Samsung launched its flagship Galaxy S9 smartphone at the gadget fair in Barcelona on Sunday with the hopes to attract young tech savvy consumers to overcome the market slowdown. Drawing the attention of thousands of reporters at the fair, the S9 stresses on visual applications for social media and features improved cameras, an artificial intelligence-powered voice tool, and social media functions that are easier to set-up than previous models.
DJ Koh, Samsung’s president of IT and mobile communications, said the most important function of a phone today was “visual communication”, and the Galaxy S9 had been designed for the visual and social generation.
New features include an automatic super-slow motion camera setting and software that turns selfies into instant emojis. Powered by the AI Bixby service, the S9 will let users point its camera to translate a foreign-language sign, without having to swipe through menus or choose settings every time.
Samsung also plans to boost smartphone accessories such as wireless chargers and mobile docking station that allows smartphone features on desktop, a senior Samsung executive said.
According to research provider Strategy Analytics, global smartphone sales saw a decline of 9 percent in the fourth quarter, with an average growth of just one percent in 2017 which is in sharp contrast to the growth of 40 percent between 2011 and 2015.
Samsung faced tough competition in markets such as India, China and Western Europe in the fourth quarter while Chinese rivals like Huawei and Xiaomi Inc, aided by strong sales of affordable products made major advancements in these markets.
Lee said Samsung’s huge scale and its “agility to listen and learn” ensured it would continue to grow in China and India.
The two versions of the Galaxy S9 have 6.2-inch (15.8 cm) and 5.8-inch wrap-around screens, and will go on sale on March 16 in most countries.