Samsung has never been shy when it came to headline-grabbing innovations but its pronouncement that it wants to grab a 20% market share in 5G technology by 2020 still managed to raise a few eyebrows.
While commentators are still mulling over Samsung’s recent Developer Conference in California and in particular the forthcoming foldable smartphone, it was its announcement that it is willing to spend $2 billion getting itself ready to be a leader in 5G and AI-related technology that really took the conference by storm.
In Q2 of this year, Samsung held 11% of the 4G network equipment share. The company wants to have a bigger share in 5G and is making early inroads by spending big. Alongside 5G, Samsung will also be looking to bolster its artificial intelligence technologies, as well as related areas like auto-components.- SamMobile: Samsung press release
Samsung’s network business chief, Youngky Kim, said the two technologies go hand-in-hand, and wants to invest in both because the one complements the other. He described 5G as the ‘oxygen’ that AI needs. ‘AI,’ he said, ‘needs a lot of data to respond to you.’ Data that only 5G can provide, and not 4G.
According to Samsung, they are already well down the road to ruling the 5G world. The technology giant recently purchased the networks analytics start-up, Zhilabs, in order to ease the transition from 4G to 5G. The company has also signed a partnership agreement with Japan’s NEC to expand its 5G business.
Samsung has now opened its seventh research centre into AI, in Montreal earlier this month. And the company announced it will start deploying 5G capabilities soon at its semiconductor factory in Austin, Texas.
Currently, Samsung produces half a billion electronic devices annually and is the world’s largest electronics maker in terms of revenue. And recently the company overtook Intel to become the world’s largest semiconductor maker. But it still has some way to go when it comes to network equipment, standing fifth behind Huawei, ZTE, Ericsson and Nokia.
It has no final name yet, nor a design, but Samsung revealed at the conference its new foldable smartphone will use a new display technology called Infinity Flex Display.
Samsung has been toying with this sort of device for years. a phone that would allow us to carry, snugly in our pockets but can be unfolded to reveal a larger tablet-like screen.
And Samsung are not the only ones. A couple of weeks ago Google said that the Android now officially supports a foldable device. Samsung is one of Google’s partners in this venture and will release the product first. While Google said the phone will be available next year, Samsung would only say their device was coming soon.
Image: Android Central