Samsung Electronics launched its new 'Built for Africa' range at its fourth African Forum, entitled Samsung Journey of Wonder, in Cape Town, South Africa recently
The 'Built for Africa' range includes innovative business-to-government solutions, smart lifestyle solutions and smart mobile solutions.
“At Samsung we have always said that we do not just sell products, but sell solutions. Africa is one of the fastest growing economies with unique challenges and with that in mind we have created products specifically for Africa” said Paulo Ferreira, the technology giant's head of enterprise mobility.
According to the World Bank, more than 60 per cent of people in sub-Saharan Africa live in rural areas with limited access to basic health care. Samsung Africa’s broader Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy involves a sustained focus on three key areas – education, healthcare and rural connectivity – in line with the company’s global 'Hope for Children' initiative.
As a result, at the Samsung Africa Forum 2013, Samsung Electronics Africa launched its Solar-Powered Health Centre model in Cape Town marking the start of a large-scale medical initiative on the continent.
The mobile health centres will be built for use in remote rural areas that have little or no access to electricity. Samsung said it expected more than one million people to have access to eye, ear, blood testing and dental medical services by 2015. Solar-powered classrooms, meanwhile, will provide rural children access to computers and the Internet all over Africa.
Smart mobile solutions
Samsung has also launched three smartphones specifically designed for the African market – the Samsung Galaxy Grand, Star and Neo. The Grand Duos have dual-SIM feature designed to provide consumers across the continent with premium and affordable smartphone solutions to help balance customers' work and personal needs.
"We know that in some areas in Africa there are problems with network coverage in certain areas and with dual-SIM smartphones you never have to miss a call again, but can switch to another network. The Grand looks like Galaxy Note II and is one of the most expensive in the range" said Ferreira.
"2012 was a good year for Samsung – 30mn Samsung galaxy smartphones were sold and we were named top vendor globally –with this in mind we have designed and produced products for Africa.” he added.
Smart lifestyle solutions
Samsung also launched six smart-lifestyle solutions ranges, which include smart television sets, air-conditioning units, washing machines, cameras, printers and sound systems, all designed specifically with the African market in mind.
Michelle Potgieter, head of corporate marketing and communications at Samsung Electronics South Africa, remarked, "Samsung strives to take the world in imaginative new directions, and these product combinations are designed in such a way as to offer a smarter lifestyle that gives more flexibility.
"Also, in a market where customer loyalty is based on the value proposition, our solutions do exactly that and offer more value for your money,”
The smart viewing range offers a wide range of Samsung Smart TVs to pair with the latest Samsung tablets. The Samsung S9 comes with voice controls and motion controls that allow a user to zoom in and out using hands gestures.
Smart image combines any of the latest Samsung smart cameras with a Samsung tablet for easy sharing. Smart gaming transforms a small screen game into big screen fun, while combining a Samsung Smart TV with a Samsung smartphone will give the user the ability to display games on the big screen and covert the phone into a gaming controller.
Smart sound has been designed for music lovers who want to enjoy high-definition music, wirelessly. The HTF9750 comes with disco lighting to create a nightclub atmosphere and with speakers capable of 1330 Watts of sound, while smart printing takes away the need for cables in the home. The final range, Smart Eco, transforms the home into an eco-haven with energy saving appliances such as the Samsung Deep Foam washing machine and the Samsung Max Inverter air conditioner.
"These combinations are a step towards Samsung’s vision of the ultimate convergence experience; by making available products which work together seamlessly and that offer a smarter more convenient lifestyle to our customers," commented Potgieter. "We will continue to innovate and these value added offerings are another way, which we aim to inspire the local market."
Samsung also sponsored its first ever business-to-government conference focussing on strengthening relationships with the public sector and provide smart government solutions to accelerate service delivery through technology.
Samsung announced its new partnership with various companies such as Universal Music Group as well as African and international music labels to launch a pan-African mobile music streaming service called the Kleek. The app has been designed and built specifically for Africa and will aim to bring music lovers closer to their favourite artists, as well as attempt to launch African artists onto an international audience.
To help bring better education to schools across Africa, Samsung also partnered with various publishers to produce eBooks for rural schools.
Ntutule Tshenye, B2G and corporate citizenship lead at Samsung Electronics Africa, stated, "Samsung understands that meeting the development needs of a specific country requires a number of players working together, as well as tailored solutions to optimise this team work.
"To this end, we are excited to be able to create this platform for discussion as well as to demonstrate how our comprehensive government based offering incorporates the latest technology innovation that is not only as energy efficiently as possible but also takes cognisance of the unique challenges of the public sector," Tshenye added.