Revmatas: Understanding Customers’ Needs Crucial to Market Growth

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The Nigerian smartphone market has consistently recorded growth, with many top brands competing aggressively. When Samsung Electronics West Africa, launched the Galaxy S7 Edge and S7 smartphones recently, its Director of Information and Mobility, EmmanouilRevmatas, told Raheem Akingbolu that the market is responding positively to innovation

The launch of Galaxy S7 edge and S7 is coming barely a year after Samsung unveiled Galaxy S6 edge and S6, is the introduction of the new devices a result of less-than-stellar performance of the preceding model in the market?

Not at all; Samsung as a brand has become synonymous with innovation. Our Galaxy S range is also regarded as the premium smartphone. Introducing the new Samsung Galaxy S7 edge and S7 is our commitment to our customers to meet their ever-evolving technology needs in the fast-paced world we live in. Samsung did not just redefine these devices, but also re-imagined what they could do based on the feedback from the people who use them, and what they need most from the devices. Our customers are the inspiration for any innovation.

The Galaxy S7 series are being positioned as stunning in both visual appeal and handling. Can you please highlight the major features that stand the new offerings out?

The key differentiators for the S7 edge and S7 range from IP68 water and dust resistance feature, which allows for submersion in up to 1.5meters of water for 30 minutes at a time. The S7 comes with 3,000mAh battery, while the S7 edge has 3,600mAh batteries which are great improvements from the S6. They also come with 4GB of RAM for improved multitasking and 30 percent more powerful processors with “thermal spreader” water-cooling technology to avoid the phones overheating.

Both devices have support for microSD cards augmenting their 32GB of internal storage. The microSD card space can also be used as a second SIM slot for those who want to use two SIM cards on their device.

In the pre-sales promotion you have been conducting, Samsung is bundling a device, the Gear, with the S7 series. What is the Gear all about?

The Gear VR is a virtual reality headset that allows you to clip in your Samsung device and transport yourself to another galaxy by either playing a virtual reality game or watching a fully immersive and interactive movie, or your own video that you have captured on your Gear 360 camera.

Since all Android-based phones are basically running on the same platform, why should one be preferred to the other?

Rather than answer this, I would prefer to say, let the consumer decide based on their own needs and wants.

There is a widespread perception that Android-based phones consume far greater amount of data. Is this true and what can be done to minimise the amount users expend on data?

Perception is not always reality. Perhaps, as research has shown, the ease of using Android-based phones means that consumers access the internet and do a lot more with their devices and therefore consume more data because of higher usage.

There is the claim that the S7 series are water and dust resistant. Isn’t this a sales enhancing gimmick?

An IP, which is “Ingress Protection” rating, can only be achieved after a rigorous assessment has been confirmed by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). The code is defined by the IEC who state that IP68, which the S7 is, can be immersed up to 1.5m for 30 minutes.

Considering the pricey nature of the smartphones, why is Samsung not promoting insurance to reduce possible losses from buying these smart devices?

As many know we were the initiators of this concept several years back, but now many retailers are offering this service in one form or another.

How easy is it to get help with fixing them when buyers experience glitches? Or do you simply replace them under warranty?

Depending on the nature of the problem, when a customer has an issue and takes their device to our service centres, which are located across Nigeria, the Service Consultant will advise whether the glitch is in or out of warranty. As you also know, we continue to be the only brand that offers a 24-month warranty.

We have seen the huge growth that the smartphone market has witnessed in Nigeria, which is not too different from other markets around the globe. Indeed, a recent report ranked Nigeria 17th globally in smartphone usage. What could be responsible for the huge growth that we are experiencing in this market?

In fact, approximately 70 percent of the market is still feature phone based even though there is a significant growth year-on-year of smartphones. The huge growth is being driven by availability of broadband. Nigeria often leapfrogs technologies evidenced by the fact that most people will never have a landline. Another factor driving adoption is investment in 3G, and more recently LTE, coverage and capacity. A third factor is that smartphones are becoming more affordable and in addition, the need for people to be connected is also driving growth. Nigeria ranks extremely high in terms of social media trends and activity.