On Wednesday, Samsung introduced the Galaxy S22 series, which includes a stylus in the Ultra variant.

Samsung Electronics Co. is restructuring its smartphone strategy for the first time in years, focusing on its popular Galaxy S and foldable Galaxy Z line of handsets. In a challenge to Apple Inc., the business plans to withdraw its Note brand of stylus-equipped phones and instead disperse that capacity throughout its portfolio while promoting premium foldables.

In a rare interview, TM Roh, who took over as Samsung’s mobile boss two years ago, said, “In the short term, our operation will focus on a two-track strategy: flagship S series in the first half of the year and creative foldable lineup in the second half.” “We’ll stick to this policy until another huge breakthrough occurs, and we’re working hard to make that happen.”

On Wednesday, the world’s largest smartphone manufacturer introduced its newest Galaxy S22 series, which includes a stylus in the Ultra variant. This practically resurrects the iconic Galaxy Note model of a large-display handset with a pen, and it arrives months after Samsung decided not to manufacture a new Note in August. The firm banked on its foldables to fill the hole, and the gamble paid off, with the category’s sales increasing by several times and the average selling price for mobile devices rising.

Samsung intends to expand the Note experience throughout its Galaxy hardware ecosystem, which includes tablets, laptops, and phones, as well as develop the premium market as a growth engine, according to Roh. Foldables will expand into other categories, and during the next three years, the business aims to add one or two additional smartphone form factors to its inventory, he added.

“Under the COVID circumstance, the smartphone sector accelerated improvements that would have taken a decade to complete,” Roh added. “We’ve entered the second phase of market expansion.” Consumers are using cellphones longer and in more ways than ever before, which is driving up demand for high-end luxury devices.”

As people rely on their devices for work and play, the pandemic jolted the smartphone market out of its rut — growth had plateaued and replacement cycles were lengthening — and Samsung now sees people more willing to upgrade their phones to get better video calls, gaming, and daily communications functions. According to Roh, initial demand for the Galaxy S22 phones from carriers and partners is up by double digit percentages compared to the previous year, owing to the new Ultra variant.

Samsung’s mobile division has had to manage lockdowns in major cities, factory shutdowns, and persistent supply chain delays since Roh’s appointment to the position in January 2020. He said the firm has managed past component shortages so far and expects things to get better this year.

As part of a company-wide restructure, Samsung merged its mobile and consumer electronics divisions into a single division late last year. According to the corporation, it did so in order to establish a more unified ecosystem of products. Samsung hopes that making its products work together effortlessly would help it fight off competition from Chinese competitors like as Xiaomi Corp. and Oppo, as well as Amazon.com Inc.’s Alexa speech assistant, which now covers everything from smart speakers to thermostats. By exposing its ecosystem to other partners and hardware makers, Samsung will adopt a more Amazon-like strategy than Apple.

According to Roh, the rising number of foldable devices from competitors this year confirms that the Suwon-based tech giant made the proper strategic decision early on. As a result, the business expects the industry and app ecosystem to flourish. Many of the upcoming models, like the Oppo Find N unveiled in December, are anticipated to include Samsung flexible panels.

Samsung is also investing in artificial intelligence and augmented reality technologies, pledging to take the lead in the metaverse’s development on its most recent earnings call. Roh wouldn’t say how much money the corporation is spending on those initiatives, but he did say it’s a lot.

He explained, “We may appear to be a lovely swan, but we’re swimming fiercely underwater.”

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