The road to innovation: Samsung devices ahead of their time

Stories of companies that have been able to become leaders in such a highly competitive market as

consumer electronics and get around theirfamous competitors, again and again become the subject of study in business schools. According to one theory, we now live in the era of the fourth industrial revolution, associated with the advent of computers and the Internet. The first three were industrial capitalism, born of the discovery of a steam engine, then the era of mass production (Ford's conveyor became its symbol) and automation of production, which began in the late 70s of the last century (the first computers and the appearance of robotic devices on the same conveyors, which reduced the cost of goods by orders of magnitude). What steps should modern companies take to please customers more than their competitors? One reason may be the desire to constantly use innovation and experiment, providing customers with new opportunities and new user experiences. The desire to try more than others and do something first more often, gaining invaluable experience that allows you to move progress. If you look at the history of Samsung (which, by the way, is already 50 years old) from this angle, the strategy of the company that raised it to the Olympus of the technological world was embodied in specific devices. They were the first and carried not just technology for the sake of technology, but each time focused around the ever-changing needs of customers.

The world's first MP3 player phone: Samsung SPH-M2100

It is believed that the first phone withthe built-in MP3 player was Siemens SL45, but this is not so. Samsung SPH-M2100 came out to South Korea a year earlier, in August 1999. It had 16 megabytes of memory, allowing you to store 4 songs or up to 20 minutes of voice recording. A month later, a version with 32 megabytes was released. The phone, 19 millimeters thick, was considered thin, weighed 94 grams and was equipped with an external remote control (with its own display), which allowed you to switch songs and answer calls. The first Samsung phone with MP3, which was sold not only in South Korea, but also in the USA, was the SPH-M2500, and after 5 years only 60 models with MP3 support were already in the South Korean market. Now these features are causing a smile, but twenty years ago MP3 was a relatively new technology and this phone was created even before the massive distribution of this format and the advent of MP3 players. Winners usually write the story, but we remember that people and companies thought about how to give users a digital portable device with music long before Steve Jobs, who gave the world an iPod.


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The world's first watch phone: Samsung SPH-WP10

Even today, another device comes from 1999year looks fantastic. This is a Samsung SPH-WP10 CDMA phone mounted in a watch. It has an external antenna and a graphic monochrome display with a resolution of 128x64 pixels. It was sold only in South Korea (already then, in the country that was not the most developed at that time, it is not surprising that, after 20 years, 5th generation mobile communication networks were among the first in this country). Even today, not all smart watches are equipped with a mobile communication module (we will be honest - the number of such models is very limited). And although this device did not make a grandiose breakthrough and did not receive the recognition of customers all over the world (such as clamshell phones, the creators of which were inspired by Star Trek communicators), it turned fiction and the dream of future technologies from the comic books about detective Dick Tracy, who used similar watches, in reality. Even then, Samsung thought about the segmentation of the market for mobile devices and groped for new categories of users. The result in the form of leadership in the global phone market was only a decade later, but it was.


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Curious fact © Sheldon Cooper

Samsung is a global leader not only inproduction of smartphones. The company is the No. 1 player in the market for televisions, refrigerators, memory (DRAM, NAND Flash and SSD), and also most of all in the world it manufactures SIM cards and Digital Signage (large monitors for displaying advertisements placed in public places).

The one and only - a special phone from the Matrix: Samsung SPH N270

Everyone remembers the phone from the cult film "The Matrix"1999, but Samsung in 2003 went further and developed for the premiere of the sequel “Matrix: Reboot” a special model of the Samsung SPH N270 mobile phone that could be bought. It was a phone directly associated with the film, it had a unique inimitable design with a jumping module. The only thing that upset (and continues to upset now, otherwise we would have met people with such a phone so far on the streets) is that the model was developed only for CDMA networks. But the main goal that the developers set for themselves - to give users a phone from the cyberpunk future and to show how tomorrow's technologies can already be available today - has been achieved. The phone immediately became a cult right after the movie.


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For those who want to know more

The Matrix is ​​by no means the only film wherecan meet Samsung products. The company's devices appeared in films about the avengers from the Marvel universe, “Kingsmen” and “Lucy”, a separate role on the Samsung phone was in the film “Ocean's Thirteen Friends”. And they can also be seen in the popular series "Mr. Robot", "Silicon Valley", "House of Cards", "Breaking Bad." And this is not a complete list.


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Images from films and TV shows: productplacementblog.com

The world's first Super AMOLED screen phone: Samsung S8500 Wave

If you sincerely believe that Samsung engineerswork like Apple, that is, they only know how to skillfully pack inventions made by someone else into their devices, then I have an argument for you that proves the exact opposite. And his name is Super AMOLED screens, completely developed within the company, representing pure technological superiority (it is they that greatly help the company to maintain market share in the conditions of extremely aggressive actions of competitors around the world). In 2010, the Super AMOLED screen simply did not have equal brightness, and the first phone equipped with such a screen was the Samsung S8500 Wave, which was wonderful in every sense. Over the past decade, the technology has been constantly improved and Samsung still does not give anyone access to it. Such goodness is necessary for oneself, as was said in the famous fairy tale.

The world's first camera with Instagram: Samsung Galaxy Camera EK-GC100

In 2012, Samsung introduced a uniquedevice - camera on Android. She had all the features of an Android smartphone, which we are used to today with the exception of ... a SIM card. This was the first time that it was possible to take pictures with good quality using 21x optical zoom and publish pictures on social networks - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, opening up a new mobile photography experience. Today, these possibilities seem to us the most common, but 7 years ago the world was completely different. And smartphone cameras could take good pictures only in daylight. Read our impressions of those years from its use: “a very charming, very functional toy for geeks”, “a camera with Dropbox and Instagram? give two! ”- in those days it caused pure delight, the aftertaste of which we see today in the form of magnificent cameras of smartphones, which have become much more compact, but carrying all those great features that were born in 2012.

For those who want to know more: a design that fills devices with new meanings

Beyond Samsung Technologyexperimenting with forms, creating new meanings and giving new usage scenarios to familiar things. Examples of this design, for example, is the Samsung Space line of monitors, which free up work space on the table due to the thoughtful design of the monitor foot and a completely rethought approach to using a computer monitor in work. Or a new series of The Frame and The Serif TVs, in which design and a beautiful beauty are at the forefront - why not turn a huge black spot of a turned-off TV on the wall into a part of the interior, making it an interactive screen that fully meets the spirit of a modern, saturated visual information of the world.


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The world's first flexible folding screen smartphone: Samsung Galaxy Fold

The most technological new product of the year promisinga breakthrough in the stagnating smartphone market - the Galaxy Fold with a folding flexible screen. By the way, Samsung plans to officially deliver it to the Ukrainian market in order to demonstrate its technological capabilities to as many people as possible (we are talking not only about hundreds or thousands of buyers, but also about hundreds of thousands of people who will be able to get to know it at Samsung brand stores). For the first time in many years, we have the opportunity to get a fundamentally new technology in screens that allow us to get new opportunities unprecedented before - the smartphone in the expanded state will be able to replace the tablet, and provide the advantages of both devices (compactness and a large tablet with multi-mode for easy operation) at once.


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The world's first IP camera refrigerator: Samsung Family Hub

This is a great device, as if it came tous from science fiction films, talks about the advent of a new era in which computers came to all areas of our lives. Screens, microprocessors and total access to the Internet (hello, Internet of things, you have already become a reality!) Appear in a huge number of devices that were never intended for such use cases. The Samsung Family Hub refrigerator, presented at CES 2019, is equipped not only with a huge vertical screen, but also with three built-in cameras that allow you to see its contents on your smartphone. Which of us did not dream of such an opportunity, trying in vain to recall the contents of our own refrigerator in the supermarket, whose supplies need to be replenished? Today it becomes a reality, and after 10 years, reading a similar text, we will begin to wonder what exactly caused us delight in 2019. Well, a fridge with a camera and a fridge. The same as the millions of others standing in our homes and apartments. This is precisely the path that technology has gone through in a decade, turning from a high-tech novelty into a useful technique that improves our daily lives. Filling it with new experiences and opportunities.


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What's next: robots, artificial intelligence and unmanned vehicles

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Artificial Intelligence on TVs: How It Works

Where will technology lead us in the future? No one can answer this question today. But Samsung considers promising developments related to artificial intelligence (the Bixby voice assistant, which has high hopes), the Internet of things (the mass of the most familiar household appliances gain access to the network and the ability to work in conjunction with each other, for example, you can give a command start cooking in the oven). Samsung sees a very high potential in autonomous cars, capable of driving without a driver (and the safe movement of such vehicles around the city will become possible with the advent of 5G, the company's engineers also participate in the development of standards). And it’s also obvious that in our future you will soon see robots - specialized assistants to perform functions related to serving people in hotels, airports and social events. And the transformation of all these devices from time-ahead into the familiar to everyone and every technique will happen before our eyes.


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For those who want to know more

  • Samsung: 50 years of innovation - how the company completely changed the life of all mankind
  • How design is changing our workplace: a visual guide
  • In search of new meanings: why did Samsung turn the The Frame and The Serif TVs into paintings
  • What happened to the Samsung Galaxy S10? Test your memory in a boring test
  • Who needs bending Samsung Galaxy Fold and Huawei Mate X smartphones and why their price should not surprise you
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