Samsung Australia wants to have a tilt at the rugged devices market.
Speaking today at the local launch of the company's new Galaxy Note 10 phablet, company executives outlined Samsung’s strategy for targeting the market below mid-spec devices but above consumer devices sold with resilience-enhancing add-ons.
The company feels that if it cascades features from its premium devices down into rugged devices, it has a chance to reach markets currently dominated by specialist rugged kit providers. The ruggedized push therefore sees Samsung compete with the likes of Honeywell, Panasonic and Zebra.
Samsung thinks it has a chance because its devices can match the intrusion protection ratings achieved by traditional rugged vendors and beats them on security thanks to its Knox suite.
But it's the Korean giant's business-friendly features it thinks will carry it farthest and fastest into the rugged market. The company today showed off the ability to turn handwritten notes taken on a Galaxy Note 10 into a Microsoft Word document. Execs hope the workflow possibilities of that feature opens buyer’s eyes to possibilities unavailable on rival vendors’ devices.
Execs also said that the company intends to expand its rugged device range, which in Australia currently consist of a single smartphone tablet. Future launches will bring not only more devices but also more services including mobile point-of-sale facilities that can turn many Samsung devices into tap-and-go payment portals. Execs said that services current being tested with the Commonwealth Bank with a launch expected in late 2019.
The Note 10, meanwhile, has been aimed squarely at busy professionals. This year's model comes in two sizes: a compact 6.3 incher and a hefty 6.8 inch model. CRN was able to use both at the launch today and can report they are both splendidly light and thin, boast gorgeous screens, and perform crisply on the limited range of tasks it was possible to perform at launch. There's also enhanced integration with PC and Macs, including drag and drop file access between phone and desktop.
The Note 10 also has a new pen that can now control the device wirelessly at a distance. Samsung has a software development kit for the pen in the works and will shortly start targeting independent software vendors in the hope they contribute to its business push by developing vertical applications that use the enhanced stylus. The formal launch of that program will come after the company’s developer conference in October 2019.
CRN was told that Samsung is yet to commence formal outreach to developers in Australia but has started talks with the channel around rugged devices. For now, the company is focusing on companies that already have practices targeting industries such as transport and emergency services in which it sees most early demand for connected and rugged machines. Ingram Micro is aboard to help the push.