New York - Samsung outlined its global strategies to become a leader in what it calls 'the Digital Convergence Revolution,' and took the wraps off several new video, audio, communications and home networking products, during its 'DigitAll Inspiration Showcase', here Sept. 16.
The event was held at Cipriani's restaurant, which is across from Grand Central Station on 42nd Street, and drew press, market analysts and leading retail executives. Luminaries such as Circuit City chairman, president/CEO Alan McCollough, Best Buy executive VP/GMM Ron Boire and CompUSA's president/CEO Hal Compton, among others, were in attendance.
While Samsung Electronics vice chairman/CEO Jong-Yong Yun spoke, along with Samsung Electronics America's president/CEO Dong-Jin Oh and senior VP of strategic marketing Peter Weedfald, the real stars of the evening were the products that were displayed.
Among those products that received there debut at the event are:
- A 70W-inch Plasma Display Panel (PDP) television, model PS70X4H. According to G.S. Choi, president of Samsung Electronics' Digital Media Network, the 70-inch PDP TV will be available in the spring or summer of next year. The display should be priced around $25,000 to $30,000 at retail, 'but [the pricing] is very tentative,' he noted, and will be determined by competitive pressures and future production efficiencies. Jim Sanduski, marketing VP visual media products, noted that the 70W-inch display features 1920 by 1080 progressive scan, is less than 4-inches deep and is quiet, due to its fanless design.
- A 54W-inch TFT-LCD TV, model LTN545W, featuring SRS TruSurround. The display should be available during the second half of next year, and while pricing this now, due to the market is 'unpredictable,' Choi said, he told TWICE it should retail for around $30,000. The LCD TV is just 2-inches thick and weighs 44 pounds.
- A 46W-inch LCD TV, model LTN465W is said to features HDTV capability and should be available either by the end of this year or early 2004, Choi noted, with a 'tentative' retail price of around $12,000.
- A 50W-inch plasma that features a HDTV set-top box that wirelessly transmits the signal to the set, eliminating the need for more wires. Choi said the plasma display should be shipped 'early next year' in the U.S. and should be priced '$1,500 to $2,000 more' than a typical display at retail due to the wireless feature.
- A cellular phone with built-in NTSC television and full GSM/GPRS capabilities, model SGH-P705 is small, light and has a 260,000 color TFT LCD display. Pricing and availability have not been set.
- A Pocket PC Phone, model i700 was developed in conjunction with Microsoft and includes Windows Media Player, full Microsoft Office functionality, a VGA camera and a 3.5-inch screen. Pricing and availability were not set at press time.
Samsung also took advantage of the DigitAll Inspiration event by announcing that it has a new technology and marketing partnership with Napster, centered around a portable music device designed specifically to work with the new Napster 2.0. Details on this product, and the deal between the two companies, will be announced by Samsung next month.
And in a look to the future, Samsung showed its Home Media Center, which was billed as an all-in-one wireless digital home server. According to the company, consumers will have the ability to share a variety of multimedia content between AV and IT devices within the home. The Home Media Center runs on an imbedded Linux OS supporting Universal Plug and Play.
During the presentation, David Steel, Samsung Electronics' digital media entertainment area VP, noted that this product, 'Is a real solution for people's lives' because it can store, share and transmit information for entertainment, work, health and control home and home security functions. Timing of a product rollout and estimated pricing will be announced in the future.
(For more on Samsung's New York event, visit www.TWICE.com or read the September 29 issue of TWICE.)