Question. How did it go? Samsung in Spain in the last year with models such as Note 9 or S9?
Answer. Last year was a good year for the company and we fulfilled the proposed objectives If normally the Spanish market within Europe occupies a fifth position for its population and for its purchasing power, in the case of the Note 9 We can see that we are jumping to the third position. The Galaxy S9 had a very good performance and within the range the S9 + was even better. We like large screens, use in all aspects of life since I get up, use it as a communication or productive tool, but also in those moments of leisure where I am consuming video, entertainment, gaming or social networks.
P. What do you expect from the Galaxy S10 in the Spanish market?
R. The Galaxy S10 in presale has been a resounding success, with record figures of 1.3 times compared to the pre-sale figure of the previous model. This device has come to culminate ten years of history in a resounding way. It has an infinite screen, up to five cameras, elements of artificial intelligence and machine learning in the management of the battery and in the camera itself, wireless charging … When someone buys a Galaxy is accessing a world of possibilities, payments, security Knox, to access our entire ecosystem in the cloud or services such as Samsung Health.
P. The star of the MWC19 has been the flexible mobile like the Samsung Fold. Is it a trend, a step forward or is it really a disruption in mobile devices?
R. The first thing we have done is to make possible what was impossible. We have been working and stabilizing a flexible screen technology for many years that has made it possible to launch this first device and that opens a new growth curve for the smartphones Worldwide. Galaxy Fold combines a demand for more screen with the demand to be able to take it to all sites. We are bringing together the best of a tablet with the best of a smartphone We are going to market it from the end of April and it is a product that will really open a before and after in the industry.
P. The next milestone is 5G. When will we have a 5G device on Samsung?
R. Samsung is leading the 5G technology. It has been adopted as a country technology by the Korean government and that has made us further accelerate our program. We will be ready in Korea in March and we want to make the landing in Europe in the second half of the year. Between May and June we will have those devices ready in the Spanish market. Once again, Spain has been a pioneer market in the adoption of technologies. We are right now in the top 3 worldwide in technology and fiber development at home and we have to be proud of it. It is a combination that, together with 5G, will improve country productivity, the productivity of our companies and the lives of our citizens.
P. But the networks in Spain are not ready because the frequencies are not released and the 5G has no place to stay. Are you worried about having terminals that can not be used because there are still no networks?
R. Here the government and the regulator have to help us all to liberalize these frequencies as soon as possible. Without a doubt, we will live the 5G experience in the second half of the year and hopefully at a much more massive level during 2020. The current government is sensitive and we know that there is a digital concern. We are going to see the digital element in the electoral campaign. It is something very good and notorious because, right now, those of us who have small children or of an age to enter the working world, we want them to acquire digital skills.
P. The high price of both 5G and folding phones is striking.
R. We have committed an investment of 160,000 million dollars over the next three years. Samsung has been one of the companies with the largest global investment in R & D. We are seeing that there is an offer of devices with increasing prices, but because there is a demand for the convenience of what we are offering. Galaxy S10 + is offering 1TB of memory, speeds never seen in 4G and wifi, probably the fastest device in the world and during the year, we will incorporate a much faster version that is the 5G.
We are incorporating optics that, until recently, were only used by cameras, with technologies such as stabilization, so that users can collect all experiences on the move. We put an infinite screen that occupies 93% of the surface of the device and we have pierced the screen with a laser and incorporated a double front camera. As for the battery, it includes machine learning to adapt its consumption to each user …Bixby is our tool of Artificial Intelligence. We have had more than one hundred engineers and experts in areas such as linguistics working to function in Spanish. If we put all this together, the device allows you to have leisure, productivity, access to social networks, payments, measure lifestyle … In summary, they are devices that have a high price, but if you list each of their technologies you see that they are endless .
R. During this year we have seen growth in our mid-range, the A range, and we are going to make a great effort to adapt the high-end technologies to this one. Samsung's proposal is totally different. We are the only manufacturer that controls the base technologies that are moving the world right now; the first manufacturer of visual display and we have controlled this technology in professional television and screens for more than ten years. That is why we can be the first to announce devices with flexible screen technology because we are creators of this type of technology. On the other hand, we believe in a connected and open world, that's why, when you buy a device from the mid-range of Samsung, you do not only access a mobile phone, but also the same digital ecosystem that you can find in our high-end range.
P. Huawei has grown a lot and threatens to snatch the leadership from Samsung.
R. Samsung is the world number one in smartphones We have been showing capacity for many years and only with what we have been in 2019, we have just opened a growth curve in the development of smartphones. During this year we will strengthen our position in all segments of markets, regions and countries. Only in 10 weeks have we demonstrated the strength of the company.
P. The 5G is very good, but people question if this will serve to spy on us. Is the 5G safe?
R. Companies, institutions, governments or users all over the world need protection and security in all aspects of the digital world. At Samsung we have been working on this for many years. Four years ago we incorporated Knox with knowledge of this complexity and, right now, this mobility platform is the most robust in the world certified by the main government security agencies. Obtaining these certificates proves your level of robustness and security in data protection, whether you are a company or a private individual.
P. It seems that Spanish operators are once again subsidizing mobiles.
R. This year, 5G technology is also incorporated in the main operators. This makes the market dynamic and the operator also has its share of responsibility. They have to offer the consumer the device they claim and they have to give it a new role in their business plan. As manufacturers, we invite operators to give utmost importance to the device because it will be a value proposition that consumers and companies around the world will applaud.
P. What percentage of sales is in the free market and through operators?
R. In the Spanish market we would be 50% -50%. Our expectation for this year is an increase in the operator's market, but on the other hand, the free market will continue to be very strong.
P. How is the theme of the wearables in the Spanish market? Which are the most acceptable devices?
R. We must highlight the incorporation of the electronic e-sim or sim during the second part of the year 2018. This technology is going to suppose a revolution in the wearables worldwide because it allows you to have everything in a single device, the great demand on the part of the consumer. Thanks to that, the market is doubling right now. In 2019, with the Galaxy Watch we fulfilled all the requirements, with more traditional technological designs, e-sim connectivity and we offer an operating system that allows for more than four days of loading. In addition, we play with the graphical interface so that it is very easy to handle it. In design matters, we work with companies like Tous so that it can be included more as a jewelery item.
P. And how is Samsung Pay going?
R. Samsung Pay continues to grow strongly. The payments through the mobile have no return and more in Spain because during 2018 more and more financial entities and more partners have been incorporated. Perhaps Pay's name does not honor him, because his services are much broader than just paying at points of sale. Pay is a world of possibilities that is also going to merge with Bixby. Right now we have more than one million active users in Spain and we have almost all financial entities and those that are not yet, are about to announce. There are almost all of them and we will have them all.
P. What does Artificial Intelligence (AI) mean to Samsung?
R. It is a very serious issue and very few have sufficient capacity to talk about AI. Basically it is going to be something that we will adopt on a daily basis and it will mean incredible benefits. IA is a set of algorithms that allows me to anticipate the decision making or not. At Samsung we work very seriously I offer more than voice assistants because we join the natural language, vision or communication with Bixby Home on all Samsung devices. Within our factories, more than 700 million devices are released each year and our commitment is that they have total connectivity and access to AI. Samsung's commitment is that by 2020 all its products are ready for the AI and the Internet of Things (IoT).
P. Samsung pays taxes in Spain unlike other technology multinationals.
R. The commitment to the countries in which we operate does not only have to do with the payment of taxes. The large technology companies have to demonstrate our commitment to society and ours is represented by the project Technology with Purpose, with which we support education and culture. We have just signed with the Ministry of Education the adoption of programs to provide digital skills to young people who are of a formative age. But we have been working with our project Samsung Smart School for years in collaboration with all the autonomous communities and the ministry to incorporate new technologies and improvements in teaching processes in schools. On the other hand, we also collaborate with FECMA (Spanish Federation of Breast Cancer) providing more than one million euros for cancer research.
P. Do you have good sales prospects for this election year?
R. We have good prospects and taking advantage of the fact that we are in this moment prior to the elections, we invite governments to give stability to companies, generate an environment of entrepreneurship, advocate for digitalization as an element of country growth and generate prosperity which is what Unites us all