Electronics major Samsung is predicting a strong showing in 2014 after the company experienced significant growth last year in its mobile and Smartphone business, the company’s Hand Held Department Director Sherif Barakat said in an interview with the Daily News Egypt.,
Barakat said the company will take part in three main projects over the course of the year.
“The first in the Smart School, which is basically [a method] on how can we use technology and technological elements to help transform Egypt’s education system,” he said.
Barakat said the project involves providing students with tablets to help digitise their learning experience.
“We then provide teachers with Smart Boards. They cancel the need for a normal or white board. They are connected to each tablet so that the teacher can control what they write, as well as what the students see on their tablets,” Barakat said explaining that, “This forms a link between the teacher and the student via the internet or Wi-Fi.”
Barakat said that an entire Egyptian curriculum is currently being developed in both English and Arabic.
Samsung is providing the Egyptian government, private schools and universities with the necessary materials. Deals with governmental and non-governmental institutions are expected be signed later this year, Barakat said.
The second project – known as the “Knox” initiative – involves software installed on a mobile device that can be used to securely control the business devices of Small and Medium Enterprises.
Barakat said that a company’s Information Technology managers can place applications on the device and control the device when it comes to an information leak.
“We all know that securing mobile devices is becoming a hot issue globally,” Barakat said.
Samsung is also working on the Entaleq project, which allows young Egyptians to develop mobile applications.
“We launched this initiative in April with the aim of encouraging Egyptian students to develop mobile applications,” Barakat said pointing out that Samsung sees mobile applications as one of the greatest assets that can take the Egyptian economy forward.
The participants in the initiatives go through various competitive phases, with the winners receiving prizes. The winners will then enter a probation programme where they will receive six months of intensive training.
“We then send them abroad to go to the GSM conference in Barcelona to be exposed to what’s happening around the world. We put them on the right track to be entrepreneurs,” Barakat added.
The second round of the “Entaleq” initiative is expected to start in February and will take around 10 months.
Samsung currently has 70% of Egypt’s Smartphone market, Barakat said.
“Smartphones in Egypt amount to around 20% to 25% [of the total mobile users]. We want this to double next year…to 50%,” he said
Discussing the challenges that Samsung faces in the Egyptian market, Barakat said that counterfeit phones is the biggest challenge.
“These (counterfeit) phones have unofficially used the Egyptian logo and trade mark. They are smuggled into the country and sold for 10% of the price. They are not tested and give false expectations to the consumer,” Barakat said pointing out that the company is working with the Egyptian government to protect intellectual property and copyrights.