Stars align for Samsung, with help from the Galaxy: Interview

It has been a tumultuous year for Samsung telecommunications, with the Galaxy sub-brand hitting the headlines for all the right and wrong reasons. While the company launched the Galaxy S II smartphone in May to much acclaim, it was also caught up in a protracted legal battle with Apple for the latter half of the year, fighting for the right to release its iPad tablet rival, the Galaxy Tab 10.1.

After finally beginning sales of the Galaxy Tab last week, Samsung also released the Galaxy Nexus Smartphone on Wednesday. Both products will be in stores for the busy Christmas retail period, and for Samsung’s vice president of telecommunications, Tyler McGee, that’s a great way to end 2011.

“If you look at the year overall, it’s been an incredibly busy year for Samsung,” McGee told “Obviously from a product perspective, we really launched into Android in a big way this year. Compared to last year, in the smartphone space we were still in the early stages, but now we’re really seen as the leader – and we are the leader – in smartphones in Australia.

“We’ve done that by launching the internet-enabled devices, from the ‘My First Smartphone’ right up to our flagship devices like the Galaxy S II, which has been a fantastically successful product. So it’s been a busy year from a launch perspective. We’ve also had some really strong campaigns out there supporting those devices.

“Overall, we’re happy with the year. I’ve never launched a product [the Galaxy Nexus] this late in the year, but we’re really excited about doing it. As the first product supporting Ice Cream Sandwich, it really is bringing a Google experience into a fantastic device with quality hardware – I think people are going to be really excited about it and going to want to get it into their Christmas stocking.”

While McGee wouldn’t comment on the “very busy time” Samsung has had in court with Apple, he said the company was “happy with the outcome we got for Australian consumers”.

“At the end of the day, it’s later than we had planned,” he said of the tablet’s release. “But the one thing that I’ve been really happy with is the number of consumers who have spoken to me and said ‘we were waiting until we could buy it’. And people now have that opportunity.

“My biggest concern is that we won’t have enough supply leading up to Christmas, but the best news is that consumers can buy it. So we have high expectations. Android is really hot in the marketplace right now. A lot of people are interested in it and people want to know more about it,” he added.

Moving forward, McGee also predicted a strong year for Samsung in 2012.

“We really want to keep the momentum going forward,” he said. “So what you’ve seen from most of the second half of this year – expect to see even more. We’re launching more devices, and we’ll really be working closely with our operator partners and our retail partners to bring the best in smartphones and features to consumers.”

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