By TM Roh, President and Head of Mobile Communications Business, Samsung Electronics
Ever since I was young, I’ve been captivated by engineering and technology — enthralled by new gadgets and curious about what made them work. I didn’t think I could be more obsessed with technology, but 2020 proved me wrong. This year gave me an even greater appreciation for all that it does and can potentially do. We had to reshape our lives, rethink the way we operate and become more flexible — and technology made it possible for us to do so. 2020 bolstered my determination to fully tap the infinite power and potential of tech to give people personalized experiences that enrich their lives and allow them to express themselves.
As we close out this year and I think of what’s to come in 2021, I feel encouraged by all the ways Samsung is cultivating open collaboration and driving innovation forward to empower people on their personal journeys. We have never believed in a one-size-fits-all mobile experience and we never will. We led the charge with 5G and changed the shape of the future with a series of foldable smartphones. Now, we’re working on revolutionary advancements in 5G, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) that will redefine the parameters of what mobile can do and give consumers the freedom to tailor their mobile experiences to fit their lives — not the other way around.
This year, Samsung stayed true to its mission and forged new paths for landmark technology that will shape the next era of mobile innovation. Our vision of intelligent, connected devices with mobile phones at the center has become a reality. 2020 saw 5G — a technology Samsung has been pioneering for more than a decade — move into the limelight. Over the course of the last 10 years, Samsung laid the groundwork for the fifth generation of cellular technology by helping to build the global 5G infrastructure. And in 2019, we released the world’s first commercial 5G smartphone and tablet: The Galaxy S10 5G and Galaxy Tab S6 5G. Samsung has been pushing to democratize 5G ever since. We are closing out the year with twenty 5G devices in the Galaxy ecosystem.
There was also growing momentum behind foldable smartphones, a category we launched commercially with the Galaxy Fold in 2019 and advanced with the release of Galaxy Z Flip and Galaxy Z Fold2 in 2020. Through our longstanding industry-leading partnerships, we established an open ecosystem for foldable devices and fostered UX innovation that enabled us to create an enhanced user experience with optimized app interactions and displays. The Z Fold2 was praised as a smartphone that reimagines what’s possible with mobile technology and I’m excited to say, it’s just a hint of what’s to come as we continue to explore, evolve and expand this category-changing space.
We also made headway in our efforts to make the world a better, more sustainable place. In partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), we promoted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals on more than 80 million smartphones, mobilizing and empowering the Galaxy community via our Samsung Global Goals app. And we continue to take dedicated action throughout our product lifecycle to help the world transition to a circular economy — by extending product longevity, making greater use of sustainable materials in our packaging, and creating environmentally conscious products and accessories.
Mobile Innovations to Watch in 2021
I’m thrilled with what Samsung accomplished this year, but as passionate pioneers committed to defying barriers to progress, we’re always thinking about what’s next. Our smartphones are truly becoming extensions of ourselves, and with so many people working remotely and spending more time entertaining themselves at home, video quality and capabilities on mobile devices have moved front and center.
From teleworking and virtual celebrations to gaming and online dance challenges, the world is creating, sharing and streaming more video than ever. Whether you prefer to edit footage like a pro or just want intelligent, multitasking lenses to do the heavy lifting for you, the Samsung Galaxy will be more than ready to meet the demands of the video-obsessed in 2021. When it comes to advancement in this space, it’s going to be an epic new year.
Our engineers and developers have also been working hard to expand highly advanced on-device AI capabilities within the Galaxy family, enabling our devices to continually learn from daily activities and routines to take better pictures and videos, maximize battery life and storage space, optimize displays and much more. We’re planning to expand these personalized capabilities to every facet of Galaxy’s product portfolio to empower people to be productive and do all the things they enjoy.
And because we live in an interconnected world that requires interconnected devices, Samsung continues to vigorously support open source research and collaboration. It’s how we evolve new capabilities that can be deployed across devices, applications and services to enable more people to benefit from all that technology has to offer. Thanks to the open ecosystems we’ve created working in tandem with other like-minded industry leaders, we’re developing connected, compatible innovation that will take us into an exciting new era of integrated mobile experiences.
We’ve already advanced breakthrough technologies like ultra-wideband (UWB) through ongoing open collaboration with key partners. And soon, we’ll be rolling out incredible connectivity capabilities that will transform the way you open doors and enable seamlessly integrated car experiences that make personalized car connectivity a part of your digital life. We’re also making it easier to quickly locate the things that matter most, from your keys to your wallet — even your family pet.
As we introduce new and exciting innovations, our number-one goal is and will always be to create experiences that people can trust, knowing we’ll treat their data with the utmost care and keep their personal information safe every step of the way. These new devices will offer incredible personalized mobile experiences and will be built with security and privacy top of mind.
The Samsung Promise
We believe everyone should have access to the latest mobile technologies and a spectrum of product options that offer unfettered, personalized experiences. In 2021, our diverse product portfolio will deliver breakthrough capabilities that empower you and never hold you back.
True to our heritage of staying ahead of the curve with trailblazing mobile tech, we’ll be expanding our portfolio of foldables, so this groundbreaking category is more accessible to everyone. And while we’re already known for our revolutionary cameras, we’ll never stop trying to outdo ourselves — so be on the lookout for super-intelligent, pro-grade camera and video capabilities in 2021. We’ve also been paying attention to people’s favorite aspects of the Galaxy Note experience and are excited to add some of its most well-loved features to other devices in our lineup.
Limitations and boundaries are for other brands. At Samsung, we relentlessly test the existing rules because we know the margins for what technology can do are confined only by the scope of our imagination — and ours knows no bounds.
Thank you to everyone who supported us in 2020. I look forward to sharing more in January!