1 year ago

Day 5 - IFA International

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  • September
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SPECIAL FEATURE: CAMERAS & OPTICAL DEVICES IT’S A HybRID! SAMSUng LAUnCHES nEw CAMERA CATEgORy AT IFA Exclusive Interview - Young Bae Kim, Director Strategic Marketing Team DSLR Planning Group Samsung Electronics There’s a new niche developing in the digital still camera market: something between a “bridge” and a Digital Single Lens Reflex camera… in other words a kind of up-market bridge camera with interchangeable lenses… Samsung are releasing just such a hybrid, which will be known as the NX range. We met with Young Bae Kim, the Director of the Strategic Marketing Team for Samsung’s DSLR Planning Group (Samsung spun off its digital camera business in 2008). We asked Mr Kim to tell us more about the direction being taken by Samsung in this market today. We will continue to strive to develop a fundamental technical advantage in our cameras, but at the same time we are continuously developing technologies that cater better to the needs of the marketplace. In particular in terms of both video and still image quality and device convergence, we’re working together with the camcorder department. So the basic direction of our business is that we will continue to analyse and identify the needs of consumers and by doing so we will be able to offer better products that are more convenient, easier to use and with better functionality. You offer a full range of cameras from compacts all the way up to SLRs. Where is the focus today? Currently our main focus is on compact cameras, although in the future we will continue to work on the development of the SLR because if you look at the needs of the marketplace it is increasingly evident that consumers want the convenience of compact cameras with the undeniable benefits of an SLR. It is of course true that the SLR is at the apex of the camera business these days, but I am also sure that the need for other products will continue to evolve and develop. The evidence we are seeing of that trend is that SLR cameras these days are quite different to those of the past, with new concepts starting to emerge that combine the ease of use of compact cameras with the advantages of an SLR. We believe that this is where camera evolution is going and that the next generation of cameras will be like that. Indeed, our market research and analysis confirm that this is where the market is heading and it is a direction that we believe in. We started putting all our development efforts into this direction about 3 years ago in order to be ready to meet these new challenges and now, in 2009, we are going to share our ideas about the next generation of cameras with the world. We use the term “hybrid camera” for this specific product and I believe that this next generation concept really fits with the way the market is going. This does not mean, however, that we are only going to focus on the development of new concepts, we will continue to listen to the emerging and evolving needs of the marketplace across the all categories of camera. Please tell us briefly what the NX concept is… First of all, in terms of the market environment, on the one side you have the SLR and on the other side you have compacts, so there are only really two categories of camera, but our most recent market research identified new needs amongst consumers which is where we saw the relevance of the hybrid approach. And while I don’t want to go too deep into the effects of the economic downturn, what I do want to emphasize is the fact that whatever the underlying market conditions, we have to carry on working and developing our products, because we believe that when current SLR and compact camera owners decide to buy a new machine, both will at least be considering the hybrid category. Hybrid will be a kind of conduit between these two distinct groups of users because the hybrid satisfies the unfulfilled needs of both compact and SLR users. From the point of view of compact users, they want better pixel count and better quality images, and they know that this quality is what an SLR delivers. From the perspective of an SLR user, their cameras are too heavy and difficult to handle so they want a camera that is more portable and easier to use. This is why we developed this new category, because It’s clear that there is a whole new emerging market segment out there made up of people who want to step up from compact cameras. Hall 20 / Stand 101 IFA International • Tuesday, 8 th September 2009 15

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