VIDEO INTERVIEW: When it comes to targeting emerging markets with smartphones, Alfred Boediman, VP at Samsung’s R&D institute in Indonesia, said there was an industry tendency to assume what type of features people wanted. That, he maintained, was not the Samsung way.
“We try to find out about cognitive user behaviour [and then see] what features are needed,” he told Mobile World Live. Samsung R&D, he said, had the consumer uppermost in mind.
But device manufacturers can only do so much. There are still markets that have plenty of feature phones, said Boediman, so education about more advanced devices and services is needed.
“The ecosystem beyond the device will be one of the key factors to educate and grow the market,” added the Samsung R&D man.
As part of its push to make devices more relevant to consumers in China, Boediman said Samsung had partnered with the likes of Baidu, a Chinese search engine company, and web giant Tencent.
Governments also have a role to play. Referencing China again, Boediman pointed out that the government there is trying to build up the concept of ‘SoLoMo’ (Social Local Mobile) based on local content.
Historically, Samsung has tended to hedge its mobile OS bets. It partners with Google’s Android but is also developing its own mobile operating systems, including Tizen.
Whatever the OS, however, Boediman said features need to be transparent and reflect the different needs of different regions.