Samsung versus innovation: perfect symbiosis
When talking about Samsung, the first idea that comes to mind is innovation. It is no wonder, as its image has long been linked to technological advances for the most diverse consumers. It is curious to remember that the company’s trajectory began with the production of noodles, around 1938, in the post-war period. The founder started with a food export company and, like any good entrepreneur, made the company evolve and operate in new areas.
by Leda Cavalcanti
The growth of the brand was constant over the years until it positioned itself as it is recognized today: Samsung Electronics, which developed in the 1970s with black and white televisions. Since then, it has invested in its production line and diversified it with the manufacture of semiconductors, mobile and consumer electronics. It has the largest portfolio of 5G smartphones in Brazil and, in 2022, reached a 52% market share in the segment.
In this exclusive interview, Gustavo Assunção, vice president of mobile experience in Brazil, and Antonio Quintas, vice president of mobile experience at Samsung for Latin America, talk about the history, development and company’s work.
What is the reason for the vertiginous growth of the company in Brazil?
Gustavo Assunção – Samsung has been present in Brazil for over 35 years. As one of our pillars is innovation, we are constantly seeking to develop products that meet different needs and desires of consumers. And, therefore, it is necessary to know all the user profiles so that, faced with so many possibilities, we challenge ourselves to create products that meet market niches. At the same time, we have solid investments in research and development centers in Manaus (AM) and Campinas (SP), where our factories are located. This allows us to develop new technologies and features that people don’t even think might exist.
This mixture of promoting the new and the surprising, while constantly listening to feedback from our consumers – combined with decades of presence in Brazil and our relationship with the needs of Brazilians – creates an important competitive advantage for Samsung. From this strategic line, the company began to strengthen itself in the Brazilian market, gaining consistency and building a solid connection with its consumers.
What are Samsung’s biggest differentiators?
GA – The company has always challenged what is possible with technology, creating and offering the market a wide range of innovative products, often anticipating user needs and, at the same time, developing solutions that will redefine the future. With this line of thought, the Brazilian consumer began to connect with Samsung in an increasingly solid way and to participate in experiences, further strengthening ties with the brand.
What is manufactured in each of the factories?
GA – In Manaus (AM), smartphones, smartwatches, notebooks, tablets, TVs, monitors, and air conditioning are produced. In Campinas (SP), smartphones, notebooks, and tablets. We have more than 10 thousand employees in the country.
How do the company’s technological development centers work?
GA – Samsung has centers for technological training and development of solutions at the University of São Paulo (USP), the State University of Campinas (Unicamp) and the Superior School of Technology at the State University of Amazonas, in Manaus (UEA). All of them have a modern infrastructure aimed at training, events and practical activities for developers, designers, entrepreneurs, university students and those interested in general.
Among the activities carried out is the Samsung Ocean, a training and technological innovation program, which offers, monthly, courses and development activities free of charge, in person and online. The programs are composed of different themes in the areas of technology and innovation, with programming open to the general public and taught by educators from partner universities of the program.
Samsung has also been working to encourage the development of technologies related to artificial intelligence in the country, with investments in the creation of an ecosystem involving the company, R&D centers, and universities. To ensure a comprehensive and structural approach, the Samsung Artificial Intelligence Ecosystem is based on three basic pillars: education, research and application development.
In the area of education, the company has established partnerships with important universities to promote Software Residency Programs in Artificial Intelligence that train professionals to combat the shortage of qualified personnel in the technology area. In research, it has been promoting the creation of Centers of Excellence in Artificial Intelligence, and the Viva Bem (Live Well) project is the first initiative in this sense. Application development happens when the company collaborates to the results obtained are implemented in society, including through its products and services, promoting frequent innovations at a global level.
What changed for the company with the pandemic?
GA – Even with the change from physical to online, we have not stopped making our launches and bringing news to the consumer. We adapt and deliver in a different way. Despite the physical distance, we have never been so connected. And this connection was only possible thanks to the technology and integration with our commercial partners.
The pandemic was a new period of adaptation for all of us. People sought products with better technology, which had connectivity with other devices, to facilitate a new routine that was imposed. To serve this consumer, who could no longer go to stores, we readjusted our e-commerce, delivering an immersive online experience. The fact that Samsung has a consolidated operation in Brazil has given us greater security for this adaptation.
We have shared a single certainty: people left this period more technological, and companies, even more humanized. This new reality brought reflections on both ends: in consumer behavior – who began to seek, more and more, products directly connected to their different daily needs, such as the integration between productivity, leisure and creativity – and in industry guidelines, whose main objective was to identify, in an even more assertive way, how a certain set of resources is useful in the routine of consumers.
What are the product trends for the coming years?
GA – Consumers in the coming years tend to prioritize devices that facilitate the performance of daily tasks, in addition to the possibility of accompanying them in an increasingly dynamic routine. Mobility, accomplishment, and high performance will be, more and more, essential characteristics. We are always thinking about the future. An example is the connected home, a very promising market that has been growing in recent years, and Samsung understands that the concept is increasingly popular. Our job is to bring more personalization to home appliances and consumer electronics not only to change the products we design, but also to change the users’ relationship with their equipment so they can benefit entirely from a new home experience.
Since 2018, Samsung count on the SmartThings connectivity platform to make the home smarter. Using the application, available for Android and iOS systems, the connection with other devices happens in an easy way, and it is possible to synchronize and control the brand’s connectable equipment, such as televisions, washer and dryer, refrigerators, robot vacuum cleaners and air conditioning, to suit the user’s lifestyle.
Is the gamer market a gamble?
GA – The growth of the gamer market in Brazil is a reality that has been gaining prominence year after year. In 2022, Samsung launched a series of products and solutions in this segment, such as the Neo QLED Gaming TV QN90, the first high-performance TV for gamers, with a 144 Hz refresh rate, Super Ultra-Wide screen and other specific features for games, in addition to the expansion of the Odyssey family of gaming monitors.
Another highlight was the Samsung Gaming Hub, a new game streaming platform available on Samsung Smart TVs 2021 and 2022, which enables a complete gaming experience, without storage limitations, the need to download or even a console. The platform brings a catalog with thousands of titles. Our goal was to expand the relationship with the gamer community.
In the white line, how many products are there?
GA – We have 70 types of white goods, including refrigerators, washer and dryers, washers, dryers, robot vacuum cleaners and cordless upright vacuum cleaners. People today are looking for more sophisticated products that fully meet their needs, especially since they started to live indoors longer. Premium products, with specific features at a level of excellence, have long ceased to be superfluous, representing a real and significant improvement in the quality of life of the whole family, and this has made and continues to make all the difference in purchasing behavior.
In 2022, the brand launched the Family Hub refrigerator, in the Side-by-Side version, having two models with this technology, one Side by Side and the other FDR. The Brazilian consumer can also count on the 11- and 13-kilo washer and dryer models, the smartest on the market, with the new AI Control concept, a fully digital panel with AI technology, which allows connection via SmartThings. And the Bespoke line of refrigerators, in which it is possible to choose the colors and formats of the refrigerators. Samsung believes that product customization is one of the biggest trends today.
Is it difficult for a company to be competitive in Brazil?
GA – Due to a global strategy, we do not open sales numbers, but we can say that Samsung is the leader in several segments. It has the largest portfolio of 5G smartphones in the country, with 25 devices that fit in every pocket. The same occurs in TVs, with a total of 63 models available. This puts us in a privileged position when we think about competitiveness.
We also need to reinforce differentials such as local manufacturing, and research/development laboratories, in addition to the network of stores and service centers. There are two service centers, in Manaus (AM) and Campinas (SP), and two R&D centers in the same regions, in addition to more than 300 exclusive points of sale (Samsung Stores and kiosks) and a strong alliance with the main operators and retailers.
Our commitment to Brazil is and will continue to be long-term. We have been present here for more than three decades, investing in local manufacturing, product development and a sales and support structure that strengthens our relationship with Brazilians and helps us to be a more productive company. Our robust affordability strategy is also fundamental in the process of democratizing access to innovation.Regarding productivity, we believe that education is the main path for a country to develop sustainably. South Korea is a good example of how investment in education plays a fundamental role in the development of a country. Samsung’s leadership in innovation, as well as expansion over the past few decades to become a global technology leader, shows how investing in education is a critical path to success.
How does the company assess the year 2022?
GA – Certainly, there were many challenges and achievements, but we are going to use creativity and partnership with our channels to encourage the consumption of Samsung products and services in the coming years. We had great achievements. The novelties in the lines of TVs, monitors, and home appliances surprised consumers. We mention The Freestyle device, which revolutionizes the way of consuming audiovisual content. Samsung will continue its commitment to constant innovation, and very soon, we will be pushing the boundaries of what electronics can do.
What are the company’s actions aimed at sustainability?
GA –One of our main pillars is sustainability. We will remain steadfast in our commitment to minimizing our environmental impact, helping people to adopt greener lifestyles. From now until 2025, we will use recycled materials in all of our products, eliminate plastics from packaging, achieve zero standby power consumption for our smartphone chargers, and stop sending waste to landfills at our manufacturing facilities around the world.
Samsung is the only manufacturer in the country with several models of refrigerators that correspond to the highest energy efficiency classification by Inmetro, A+++, in addition to washing and drying machines that are No. 1 in water savings. Air conditioning models generate savings of up to 77%, comparing the “quick cooling” mode with WindFree. The Eco-packaging program has already reached the potential of transforming around 300,000 tons of TV packaging per year into useful objects, such as houses for pets, games and even furniture. To manufacturer the SolarCell remote control, which is powered by solar energy and can be recharged by internal light, external light or via USB, we use recycled material and remove millions of batteries from circulation per year – it is estimated that, in seven years, 99 million AA batteries can be avoided. We want to put sustainability at the heart of everything by expanding the use of recycled materials across all mobile devices and home appliances over the next three years.
In retail, does Samsung focus on high-end stores?
GA – All our retail channels are our partners, whether the stores that sell premium product lines, or small, medium, and large retailers, essential partners of our operation in the country. The share of sales of premium products in Brazil is still low when compared to other regions that have a socioeconomic structure like ours. Naturally, more sophisticated products, with more resources, require greater attention, as they require an assisted sale so that we can explain all the benefits.
Will there be more physical or online stores in the future?
GA – Our commercial partners were very competent and showed extraordinary progress in terms of omnichannel. I believe we are at a very advanced stage, even when compared to more mature markets. The purchase journey varies a lot for each product and service, and we need to be aware of that. The pandemic restrictions made many people buy certain categories online, but physical stores are still relevant for others. The fact is: there is no rule that applies to all models.
Samsung Mobile Universe
In 2023, all of the brand’s new smartphone models will be compatible with 5G networks, says Antonio Quintas, vice president of mobile experience at Samsung Brazil.
When did Samsung’s big leap into mobile take place?
Antonio Quintas – Since the launch of its first camera phone, the SCH-V200, in 2000, the company has consolidated itself as a protagonist in the mobile device industry. The big leap occurred with the launch of the Galaxy S line, starting in 2010. Over there, Samsung not only took the lead in the promising smartphone market, but also started to define the standards for the mobile product industry.
It was Samsung that bet on large-screen smartphones, with the Galaxy Note, in 2011, when the market believed that the way was smaller devices. More recently, it broke paradigms with the foldable smartphones of the Galaxy Z line. But the protagonist is not limited to smartphones. Notebooks, tablets, smartwatches, and wireless headphones are part of the Galaxy ecosystem.
How much does the brand hold in the smartphone market?
AQ – It is a leader both in the general segment and in premium models. We also have the largest portfolio of 5G devices on the market, which puts us in a very important position in the competition for a consumer who chose 5G as one of the main reasons for buying a new smartphone.
What are the prospects for 5G?
AQ – Samsung played a key role in the progress of the 5G network. Globally, it has contributed to the development of industry standards, designed semiconductors, created 5G devices, and installed networking equipment around the world. Its vast experience with the technology in other countries means that it is prepared to start operating as the availability of the network expands throughout Brazil.
We believe that 2023 will be the great year for 5G devices in Brazil. The interest is high according to several market surveys. According to a survey by Mindminers, carried out for Black Friday 2022, being compatible with 5G is already the second main reason why people want to buy a smartphone. By 2023, all smartphone models we will launch will be compatible with 5G networks.
What is the success of the Galaxy line due to?
AQ – Samsung’s ability to seek innovation from an equation that unites investments in research and development (and the ability to surprise people with new technologies) to a constant process of listening to fans of the brand to understand what are the most used, which ones should be improved and how the smartphone can make their lives more efficient and enjoyable. In Brazil, add to the fact that we have been present here for over 35 years, with local manufacturing, research, and development centers, in addition to a large network of own stores and service centers. This makes Samsung know like no one else the people who use its devices daily.
On smartphones, what are the highlights?
AQ – We work with four lines of devices: Galaxy S, Galaxy Z (our premium models), in addition to Galaxy A and Galaxy M (intermediate models). Thus, we are able to offer the broadest and most democratic portfolio of 5G smartphones in the country, with 25 models at various prices. In the Galaxy Z line, the highlights are the foldable Z Fold4 5G and Z Flip4 5G. With the Z Fold4 5G, you can take advantage of the 7.6” display and Flex Mode: leaving the device partially folded, you can watch a movie on half of the screen and use another app on the other half. The Z Fold4 5G is Samsung’s most powerful multitasking tool. The Z Flip4 5G has an ergonomic design that fits in any pocket, and by partially folding it, activating Flex Mode, you can take selfies and group shots without using your hands, making this foldable smartphone your own tripod. It’s perfect for content creators.
In the S22 line, the latest are the Galaxy S22 5G, S22+ 5G, S22 Ultra 5G. In addition to high processor and battery performance, they bring Nightography, a concept that unites powerful cameras with Artificial Intelligence in image processing, which results in photos and videos of high quality, brightness and definition even in low-light situations. In the S line, the S21 FE 5G version (FE, acronym for Fan Edition) brings high performance, powerful cameras and other new features incorporated thanks to feedback from Galaxy S21 fans. In the A and M line, the highlights are the A73 5G and the M53 5G, with a refresh rate of 120 Hz, a premium feature that makes the image more fluid, something especially appreciated by those who like to play games on the smartphone. These models are compatible with the new 5G mobile network and feature a powerful processor.
What are the latest notebooks and tablets?
AQ – On the notebook front, the latest releases are part of the Galaxy Book2 line: they are the premium models Galaxy Book2 Pro and the Galaxy Book2 360, announced in August 2022, and the Galaxy Book2. Both focus on connectivity – through the Galaxy Ecosystem – and performance, to offer a complete experience. Developed with the mobile DNA of smartphones, notebooks combine mobility, high security, flexibility, and long battery life.
In tablets, the latest are the premium models of the Galaxy Tab S8 5G series. They are Galaxy Tab S8+ 5G and Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra 5G. Both come with the S Pen in the box and are enabled for 5G connection technology. They are portable products designed to offer maximum connectivity and mobility. And in early 2002, we announced the Galaxy Tab S8 5G, which is also part of the Galaxy Tab S8 family, and the Galaxy Tab A8.
Can the company’s history be divided into decades?
AQ – Samsung has a relationship of more than 35 years with Brazil, a country that represents a very relevant market for the company’s strategy. Locally, it was founded in 1987. Globally, Samsung Electronics was founded in 1969, it is present in 73 countries and has 217 subsidiaries. Altogether there are 38 manufacturing units, 38 R&D centers and 7 Design Centers spread across five continents. In Seoul, South Korea, the AI Center was created, which includes seven laboratories in four more countries: Canada, United States, United Kingdom, and Russia. We remain attentive to trends and people’s behavior to continue innovating and boosting the market. We are protagonists in the smartphone market in Brazil. In the TV market, Samsung has been a global leader for over 16 years, having pioneered 8K sets and, more recently, miniLED technology.
- 1986: Samsung arrives in Brazil with the sale of monitors and hard drives.
- 1988: Launch of the brand’s first cell phone, the SH-100.
- 1998: First Digital TV in the world.
- 2004: Largest LCD TV (46”) in the world.
- 2005: Start of sales of plasma TVs in Brazil (imported product).
- 2006: Beginning of the Slim Tube era in Brazil, the latest innovation in CRT tube TV.
- The plasma and LCD TV market starts to grow in Brazil, even though 95% of the sales volume is for tube televisions.
- Beginning of replacement of tube TV for LCD TV in Brazil (until 2009).
- 2007: Beginning of the movement to exchange LCD TV for Full HD in Brazil. Sale of Samsung’s first Full HD model. The company had a 25.5% market share (GFK).
- 2008: World’s first dual-color edge TV.
- Samsung innovates with the sale of a 40” Smart TV in Brazil. Market share of 24.9% (GFK).
- 2009: Launch of Samsung’s first Android smartphone, the Galaxy (i7500)
- 2009: Launches the thinnest TV (29.9 mm) in the world.
- Introduction of screens with LED lighting in Brazil, thinner TVs with longer life. Samsung ended the year with a 27.3% market share.
- 2010: Launch of the first Samsung Galaxy S.
- 2010: It enters the notebook market already manufactured in Brazil.
- 2010: World’s first app store for TVs.
- World’s first Full HD 3D TV.
- 2011: Features the Galaxy Note and S Pen.
- 2011: Launch of the Samsung Galaxy SII.
- 2012: Samsung is ranked the world’s largest mobile phone manufacturer by IHS iSuppli.
- 2013: World’s first curved TV.
- Samsung starts selling 4K TVs in Brazil and conquers 30% market share (GFK).
- 2014: World’s first flexible UHD TV.
- The Largest curved UHD TV (105”) in the world.
- Revival of plasma TVs with football. In Brazil, Samsung built its plasma-centric strategy. In the same year, it enters the market with curved screen TVs. That year, it captured 36.3% of the market share.
- 2015: (GFK). Launches SUHD: Smart TV in Brazil and reaches 36.1% market share (GFK).
- Announces that in Brazil all Smart TVs launched operate with the Tizen System.
- 2016: World’s only SUHD TV with cadmium-free quantum dot display.
- Samsung teaches consumers in Brazil to recognize 4K technology (White Pixel Campaign): 4K is Samsung. It closes the year with a 42.6% market share.
- 2016: Launches Samsung Pay in Brazil.
- 2017: Launch of the Galaxy S8.
- 2017: Launch of the first gaming notebook, the Dyssey.
- 2017: New QLED category, which offers image quality, design, and user experience. Launch, in Brazil, proposes to redefine the experience of watching TV.
- Promotion of the new line of UHD 4K TVs in which all models continue to have RGB panels, without the white sub-pixel, guaranteeing image clarity. It arrives in Brazil with a wide variety of products and different specifications.
- Ad for The Frame, a 4K UHD TV that looks like a frame suspended from a wall when “Art Mode” is activated. Launches the 55” model in Brazil.
- 2018: Enter the smartwatch market with the Galaxy Watch.
- 2018: Introduces new QLED TVs in Brazil. Ambient Mode, Single Invisible Connection and Artificial Intelligence are some of the great innovations.
- Launches new UHD 4K TVs in Brazil. It offers a distinctive design, optimizes cable management, and can control other smart equipment.
- 2019: Samsung introduces the Galaxy Buds.
- 2019: Introduces the Galaxy Watch Active.
- 2019: Samsung Members Community arrives in Brazil.
- 2019: Samsung introduces the first 5G smartphone globally.
- 2019: Launches the first QLED 8K TV in the Brazilian market, in addition to a new portfolio of QLED 4K TVs and UHD 4K models. In the second half, it brings to the country a new model of The Frame, also with QLED technology.
- 2020: It introduces the new category of 4K TVs – Crystal UHD – to the Brazilian market and new QLED 4K and 8K models. It also launches The Sero and The Frame 2020 with the addition of Ambient Mode 3.0.
- 2021: Launches the first mid-range 5G smartphone in Brazil, the A32 5G.
- 2021:Introduces the 3rd generation of Galaxy Z foldables (Z Fold3 5G and Z Flip3 5G), consolidating this format in the mainstream market. They are the first foldables in the world with IPX8 water resistance.
- 2021: Launches Galaxy Watch4 and Watch4 Classic, the first smartwatches in the world to perform Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis, which calculates the user’s body composition.
- 2021: Samsung presents Galaxy for The Planet, a series of commitments to address the global climate crisis.
- 2021: Launches Samsung Sempre Novo (Always New), the brand’s premium smartphone subscription plan.
- 2021:Arrival of Mini LED technology in the new line-up of Neo QLED 4K and 8K televisions and The Premiere projectors. Expands the Lifestyle category with The Serif. Reinforces its commitment to a more sustainable world with the Going Green concept. The entire portfolio of TVs has Eco-Package packaging, which can be transformed into toys, pet houses or magazine racks. Brings the SolarCell remote control powered by solar energy or by the lighting itself, dispensing with the use of batteries.
- 2022: Launch of the S22 Ultra 5G and Nightography.
- 2022: It democratizes technologies from the S22 premium line in new smartphones from the Galaxy A line.
- 2022: It has a 54.2% market share in the segment and the largest portfolio of 5G smartphones in the country, with 25 models in the most varied price ranges.
- 2022: Launches the 4th generation of Galaxy Z foldables (Z Fold4 5G and Z Flip4 5G).
- 2022: Introduces the new notebooks in the Galaxy Book2 series, comprising the Galaxy Book2, Galaxy Book2 360 and Galaxy Book2 Pro. In tablets, it launches the Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra 5G and the Galaxy Tab S8+ 5G.
- 2022: Launches, in Brazil, the brand’s first portable smart projector, The Freestyle. Arrival of the Neo QLED QN90, the 1st high-performance TV for gamers, and offers the Samsung Gaming Hub, a game streaming platform available on Samsung 2022 Smart TVs, which enables a gaming experience without storage limitations and without the need for downloads or from a console.
Source: Eletrolar News #152