February 28, 2018 13:30
Samsung's new flagship Galaxy S9 is drawing a lot of buzz at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, which kicked off on Monday.
Koh Dong-jin, the head of Samsung's mobile business, told reporters, "We are getting very good responses from dealers. We are expecting a similar sales performance as the Galaxy S7, which set the sales record so far." Samsung sold 46 million Galaxy S7 smartphones in the first year of its release in 2016.
Koh irritably batted away criticism that the Galaxy S9 has no innovative features. "We're not forcing consumers to use the technology we developed," he said. "The goal of the Galaxy S9 was to make it easier to use."
Targeting the penchant among young people for snapping photos, the Galaxy S9 features a super-slow motion camera that can capture fast-moving objects with streak images, and also allows users to turn selfies into 3D images with 18 different emojis.
Koh said Samsung is stepping up development of artificial intelligence technology and plans to unveil an updated speaker using its Bixby assistant in the Galaxy Note 9 set for release in the first half of this year.
"We distributed samples of a beta version of Bixby 2.0 to 800 companies starting in December of last year for testing. We are also searching for AI-related start-up companies that we can acquire."
"AI" is a loose term used in tech marketing to describe programs that are capable of some learning, rather than actual artificial intelligence.
Samsung has seen its lead in the world market increasingly threatened, with its share of the Chinese market plunging below two percent in the fourth quarter last year.
"It will take considerable time before we recover our share of the Chinese market, but we will not grow impatient," Koh said. "We are bolstering our strategy in India, which is another huge market."
Meanwhile, Koh said he was "relieved" to see Samsung chief Lee Jae-yong being released from jail after his sentence for bribing ex-President Park Geun-hye was reduced on appeal.
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