Samsung Electronics celebrated its 30th anniversary by holding a party for itself at New York's Hammerstein Ballroom, saying it wants to become one of the top three digital product suppliers in the world, focusing on four core markets: personal multimedia, mobile multimedia, home multimedia, and core component business.
At a gala event and press conference, filled with 500 to 600 retailers, journalists and industry luminaries, the company introduced a variety of digital-based products and a brand slogan -"Samsung DIGITall: everyone's invited." Samsung's goal is that its new digital products will generate total sales of $58 billion by 2005, with an average annual growth in sales of 15%.
To support its digital offerings, the company anticipates an R&D investment of more than $1.4 billion in the next five to 10 years. The firm invested $80 million in digital product R&D in 1999 and will invest $315 million in 2000.
"Our new product portfolio reflects a basic shift in strategy, demonstrating our deep conviction that digital connectivity is the future of our industry, especially in terms of personal and mobile multimedia products," said Jong-Yong Yun, president/CEO of Samsung Electronics.
The company's multimedia strategy is designed to initially leverage Samsung Electronics' new digital SmartMedia card, scheduled for introduction in first quarter 2000. The card's 32MB capacity provides storage for video and audio data downloaded from the Internet, data copied and stored from packaged media, and even personal recordings and other business data. All of the company's new personal and mobile multimedia products will feature the SmartMedia card performance option.
The fourth quarter U.S. product introductions are:
- The SCH-3500, the world's first Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) PCS portable telephone that combines voice-activated dialing and Internet access in a small, sleek package. The SCH-3500 weighs 5.5 ounces with e-mail and wireless fax capabilities, and has a suggested retail of $149.
- The Yepp YP-E32 and YP-E64, a portable digital audio player featuring the MP3 audio compression format, with suggested retails of $169.99 and $249.99 respectively. The player has both removable SmartMedia card functionality and 32 MB or 64MB of built-in flash memory.
- First quarter 2000 introductions are:
- Photo Yepp, a portable MP3 player that displays still graphics and lyrics, priced at $399.99.
- Digital Still Camera (SDC-80), providing 850K-pixel resolution and SmartMedia memory, priced at $349.99.
- SyncMaster 170MP, a 17-inch TFT LCD TV monitor with built-in TV tuner, featuring digital zoom and image quality control filters, and targeted to high information-demand environments such as news organizations and financial and stock markets, priced at $3499.99.
- *Digital Still Camera (SDC-007), a higher-end digital camera featuring a folding and swivel LCD panel, priced at $599.99.
- As for second quarter introductions, the following will be available:
- The Yepp New E, a portable digital audio player with SmartMedia card functionality and 32MB of built-in memory, priced at $199.99.
- The Yepp New D, a high-end portable digital audio player, featuring 32MB of built-in memory and 3D sound, also with SmartMedia card option, priced at $249.99.
- Motion Yepp, a portable MP3 player offering digital stereo sound and the ability to store and display both still and motion pictures, such as music videos, song lyrics and singer profiles, with SmartMedia card functionality, priced at $499.99.
- Digital Photo Album (SyncMaster 80), an updated photo display for the Digital Age, resembling a conventional photo album, but presenting digital images stored via SmartMedia(TM) card in a variety of styles, including slideshow animation and music accompaniment, priced at $799.99.
- 43" LCD HD-Ready Projection TV, an advanced LCD projection TV with Samsung's proprietary optical engine technology offering 720P x 1280 high definition resolution, priced at $5999.99.
- Colour Station (SCX-1000S), a multi-functional color printer with pre-programmable Internet printing capability, priced at $499.99 without SmartMedia(TM) card capability and $599.99 with SmartMedia(TM) functionality.
- And the schedule for the third quarter of 2000 is:
- DVD Recorder (DVR-2000), one of the first DVD players with a DVD-RAM format, offering recording as well as playback, and featuring a rewritable optical disc and built-in MPEG-2 encoder and decoder, as well as high-resolution component video output terminals (Y, Pb, Pr), priced at $1999.99.
In marketing, Samsung has invested $3 million in market research identifying the lifestyle and purchase patterns of Generation Y (13-25 years old) and Generation N (Internet-friendly) consumers. The company also has invested $100 million this year in online marketing of its new brand and product portfolio, with an additional $200 million slated for online marketing in 2000.
In addition, the company has allocated $150 million for U.S. advertising campaigns to promote the new digital brand through year 2001, including Olympics-themed advertising scheduled to begin in 2000. The new brand slogan - "Samsung DIGITall - everyone's invited" - debuted with national TV spots during the World Series telecasts in late October.
Samsung predicts that with its investment in digital media the share of its four business sectors will be realigned in one year. The Telecommunications Business, which includes mobile multimedia and now comprises 23% of Samsung Electronics' revenues, is expected to increase to 25% of total company sales. Consumer Electronics Business is expected to drop from 21% to 17% of total sales, and Computer & Peripherals Business will rise to 24% from 21%. Semiconductors Business will decrease from 35% to 34% of total sales.