Demand rises for tough phones

Demand rises for tough phones

Mr Marrut says user behaviour is changing towards working from anywhere and anytime with more hybrid modes.
Mr Marrut says user behaviour is changing towards working from anywhere and anytime with more hybrid modes.

The pandemic and rise of new technology are driving demand for rugged mobile devices to support hybrid work, says South Korean tech giant Samsung.

"We see user behaviour changing towards working from anywhere and anytime with more hybrid working modes. The trend is not only rising due to the pandemic but will become the new normal after people are vaccinated," Marrut Manistitya, director for IT and mobile communications B2B Group of Thai Samsung Electronics, said in a virtual press briefing.

According to a survey in the Asia-Pacific by market research firm IDC, employees working remotely accounted for 19% of the total workforce before the pandemic but the proportion has risen to 38% now.

At present, 40% of the respondents still work in physical facilities and 21% work in the field.

The ratio of people working remotely is expected to decline to 25% after the vaccination programme is completed.

A new array of technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), 5G, WiFi 6, cloud, biometric, edge computing as well as artificial intelligence (AI), will be supported by mobile devices, he said.

In the first half of this year, Samsung was the market leader in the business-to-business market with sales growing 15% from the same period a year ago.

The company's rugged devices experienced the strongest growth rate at 65%, compared with other categories.

Rugged devices have outstanding durability and they are well-suited to cater to retail, banking and finance, healthcare, wellness centres, logistics and education segments as well as startups and small offices.

Supported by this, Samsung will experience sales growth of 20% this year, Mr Marrut said.

According to Mr Marrut, despite economic woes, many organisations are still providing a budget for the purchase of mobile devices as part of digital transformation. New devices must also respond to various conditions such as rugged environments and smart workplaces and come with secure technology such as biometric verification.

Samsung has recently increased the number of new rugged devices in the market, including the Samsung Galaxy XCover 5 smartphone. This 5.3-inch display smartphone can be useful in rugged environments, including when users' palms are sweaty from work.

The device's 3,000mAh battery can be replaced by users themselves when the power is low.

Mobile security platform Knox is also integrated into the devices to ensure that user data is protected against malware and other threats.

The handset is suitable for hybrid work with security protection, while providing remote work support and information backup.

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