 milliseconds! Imagine being able to check in at the airport with your watch while your phone is tucked away in your backpack. That is what the power of an interconnected ecosystem is able to help you do; connect, share, grow and transform. 

With the introduction of five new devices to the Galaxy family in one event, it will appear to the average industry watcher that Samsung is poised to further pursue that interconnected dream. Here are three reasons, i feel, guide Samsung’s renewed vigour. 

Money 

Samsung is making money, let us not kid ourselves. But their biggest rivals, Apple Inc reported an incredible $22.2 billion in profit for the last quarter of 2019 with $91.8 billion in revenue making the fourth quarter of 2019 Apple’s most profitable in history. Samsung, on the other hand, dropped 38 percent in profit. Apple also shipped over 72 million iPhones in the fourth quarter, according to Counterpoint Research, while just about 70 million Galaxy phones were sold by Samsung. Those figures will make any company worried when global dominance of the smartphone market is your ultimate goal. Samsung’s A-series was the main sales driver while S20 series sales didn’t perform as well as anticipated due to the to the COVID-19 shutdowns. The drive for an ecosystem is clearly a strategy by the South Korean multinational conglomerate to get back in the big money zone of the device manufacturers. 

Competition 

There are two major companies Samsung is battling with in the global smartphone category. 

Huawei, the Chinese multinational technology company showed strong sales in China helping it edge Samsung to become the world’s biggest smartphone vendor in the second quarter of 2020.  Apple, the Cupertino-based technology company, has been making a killing since the launch of the iPhone 11 with revenues hitting the $55.96 billion mark in the second quarter of 2020, up by 8% from the previous year. 

The competition is not only about smartphone sales between Samsung and Apple, for example. It is deeper than that. Samsung has for years been the main chip supplier for Apple. The company even provided the flash memory used in the iPod. The relationship turned sour when Samsung decided to make their own phones in 2009. The relationship has been fractured since then.

With the release of the five devices and the bold statements Samsung sought to convey, one gets the sense the ecosystem mantra are not just words but a clear indication of its readiness to win the smartphone contest. Perhaps to prove a point to Apple for all this years of mockery. 

Brand loyalty 

There is something that makes anyone go back for more of a product or service. It can be the service quality, the other services or products from the provider or sometimes just bragging rights. 

With five devices, Samsung is betting on getting you to come back for more. If you have the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra phone for example, there is an incentive to get the Galaxy Watch 3 because then you have a device that will manage your health and a bit of your life as well. Grabbing the Galaxy Buds Live could be the next item to purchase to add to your collection. The list goes on and on. The association with Microsoft further illustrates this point. Imagine having access to all your Microsoft Office products across multiple devices from your phone to your tablet. Imagine accessing high end video game console experience on your mobile phone while on the go. There is an incentive to keep purchasing because the benefits go beyond simply purchasing one device. The added benefits make economic sense due to the added value. With a budding 5G industry coming into effect, Samsung will be looking to benefit greatly with all its devices it has released since 2019. Users of their devices will always feel the brand is a step ahead in the 5G race; seeing how slow other competitors have been in the area.

Note 20 Ultra

According to Investopaedia, “Samsung has three divisions – consumer electronics, device “solutions,” and IT/mobile. Consumer electronics means big boxes – TVs, kitchen appliances, air conditioners and washing machines. Device solutions refers to semiconductors, integrated circuits, LED panels, hard drives and other components. IT and mobile, includes the cell phones and tablets that are traditionally associated with Samsung.” 

Imagine a world where all the devices in these categories are able to speak to one another. That is the ecosystem, i believe, Samsung is gunning for. The question though is how well will the company be able to fit all of their galaxy of devices into that one ecosystem. 

#CitiTrends Episode 32: Lobbying for tech in Ghana vrs Investing in African tech

Ethel

Ethel Cofie, Founder of Women in Tech Africa

When there is a technology conversation to be had in Ghana, it happens on #CitiTrends.

The show this week features one of the women who has been advocating for the regularising of tech lobby groups in Ghana. She is the CEO of Edel Technology Consulting and founder of Women in Tech Africa, Ethel Cofie. I started off by asking Ethel if she thought Ghana really needed a tech lobby group in the first place.

The conversations about investing in African technology solutions then takes centre stage. Eric Osiakwan who is the managing partner at Chanzo Capital shares a little about his ‘KINGS’ concept. Amber Fowler who is a partner at Echo VC also talk about the some of the areas being invested in. Ben White, CEO of VC4Africa talks about where the investments were directed in Africa in terms of the technology space. Finally you hear from Vincent Kouwenhoven who is a managing partner at eVentures Africa Fund.

Awo Apaloo shares some insight about three mobile applications from three different platforms in the Apps segment of the show. There is Box from Windows mobile, Youtube Music from iOS and then Signal from Android. Nana Boakye-Yiadom then brings you up to date with the latest technology news in the Trending segment of the show.

Enough chatter. Get to listening.

 

 

#CitiTrends Episode 31: Crowdfunding Africa’s Future vrs Alternate Education for Africa’s Technologists

Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST), Jorn Lyseggen Source: www.crunchbase.com

Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST), Jorn Lyseggen
Source: http://www.crunchbase.com

The show was live and the conversation were thought provoking. Another amazing week  of technology talk and the debates just did not stop.

Week 31 featured a discussion on a local platform on which the Ghanaian ‘crowd’ could ‘outsource or solicit’ for funds for their business projects. The chat was with three young men who have been thinking about this very problem and have fashioned out a solution. They call it Fund Afriq. The gentlemen are Nii Nanka who is in charge of marketing for Fund Afriq, Frederick Yaw Gyebi, the Project Manager and Penrose Akoto who is in charge of technical.

We also have a chat with the founder of the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST), Jorn Lyseggen who gives his perspectives about the assertions made by the founder of Virtual reality headset maker Oculus, Palmer Luckey who think that classrooms are broken and that children don’t learn the best by reading books. He speaks about other things too.

Mawuli Tsikata also shares some of the most striking technology stories of the week from across the world on the Trending segment of the show. Nana Ama Agyemang Asante also shares AUTOMATIC CALL RECORDER, AMAZE FILE MANAGER and SURE Universal Remote as the apps for the week.

Press play and enjoy.

#CitiTrends Episode 30: Encryption in Ghana vrs Africa Technology Summit

When the technology world calls, #CitiTrends responds and we have done it again this week.

The focus this week was on encryption which is a method of distorting data so that it can only be understood by someone with the correct key or password, and is considered standard practice in safeguarding sensitive data. But, what is the situation in Ghana regarding encryption? Are we taking it serious at all? I sat with Daniel Sowah, who with his friends have developed an app called ‘CRYPT’ which they hope will help Ghanaians get more serious about encryption.

The show also features the first in many reports about the Africa Technology Summit, which was hosted by the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology or MEST. The show today featured a session that focused on global technology leaders. The speakers included Estelle Akofio-Sowah, Country Director for Google Ghana; Mitchell Elegbe, CEO of Interswitch; Haris Broumidis, CEO of Vodafone Ghana; and Country General Manager for IBM Ghana, Angela Kyerematen-Jimoh.

Nana Boakye-Yiadom and Awo Apaloo serve you with the Trending and Apps segments on the show respectively.

It was a delightful show. Press play and find out for yourself.

Why You?

Dark skies, faultless stars

nightly whistles and lovers moans

Noises of our night

Sounds of our moments

The aroma of your self

The freedom of your smile

The entrapment of your touch

The sturdiness of your passion

My sense of courage has eloped

Far into the distance with my faith

My desires are blank, it haunts me

Liberation it seeks, Salvation it desires

The fault lines in your gracious dreams

The inconsistency of your emotional awareness

The rough edges that frame your perfection

The busyness of your calming smile.

I want you.

Every fibre of my existence wants you

Every sentence i speak wreaks of my desire to have you

Every waking moment i spend wondering

Why you?