Samsung debuts solar netbook

Nairobi - Samsung is targeting Africa as a growth market for the South Korean company and is betting that the consumer market for electronics will drive expansion.

The company demonstrated internet connected TVs, digital cameras and mobile technology at the second annual Africa Regional Forum in Nairobi.

One of the highlighted products is the Samsung NC 215 S Netbook which is solar powered. This would enable it to operate in environments where electrical power may intermittent or even non-existent.

The company is aiming to dominate the African electronics market with aggressive expansion and take advantage of an increasing middle class with disposal income.

"Through our Samsung Blue Project, we intend to become a $10bn region by 2015, growing the market to the size of China's. To achieve this, we will start by more than doubling our 2010 growth to 63% in 2011," said Kwang Kee Park, president of Samsung Electronics Africa.

Legal spat

"Samsung aims to develop the local industry further by establishing further knock-down plants - where currently there are such plants in Sudan, South Africa, Nigeria, Ethiopia and Senegal," the company said in a statement.

Samsung also demonstrated the Samsung D8000 and D7000 LED TV which the company hopes will become the centre of home entertainment.

The devices connect to the internet, allowing users to search for content with a feature the company calls Smart TV.

Samsung camcorders allow the user to browse through an "app style" interface.

Samsung is currently embroiled in legal spat with Apple Inc over the style and interface of some of its devices. Apple claims that Samsung violated its intellectual property, but the South Korean giant has hit back saying that it developed products independently.

The company has also said that it was investing human capital development on the continent.

"One example of this effort is our flagship program - Samsung Electronics Engineering Academy (SEEA), which was created to develop young leaders for Africa's future," said Park.


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