David Steel is the Senior Vice President of Strategic Marketing for Samsung Electronics in North America. He previously spent 10 years working with Samsung in Korea, having joined the company's Korea’s Global Strategy Group to work on projects for some of Samsung's subsidiaries and advanced to Vice President and head of marketing for the Digital Media Business division. In 2007 he joined the Mobile Communications division as head of marketing strategy.
Question: At what point, if any, will computers and TVs become a single product?
David Steel: That's a really interesting question. We were in a discussion recently where we were talking about what the TV of the future might be like. And we said, well it's probably going to have a big screen and it may have a hard drive for storing content, and it may have a mouse so that you can actually access different widgets or different applications on the TV, maybe a keyboard so that you can actually type things in. And then, hey guess what? We've just reinvented the PC 30 or 40 years too late.
So, it's definitely that sense of convergences is happening, but even though we seek convergence, we also see that consumers buy products usually based on one thing. They're looking for some great performance in a particular aspect and they don't want to trade off too much. Look at cell phones, for example. How the performance of the camera on the cell phone has improved because people want that sort of feature. They want that function. In the case of TV's and PC's, we’ll continue to see the availability of content coming together, but when you look to buy a TV, the number one most important thing is picture quality. And Samsung now is number one in the U.S. market. So, we know a few things about selling TV's. More than 6 million this year. Picture quality is paramount.
Second is design. As I mentioned before, it's moved from being something you hid away in the corner of the room to something you put right in the center and you even hang it on the wall like a piece of fine art.
So, those sort of trends, yes, convergence is happening, but still we cannot compromise on product features and performance.