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Posted : 2014-06-12 16:29
Updated : 2014-06-12 18:35

Samsung to unveil 'smart home' updates in IFA

A Samsung Electronics employee announces the launch of the "Chef Collection" kitchen electronics appliances during a Samsung Living Atelier event in Manhattan, New York, Wednesday.
/ Courtesy of Samsung Electronics

New Note, curved UHD TVs, wearable devices on the card


By Kim Yoo-chul

Samsung Electronics will unveil wearable devices, curved UHD TVs and expanded smart home services at this year's IFA fair in Berlin.

The company faces some headwinds going forward due to increasing competition from Chinese and other players in the lower and mid-range segments as well as Apple, which has been heavily pushing into new markets.

It will shift its focus towards the creation of a new eco-system in smart home solutions, releasing expanded Note phablets and other advanced smart gadgets.

"Samsung plans to show the global technology industry that it is transforming itself into a solution provider from a hardware supplier," said a senior executive at one of Samsung's top local suppliers.

He said CEO Yoon Boo-keun has led the drive to level up its smart home products.

At the Europe's most-influential annual technology exhibition, CityCube Berlin, an independent exhibition venue, will be set up on a new 12,000-square-meter site at Messe Berlin, the organizer of the fair said.

At the venue, the 6,000-square-meter upper level will play host to Samsung.

An executive of another local Samsung partner said the company is set to wow the industry and participants at the new independent venue as the company will unveil wearable devices, the Galaxy Note3 sequel, home appliances and curved OLED TVs.

"Samsung will unveil the Galaxy Note4 phablet, UHD OLED TVs, a Google Glass rival, and home appliances at the upcoming IFA," said the executive.

Samsung is in the progress of fixing details about its new announcements, he said.

"The Note4 will have two versions ― one with a curved OLED display for niche markets and the other a flat OLED display for mass marketing," said the executive.

Samsung declined to confirm as it normally doesn't comment about the development of products.

Eco-system

Attention is being shifted to see what's next for Samsung's smart home services-related strategies in this year's IFA as the company has so far been consistent in connecting smart TVs and home appliances.

Samsung plans to expand the smart home services to areas with "high growth potential," including home security and energy management, other than just appliances.

Samsung co-CEO Yoon Boo-keun is expected to disclose updates of its smart home strategies and new country targets," said officials at local Samsung partners asking not to be named.

Samsung introduced its smart home services at January's tech fair in Las Vegas, the United States, this year, and has rolled them out in Korea and the United States.

Yoon will give a keynote speech at the IFA fair, which will take place Sept. 5-10 on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds (Expo Center City).

Samsung believes much of the growth will be coming from connected devices and home solutions, while competition is intensifying in smartphones. Samsung's target to become the world's biggest appliances manufacturer is still safe.

"The key question for Samsung that should be answered is whether it is ready to expand its technological innovation beyond hardware products. This year's IFA will be a chance to understand Samsung's ability to handle solutions not for devices. That's why I've reserved plane tickets and booked a hotel," said an executive at another Samsung partner.