Samsung Phones To Come With African Languages, Music

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VENTURES AFRICA – World’s largest smartphone maker Samsung, has said from January 2013, it would start loading African pictures, videos, music and dialects into its new handsets.

According to a BusinessDay report, George Ferreira, CEO of Samsung South Africa, disclosed this in Cape Town to journalists at the launch of Samsung Galaxy Note II.

“We are about to launch something in January and that would answer the question about African content in Samsung hand held devices – you will see African videos, music and pictures in our devices,” he said.

Head of Hand Held Products for Samsung West Africa, Jaspreet Singh disclosed to the media that the Ashanti dialect, Twi, has been selected as a language option on Samsung devices, confirming that from January, Samsung would roll out local content from Africa.

The adoption of African content on the hot selling phones comes as a recognition of the indispensability and growing importance of the African market, to the South Korean manufacturer.

Reports indicate that Africa is responsible for 40 percent of the 10 million units of Galaxy Note handsets Samsung has sold globally, yet there is hardly any African content in terms of in-built ringtones, language options, and pictures on the hand held devices.

Ferreira said that pictures of major tourists sites in Kenya, South Africa and other destinations in Africa, would be programmed as in-built wallpaper and screensaver options, adding that Samsung is planing to feature songs of top musicians from Ghana, where the company’s hand held devices has the largest market share; 43 percent in terms of volume and 68 percent in terms of revenue.

“In Ghana I know we have more than one musician we plan to work with in this direction,” he said, without disclosing any of the selected artists.

The move inches Samsung closer, against mega competitor Apple, in the battle for the African market. Apple is yet to show strong presence in the African market with most of its sales coming from US and China, the second largest, and largest smartphone market, respectively.

Ferreira also disclosed that by 2016, Samsung would establish an assembling plant in West Africa, noting Nigeria and Ghana being the countries under consideration for the location.

He also noted that Samsung has established a number of Engineering Academies across parts of Africa and in the next few years, a similar facility would be established in Ghana and other countries to train young Ghanaian Engineers who have passion for telecoms and electronic engineering.