After Hours

CES 08: Samsung packs the house, but fails to deliver

The most crowded press event of the day was definitely Samsung. It was standing room only plus there were still a couple of hundred more people who couldn't get in.

Dr. J. W. Park, CEO of Samsung, outlined the approach to their 2008 product lines by emphasizing 3 areas of focus:

  1. Connectivity
  2. Content
  3. Creativity

He then showed a slide with their new slogan "Life... made simple."

Unfortunately, things weren't so simple for Dr. Park. The wireless HDTV and wireless camcorder that he was demoing wouldn't connect to each other. The demo had to be stopped while a technician came out and fixed the setup. Dr. Park could be heard saying, "What happened?" and "It's supposed to show up something." The crowd wasn't very patient and started heckling Park a little bit. Not a good first impression.

In addition to the wireless display and camcorder, Samsung showed about a dozen new products including a Giorgio Armani cellphone, the Series 7 LCD TV, the HT-X715 home theater in a box and a hybrid HD-DVD/Blu-ray player.

Like Philips, Samsung emphasized all of the design work that went into their new products; however, unlike Philips, the designs didn't seem to resonate with the crowd. Jason Hiner and I turned to each other a couple of different times during the show and said, "That's ugly." The HT-X715 home theater system was the worst. It looked a bit like the original iMacs with red translucent accents on the speakers and receiver.

Overall, there was a lot of hype around the Samsung event, but nothing really to get excited about.

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