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Is Samsung going the way of BlackBerry?

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Is it even conceivable that Samsung might follow in the footsteps of troubled smartphone maker BlackBerry? Kevin Curran, Senior member of the Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineers (IEEE) spoke to IT news Africa about the sustainability of Samsung’s model.

Kevin Curran, Senior member of the Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineers (IEEE) (image: Charlie Fripp)
Kevin Curran, Senior member of the Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineers (IEEE) (image: Charlie Fripp)

During the ongoing Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Korean manufacturer Samsung unveiled their new flagship Galaxy S5 device, and those who expected to see a brand new device with all new features were left hanging, sparking fears from analysts that Samsung could be going the way of BlackBerry.

“It is a possibility, but it is also a possibility with every company. The ironic thing is, what really helped Apple all these years is, everyone has been predicting their demise, but that has really helped them. Because everyone inside Apple has to innovate. But most companies don’t get the doomsayers all the time,” he said.

Curran reiterated that it could be a possibility, but also highlighted that Samsung had been doing a number of things right.

“So definitely, but that could happen to any company. They have been doing OK so far, but how do you change a ship like that? They have done a few things right with the Galaxy range, but I can easily see that happening to Samsung. There seems to be room for only a few key flagship products out there.”

Curran also offered some advice to Samsung-

“If you ask a hundred people, you will get a hundred different answers. I’m not rushing out to buy the Galaxy S5 because I like a slightly bigger screen, and some of the features they have, I don’t particularly want – I don’t want a fingerprint sensor, it’s pseudo-security, but I guess it’s better than nothing at all. As a whole, it’s only incremental changes, so I’m not jumping up and down”.

Moving on to another major trend in the technology space, Curran gave his views on 3D printers, and while they have been used for some amazing creations, he doesn’t think that it will become mainstream anytime soon.

“It won’t ever be ubiquitous – it just won’t, because there are messy parts. But users like dentists will find a great use for it to make 3D models, so it will be incorporated into areas like that. Even the strange ones with food, like chocolate printing. I can see the days where the hotels will have someone who is dedicated to printing 3D one for them.”

But he also explained that users would need to have some form of knowledge in order to use a 3D printer. “It will be a niche area. There are guys who are really good at 3D studios and creating models. But there also needs to be like an app store for models. Just because you have a 3D printer, doesn’t mean that your average Joe can print a model that the printer is capable of. I don’t see it becoming the way we said with everyone having one.”

Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor

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