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Samsung launches new tablet, first 'Experience store' here

SAMSUNG yesterday launched its latest flagship product, Galaxy Tab S, to the Thai market and its first "Samsung Experience Store" in Southeast Asia to promote its smart devices, especially tablets and smartphones.

Thai Samsung Electronics' vice president for information technology and mobile communications, Wichai Pornpratang, said the tablet market was important for Samsung. Even though the company is already the leader of tablet market in Thailand, it continues to focus on increasing their sales.

The key strategy to expand market share is to get consumers to experience its products, so the company invested heavily in establishing the Samsung Experience Store in Bangkok's Siam Square One. The outlay was several times the cost of an ordinary Samsung shop, which ranges from Bt5 million and Bt10 million depending on the size of the outlet.

He said the launch of Galaxy Tab S and opening the Experience Store were aimed at cashing in on the huge growth potential of the tablet market.

"We cannot disclose the total market we forecast and cannot disclose our target. But we can share that this market has very huge potential. We have found that consumers [primarily use] tablets for entertainment. Most of them use tablets to consume video content over the Internet, especially YouTube.

"In Thailand, there are 5 million unique YouTube IDs, and there are around 18 million viewers per day watching video content on YouTube," Wichai said.

He added that the drivers of the tablet market in Thailand included the launch of YouTube.co.th, the coming fourth-generation cellular networks, and entertainment consumers' behaviour, which is likely to become more personalised.

"We are creating a new segment with Galaxy Tab S, the market for tablets for entertainment usage," he said.

Samsung has noted that there are two main markets for tablets: work and lifestyle. "Our Galaxy Note is to address the functional use of tablets, while Galaxy Tab S is to fit lifestyle usage.

"We have increased our marketing budgets for this year to promote new products and to drive our sales. We focus on giving customers experience [with the products], so we need to have a store to give hands-on experience of the features of our products, especially the latest one, Galaxy Tab S," Wichai said.

He said the 422-square-metre Samsung Experience Store, occupying three floors at Siam Square One, would provide complete service, including product experiences, sales and after-sales service.

The shop is divided into four key zones: games, entertainment, learning, and children. Its "experience zone" is focused on giving hands-on experience of products, with a variety of accessories to try. It also has a "Smart Academy Lounge" that provides product knowledge and training in classes according to visitors' interests. Besides tablets, its customer service covers mobile phones and cameras.

"It features an express-service channel for quick access and greater convenience of customers who have encountered a minor problem. Customers can also pre-book a service from this centre online via Samsung's website," Wichai said.

Samsung last year achieved its global sales target of 40 million units, while this year it eyes much bigger sales of 290 million units globally.

He said most tablet owners globally used their devices to view multimedia content, online content, and videos including short clips of TV programmes, movies and series, as well as to access social media.

Galaxy Tab S is a premium tablet with Super AMOLED (active-matrix organic light-emitting diode) display offering rich colours and crisp images suitable for viewing entertainment content.

"We have learned that the quality of a tablet's display has relatively low priority in consumers' buying decisions. We hope that our launch of Samsung Galaxy Tab S in Thailand will equip consumers with better knowledge on how to choose a good tablet, especially by stressing that display quality should be a topmost factor in their buying decision, similar to buying a TV," he said.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S is available in two colours, "Titanium Bronze" and "Dazzling White", at Bt19,900 for a 10.5-inch model and Bt16,900 for an 8.4-inch model.


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