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Samsung president says that the folding phone is not "far away"

  Samsung president dj koh with Samsung Galaxy S8
When asked about plans to change the name of the Galaxy S series, DJ Koh said: "I'm proud of the Galaxy name. I like it."

For years, we have heard that Samsung has a folding smartphone in the pipeline and – while there is still no sign of it – the manufacturer's head, DJ Koh, recently hinted at the company's unpacked event, August 10, soon after Having heard the Galaxy Note 9 phone, it's "not far away".

Many phone manufacturers, including Apple, have also suggested that they look at the possibility of similar folding smartphones, but Samsung may well beat the rest if the company manages to fix a deadline.

Adam Turek from Business Insider talked with Samsung's President DJ Koh to find out more about Samsung's plans after their "Unpacked" event in New York.

We've already seen the new Note9 – what are the most noticeable improvements?

We have extended the battery, which now allows a full day of work, and has also expanded the built-in memory, allowing users to have up to 1TB of data and multimedia storage. It's also the brand new S-pen with a Bluetooth module that lets you control music, take pictures or swap slides in a presentation.

Most importantly, we also have the power of the device: this is the most powerful smartphone on the market today, and will be appreciated by mobile players. It is partly because of the fact that we worked on Galaxy Note9 together with Epic Games, the company responsible for the production of Fortnite.

Since Note9 is designed with players as a goal, does Samsung see them as an important part of the phone market?

Players are important customers for Samsung and a litmus test for mobile devices. Mobile games are becoming increasingly popular and demanding every year, so it's little wonder that players expect untouched operation from their devices, and even notice the slightest downturn in smartphone performance. If the device handles the latest titles without any problems, it will surely get its recommendation.

Samsung joined the company in charge of the production of Fortnite, Epic Games, to work on Galaxy Note9 together.
Epic Games

Which Galaxy Note9 features are your favorite?

Without a doubt, Samsung DeX and the new S Pen. Both features change dramatically in the way you work on your mobile device.

With Samsung DeX solution, you can turn your smartphone into a PC-like experience. And you only need an HDMI cable (HDMI adapter) to connect Galaxy Note9 to a monitor. We started working on this feature 4 years ago.

The Galaxy Note9s S Pen is by far the most advanced stylus that comes with a smartphone. For eight years I have constantly increased the bar for our S Pen team, and I have to say that I am extremely proud of what they have achieved this year. They finally managed to make one of my dreams come true and turn S Pen into a remote control to take pictures.

Mobile technologies like Samsung DeX and S Pen make us work efficiently anywhere, using a device that fits into the pocket of the pants or jacket. It's amazing how mobile technologies have changed our lives over the past decade.

Where did the idea of ​​a phone pin come?

It's about comfort.

About eight to nine years ago, not only were the phones we had in our pockets; We also had laptops. During a conversation with JK Shin – my boss on time – it was suggested that we turn our smartphones into notebooks. When I managed to find a partner that could help make this project a reality, we signed a contract with the Japanese company Wacom, and after eight months of work, S Pen was created. So we have created a new subset of device – a phablet. Hollis Johnson / Business Insider

Do people really want to use smartphones with monitors instead of computers? [19659000] S Pen can act as remote control for taking pictures. 19659008] It is of course dependent on the needs and the work we do, but for many people this will be quite adequate. Today's best smartphones are more powerful than many computers. We live in a time when the office becomes more and more redundant.

During the conference, we also saw the new Samsung Galaxy Watch. Many analysts have suggested that sales of portable devices fall and that these gadgets have not caught up. Why did you decide to start another?

On the contrary, 71 million smartwatches will be sold in 2018 according to CCS Insight – and as many as 140 million in 2022. Smartwatches are becoming increasingly popular as portable devices.

Galaxy Watch draws on our first watches, takes many features to the next level and adds brand new opportunities. Many health and sports features, such as blood pressure measurement, are now even better working. Galaxy Watch also recognizes brand new exercises and is equipped with a new battery with higher capacity, as well as Bixby speech assistant.

With each new version, smart watches become more powerful and useful.

Smartwatches are becoming increasingly popular portable devices, according to Koh.
Bryan Bedder / Getty Images for Samsung

New smartphones seem very similar both in terms of competitive features and previous models. What technology will put Samsung apart from each other on the market?

5G – This technology is the next step in the development of smartphones. The next two to three years will give a breakthrough in this regard. The first devices that support the 5G standard are likely to be seen at the end of this year. In the first half of 2019, 5G smartphones can already be offered by operators.

The new standard will change the way we use smartphones, and it will provide new opportunities for use, combining them with other devices, because in the 5G time there are "things" that will be most important.

This technology will finally unlock the full potential of IoT (Internet of Things).

When 5G appears, devices automatically connect to each other in ways you will not even notice. I'm not just talking about things in our everyday life, but also about things in offices, factories or in urban spaces.

In 2020, Samsung plans to equip all its devices, including TV, refrigerator and air conditioner, with Bixby.
Antonio Villas-Boas / Business Insider

How will this improve our lives?

Radically – let's say you're coming home from work. Thanks to the 5G and IoT technology, when you're on your way, you can check the temperature at home and screw it up a little, or check supplies in your fridge and decide whether to stop at the store or order the missing ingredients online.

We also saw Galaxy Home, or the intelligent Samsung speaker. Do people really want to talk to their devices? Or is this just a stick?

Our ultimate goal when designing new devices is to make life easier for customers. It seems to me that people today do not want to control everything by using a speaker. In addition, our research shows that people have equal audio quality and will not sacrifice it in exchange for intelligent features.

Moreover, speakers are just one of many devices. By 2020, we plan to equip all our devices, including TV, refrigerators and air conditioners, with Bixby.

Voice control is still something that users need to adjust, but I think that over the next few years, voice control over devices will be an important communication interface between man and device.

Do you consider all of this for virtual technology or for expanded reality?

Of course, we already use such devices, for example for educational purposes in factories.

Before new employees are distributed to the production line, they are introduced to complex production processes, first in virtual reality. We will certainly benefit from virtual reality and magnified reality in industry.

Perhaps in the next year or a half, such devices will be more used in everyday life.

Note9's new battery now gives a full day of work.
Hollis Johnson / Business Insider

Bixby is based on artificial intelligence. What does the future of this technology look like? Where will it be used most often?

Bixby is a more intuitive personal assistant who understands our intentions. For example, if I usually choose French food restaurants, it would suggest visiting a French restaurant if I ask for a recommended place to eat in the area.

Many different applications can implement the Bixby API. Artificial Intelligence will automatically customize a specific application that suits my needs. If I need a trip, it will order an uber, for example.

However, this is just the beginning. Bixby will continue to develop dynamically.

Do you think the next few years will see that smartphones disappear as we know them? Or that they will be replaced by other types of devices?

The current smartphone is a rectangle you carry in your pocket. Perhaps in the next few years, other devices may do the same to your smartphone. So we can experience the transition from smartphones to "smart devices" in general. Again, all this will happen thanks to 5G.

Smartphones will exist, but their form may change. Maybe they become foldable? You do not always have to look at the entire screen. Perhaps you only need a part of it. You may not need to unfold it to answer or call. But if you want to surf the web, you can unfold your phone to use the entire screen. [19659000] Koh claimed that the phablet can replace the phone and tablet when we move away from office-based work. BI Intelligence

We know that Samsung is working on a folding phone. When can we expect to see it?

It is nearing completion – we are currently focused on the user experience. Is it really so different from what today's phones offer? If we compare the phone to the tablet, is it better or not?

When we show the folding phone to the world, we count on the customers and the amazement of the competition, so we still have a few improvements to do yet, but it should not take much time.

Will other manufacturers create similar devices? Maybe not folding phones, but devices somehow different when it comes to form?

I'm not sure. I have heard some companies try to do this. Many companies follow in the footsteps of Samsung today.

Basically, many of the best phones are quite similar to each other. We often choose devices based on, for example, camera capability. Will this new form be an important element in future smartphones?

Remember that a phone is not just hardware; There is also software. Artificial Intelligence platforms also grow in importance.

Samsung is at the forefront of 5G technology development, according to Koh.
BI Intelligence

Samsung is at the forefront of 5G technology development. We have handled it since 2011, investing more and more in the development, striving for standardization.

We can release a 5G smartphone for the next six to eight months.

What markets can we expect to see this 5G smartphone on? Can you tell us more about it?

5G is a key area for innovation for Samsung, and we are focused on establishing 5G standardization, products, services and infrastructure. With our legacy of innovation and experience delivering mobile industry-leading networking solutions, we are currently in talks with major operators around the world to prepare for the 5G time.

Currently, the United States and South Korea have the most built-in network infrastructure, so it's likely that when we start, it's only on these markets. We are already on our way to 5G: at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Games this year, Samsung co-operated with a major South Korean telecom company KT for test-driven 5G products for the first time in the world. In the 5G world, you can expect speeds faster with up to 20 Gbps, less latency and a better connected IoT ecosystem.

We hope to introduce new services and new devices that best suit these experiences.

Artificial intelligence and the thing's internet request many personal data. After GDPR came into force, people became more cautious about their personal data. How has Samsung tackled this?

We are very careful about the privacy of our customers and protect their data. We are prepared for both GDPR and the development of 5G.

Although many personal data are required to connect users, for example to Internet stuff, Koh has assured that Samsung Knox will protect the user's data and privacy.
Via BI Intelligence

We have created a proprietary and comprehensive security platform for mobile devices, Samsung Knox – it provides protection both in hardware and software layers. Our work on Samsung Knox started eight years ago and we continue to develop the platform.

Interestingly, it is already recognized by a number of public institutions worldwide, including the US Department of Defense.

There have been rumors that Samsung is considering changing the name of the Galaxy series. Is there any truth about this?

I'm proud of the Galaxy name. I want to keep it, I like it.

But do you want to drop S from the Galaxy S series?

At the moment, the answer is no – we are constantly developing our smartphone portfolio to give our customers new innovations and exciting experiences, and Galaxy S and Galaxy Note lines are both important to us. They have their own unique brand identities and loyal user bases.

Building brand power to the extent that it takes time, so we do not consider changing the name. It will need to be carefully thought out by many stakeholders. [19659000] On Samsung and its rivals in the industry, Koh said: "Our main competitor is us." Hollis Johnson / Business Insider

Who is Samsung's biggest competitor? Apple? Another Android manufacturer? Or maybe an entirely different technological company?

It may sound strange, but our main competitor is us. We are a global leader in the smartphone market, and it's down for us – our focus, innovation, stamina and ability to listen to the customer's voices – to maintain this position.

Samsung's mobile history spans back in 20 years. In the first decade we focused on the "function" phone. The last ten years has been the development of smartphones – who knows how the devices will look like in a further ten years?

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