Samsung unveiled a new smartwatch and fitness band along with the latest version of its Galaxy smartphone on Monday, demonstrating how the battleground for innovation is shifting from the hand to the wrist.
The world’s biggest smartphone maker set a trend less than six months ago for wearable devices that link to mobile handsets with its Galaxy Gear watch, which has seen rivals like Sony and Huawei follow in its wake.
The switch in focus also underlines the challenges the South Korean firm is facing. Low-price Chinese rivals are churning out products that look increasingly similar at a time when smartphone sales have started to ease, taking a toll on Samsung’s earnings.
To fight back, Samsung is taking a less glitzy marketing approach to control costs. It has also performed a U-turn, abandoning its previous heavy focus on sweeping hardware improvements to highlight more subtle features in its devices and accessories in a bid to appeal to a wider audience.
“With the Galaxy S5, Samsung is going back to basics,” JK Shin, co-chief executive and president of Samsung’s mobile business, told an audience of Samsung employees, partners and media at the annual Mobile World Congress technology trade show in Barcelona. Samsung will roll out the S5 globally on April 11, with pricing details yet to be disclosed. – Reuters