Key Themes of Day One of the Samsung Developers Conference


Samsung kicked off its developers conference at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Keynotes were delivered by Samsung’s President and CEO of IT and Mobile Communications, DJ Koh. Also onstage were many of his lieutenants unveiling new hardware, new software, and new offerings to 3rd party developers.

Here were the key take-aways:

The big one. Foldable displays – at last!  Many years in the making, Samsung unveiled its first foldable display—the ‘Infinity Flex Display’. Though it was stated that the display will be in mass production ‘in months’, the device was unveiled to the crowd a mere half minute, in dimmed lights, before being tucked back under cover. What we did learn is the device, when opened like a book, is a 7.3” inch display with 1536×2152 resolution and a 4.2:3 aspect ratio. The ‘cover display’, when folded, is a 4.5”inch, with 840×1960 resolution, and sports a 21:9 aspect ratio.  Multiple concepts are in design.

The key feature of the foldable display, besides its girth when open, is its ability to multi-task with multi-active windows. Three applications can be running simultaneously. For example, messaging while watching a video and reading email. Since the device is not even yet in factory ramp, the key details remain under wraps as Samsung naturally does not want to show their hand to competitors. Surely, this is a critical and key form factor of the future. However, the on-stage unveiling did have a ‘resistive touch display’ feel. Meaning, it is a great groundbreaking technology, but gen1 will certainly have its limitations as well as tremendous software work to do just as bygone resistive displays had. In addition, this certainly will not be an easily pocketable device while folded (or open).

Other key takeaways:

  • As Samsung’s smartphone volumes have been in decline, the company is trying to expand passed its strength as a hardware company to a software and services company. The company’s three cores consist of: a scalable intelligent platform, leadership in ‘connected living’, and lead future innovations in user experiences. To help with these goals, all apps and services will have easier discovery in one place—the Galaxy Store.
  • Bixby Developer Studio—easing adoption for developers and opening to 3rd parties: Samsung is marketing Bixby as a scalable AI platform to support a vast array of applications. The company demoed improvements in ASR (automatic speech recognition) and demoed improvements in conversational UI. Acknowledging being behind Google and Amazon, the company is opening the platform to 3rd parties to produce ‘capsules’, its catchy name for voice-activated functions.
  • SmartThings advancements: With a re-designed suite of tools, Samsung touts developers will more easily connect services and hardware to its SmartThings platform. By 2020, Samsung wants all of its hardware to connect to the platform. This alone puts the installed base of connected devices in the hundreds of millions. The growth of Samsung’s tier one partners has seen impressive growth in the past year. A few new to the list include Sylvania, Logitech, Honeywell, Ikea and Bose.
  • Samsung wearables service platform will open to 3rd parties. In the past, this meant accessing the Tizen studio. WSP (Samsung Wearables Platform) cloud API will be easier, cheaper, and easier to scale. Samsung believes the key verticals with immediate growth potential include: Monitoring seniors’ health, tracking workforce(s) (think stadium employees), and monitoring employee safety with geofencing.
  • Samsung will be rolling out a new UI called, One UI. The goal is to have less scrolling and for users to see options more easily on large displays. With the continued transition to large displays, the company is trying to overcome the difficulty of single-hand use (thumbs are not long enough to reach ends of displays). To overcome this, the phone will make UI changes as it knows what the user will be doing next (eg UI changes as a user dials a number). Also, the bottom 1/3 of the device will have the nucleus of the popups and choices. The UI has a cleaner look and the more rounded icons are easier to recognize. Voice UI improvements will also be implemented.
  • Helped by Samsung’s impressive installed base of hardware, the conference has been growing its attendance by over 20% each year. Over 5,000 developers are sitting in on 51 sessions (over 85% fill rate) and 13 code labs.

Jeff has 25+ years experience in technology research, business development, competitive intelligence, and business management. Prior to joining Counterpoint Research, Jeff held various research & product development roles at Microsoft, Nokia, Roth Capital Partners, and Gartner. Jeff is a member of many telecom industry organizations including Colorado Wireless Association,, CommNexus, and is a regular speaker at major telecom industry events. He was a 4x NCAA all-American in tennis and is a 12-time finisher of the Hawaii Ironman World Championships.

Term of Use and Privacy Policy

Counterpoint Technology Market Research Limited


In order to access Counterpoint Technology Market Research Limited (Company or We hereafter) Web sites, you may be asked to complete a registration form. You are required to provide contact information which is used to enhance the user experience and determine whether you are a paid subscriber or not.
Personal Information When you register on we ask you for personal information. We use this information to provide you with the best advice and highest-quality service as well as with offers that we think are relevant to you. We may also contact you regarding a Web site problem or other customer service-related issues. We do not sell, share or rent personal information about you collected on Company Web sites.

How to unsubscribe and Termination

You may request to terminate your account or unsubscribe to any email subscriptions or mailing lists at any time. In accessing and using this Website, User agrees to comply with all applicable laws and agrees not to take any action that would compromise the security or viability of this Website. The Company may terminate User’s access to this Website at any time for any reason. The terms hereunder regarding Accuracy of Information and Third Party Rights shall survive termination.

Website Content and Copyright

This Website is the property of Counterpoint and is protected by international copyright law and conventions. We grant users the right to access and use the Website, so long as such use is for internal information purposes, and User does not alter, copy, disseminate, redistribute or republish any content or feature of this Website. User acknowledges that access to and use of this Website is subject to these TERMS OF USE and any expanded access or use must be approved in writing by the Company.
– Passwords are for user’s individual use
– Passwords may not be shared with others
– Users may not store documents in shared folders.
– Users may not redistribute documents to non-users unless otherwise stated in their contract terms.

Changes or Updates to the Website

The Company reserves the right to change, update or discontinue any aspect of this Website at any time without notice. Your continued use of the Website after any such change constitutes your agreement to these TERMS OF USE, as modified.
Accuracy of Information: While the information contained on this Website has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, We disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of such information. User assumes sole responsibility for the use it makes of this Website to achieve his/her intended results.

Third Party Links: This Website may contain links to other third party websites, which are provided as additional resources for the convenience of Users. We do not endorse, sponsor or accept any responsibility for these third party websites, User agrees to direct any concerns relating to these third party websites to the relevant website administrator.

Cookies and Tracking

We may monitor how you use our Web sites. It is used solely for purposes of enabling us to provide you with a personalized Web site experience.
This data may also be used in the aggregate, to identify appropriate product offerings and subscription plans.
Cookies may be set in order to identify you and determine your access privileges. Cookies are simply identifiers. You have the ability to delete cookie files from your hard disk drive.