Samsung S9 and S9+

Features

From a technology perspective, as it evolves, it has to be meaningful and add value to individuals’ lives. Harping on about feature sets like the processor, battery size, screen pixels, etc, is not meaningful. Consumers are not interested in that. They just want to know they’re getting the best camera possible and, in our research, they said they want a camera with better low-light capabilities. So we brought out the first camera with dual aperture. We also brought optical image stabilisation with the Note 8 already so, when you zoom in, video and photographs are stabilised and less grainy. The design is also really important: the way the device feels and looks.

In the highly contested world of smartphone technology, it has to be about the consumers. Kojo Baffoe contrasts Huawei and Samsung's flagship smartphones and their respective strategies.

Differentiators

Our multi-device experience (MDE) strategy is about a singular Samsung, with TVs, fridges, air-cons, washing machines, tumble dryers, laptops, tablets and the mobile device all being inter-operable. This is the Internet of Things for consumers. There will literally be millions of devices that are connected by 2020. We’re moving towards a multifaceted, multiconnected environment and we feel we are perfectly poised to be the centre of that in your home; to have the device that you interact with and integrate with various things.

Consumer drivers

Consumers are consuming quite a bit of multimedia, which you can see with the demand for voice-on-demand (VOD) services, which is why we improved the aspect ratio on the screen. We have also included dual amplified speakers with 5.1 Dolby digital surround sound. Each of those speakers is actually powered and amplified giving the consumer a really immersive experience.

In addition, protection of personal information is becoming more critical so, out of the box, we have included Knox, our enterprise-grade security platform integrated from the boot kernel.

Future

Akhram Mohamed, marketing director at Huawei Consumer Business Group South Africa Akhram Mohamed, marketing director at Huawei Consumer Business Group South Africa Craige Fleischer, vice-president of integrated mobility, Samsung South Africa

Everything is going to be integrated and artificial intelligence (AI) is going to become smarter and more intuitive. It does blur the line between personal protection and convenience but, looking at the younger generation, they’ve always been in a connected world. They intuitively do multiple things at the same time – watch TV, listen to music, chat and watch videos on their device at the same time. As we move into a more connected and integrated world, immediacy will be even more critical.

It is difficult to say what the actual device will look like, but there will be less physical input into devices as they become more intelligent and intuitive, with voice-generated and voice-operated features becoming core.

What we are all doing is taking bets. We don’t know really where the future is going; consumers are ultimately going to decide. What we have to do is to be mindful and responsible in how we bring technology to consumers.

Huawei P20 and P20 Pro

Features

There is a need for continuous innovation and so we invest more than 10% of our revenue each year into research and development. Every manufacturer can claim great cameras, screens, chipsets, etc. Consumers today are well versed when it comes to technology. It’s not as simple as selecting a few stand-out features that will sway consumer opinion. It’s about how we use technology to improve the lifestyles of our consumers and the entire experience the product provides. In the P20 and P20 Pro specifically, the integration of AI into the triple lens Leica camera system allows every consumer to experience professional-grade photography.

Consumer drivers

Finding the balance between great technology, quality, brand and price: this is exactly our value proposition. Also, photography certainly ranks at the top of consumer wishlists, with more than 1.7 trillion images captured on mobile phones in 2017.

Differentiators

Our core value of consumer centricity and innovation are what drives our differentiation. It forces us to continuously innovate and re-invent ourselves. Over the last few years as innovation in the industry stagnated, Huawei introduced many world-first technologies that others have since adopted, including the first wearable to work on Android and iOS platforms (Huawei Watch 1), the world’s first dual Leica camera (Huawei P9), the world’s first mobile phone with LTE 1.2 GBPS download speeds (Mate 10 Series) and the world’s first triple lens Leica camera (P20 Pro).

The future

Smartphones have already become a major part of our lifestyles, to some they are a companion that you cannot do without. With the advancements in artificial I\intelligence, the future smartphone would be more of an assistant, a device that can learn through interaction and understand your requirements without the need for specific commands, perhaps through sensors, voice, proximity, etc. With AI and, specifically, more powerful processors such as the Kirin 970, we are moving away from the age of smartphones into intelligent phones.