Key to the future lies in focusing on user experience, acquiring new tech

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Key to the future lies in focusing on user experience, acquiring new tech

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Female workers at Samsung Semiconductor, formerly known as Korea Semiconductor, work at the production unit in the late 1970s. At the time, workers used microscopes to assemble semiconductors. Provided by Samsung Electronics

In order for companies in the electronics industry to advance, user experience must be prioritized.

Companies in many industries - including electronics, telecommunications, retail and oil - have done a good job of catering to the needs of their customers and corporate clients. But in the electronics industry in particular, there have also been many cases where users’ convenience was sacrificed to fulfill the demands of corporate clients.

For instance, smartphones that use the Android operating system have 50 to 60 apps pre-installed. This is because mobile carriers, manufacturers and operating system companies all want the software they’ve chosen to be included.

But this creates inconveniences for consumers, who have to go back and delete all the applications they don’t plan on using. Corporate clients are important, but the end users’ experience should be considered above all else.

For competitiveness to last for 100 years, a company needs to be at the epicenter of innovation. At this moment, the biggest innovations are taking place in Silicon Valley and China. In China, IT companies like Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent have become mainstream players on the world stage because they think globally.

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But there are still many Korean companies that focus all their attention on Korea. This leaves them ill equipped to anticipate global trends. Korean companies should be more considerate before developing a product.

The Korean electronics industry can be divided into components on one hand, and end products like
smartphones and televisions on the other. Both require different things to succeed.

The components business needs optimal capital investment, stringent management and strength to sustain during downturns. End products need innovation, the ability to spot consumer demand and competitive pricing.

Both sectors have been heading in different directions recently. The components sector, led by the semiconductors, has been doing well. But end products have been struggling in the premium market behind companies like Apple and in the low-end market behind Chinese companies.

One solution to the problems in the sector can be found by paying attention to Apple’s merger and acquisition strategy.

In 2007, Apple used multi-touch screen technology on its iPhone. This technology was originally developed by FingerWorks, a company that was set up by a group of professors at the University of Delaware. With Apple’s acquisition of the firm’s technology, the multi-touch screen has become the iconic innovation of the iPhone.

Apple was able to find good technology outside of its own company. It is like a cook whose food tastes good because he is talented at finding top-quality ingredients. In order for the end-products industry to advance, it needs to take up the challenge.


BY SPECIAL REPORTING TEAM [park.jungyoun@joongang.co.kr]

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