Samsung has unveiled a range of Android and Windows devices at the IFA trade show in Berlin including the world's first Windows Phone 8 smartphone.
The new devices include the Galaxy Note 2 (pictured), the Galaxy Camera and the new Ativ range of Windows 8 devices.
The company has announced plans to launch a range of Windows 8 smartphones, tablets, and laptops, aimed at the converged market. The devices will be released under the new Ativ sub-brand when Microsoft launches Windows 8 in October.
The Ativ Windows 8 portfolio includes the Samsung Ativ S, the first Windows 8 handset to be confirmed. It will boast a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and 4.8-inch Super AMOLED screen.
The Ativ Tab is a 10.1-inch Windows RT tablet weighing in at 570g and just 8.9mm thick. It comes with Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 RT preview.
The Ativ Smart PC and Smart PC Pro measure 11.6 inches and come with the full Windows 8 platfrom and a Note-style S Pen stylus.
Seong Woo Nam, executive VP of IT solutions business at Samsung Electronics, said: ‘With our leadership in design and technology and Microsoft’s leadership in operating systems, together we are able to provide customers with a full range of Ativ devices for cross-category convergence.’
However analysts questioned whether the Ativ S can grab marketshare.
'Samsung’s Windows Phone 8 smartphone the ATIV S will have to face tough competition from Android-based Samsung Galaxy S3 and the iPhone 5,'said Ronan de Renesse, principal analyst at Analysys Mason. He added: 'Windows 8 has better chances to carve market share in the tablet market with the Surface and its Windows RT partners (where) Android’s market share in the tablet market is much lower.'
Malik Saadi, principal analyst at Informa Telecoms & Media said the Ativ S would struggle to differentiate itself in the smartphone market. He said: From the specifications of ATIV S, there is no evidence that this phone could be differentiated on the basis of exclusive applications or services. This leads one to think that price will be a key differentiating point for this phone.'
The Samsung Galaxy Note 2 was also unveiled. The device has been updated, offering an even larger Super HD AMOLED screen, up from five inches to 5.5 inches, without increasing the overall size of the device.
The Galaxy Note 2 is powered by Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and packs a quad-core 1.6GHz processor and improved stylus. The improved S Pen allows users to hover over photos or video, as well as emails or calendar entries, to view more information. It also enables the user to write notes on the ‘back’ of photographs and makes note-taking easier to do while making calls on the phone.
Prices have yet to be revealed and it is unclear whether the 4G version will be compatible with upcoming UK 4G services from Everything Everywhere.
JK Shin, president of the IT & mobile communications division at Samsung Electronics, said the Galaxy Note 2 will encourage users to 'unleash their inner creativity’. He added: ‘With a perfect viewing experience and unique and differentiated features, users can discover information and capture their ideas faster, express thoughts freely and manage tasks more efficiently.’
Samsung also announced plans to upgrade the Galaxy S III phone to the latest version of Android in the near future and showcased the Galaxy Camera, which has wireless network connectivity and runs on the Jelly Bean platform.
JK Shin said: ‘As we increasingly articulate our experiences through pictures and videos the Galaxy Camera has been created to lead the way in this new era of visual communication. Communication becomes more vivid and lively with high-quality images and instant sharing anywhere, anytime.’