At Mobile World Congress today in Barcelona, Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge smartphones—which will launch on April 10 in 20 countries with 32, 64 and 128GB options, integrated wireless charging, Gorilla Glass 4 on both devices and the new Samung Pay mobile payments platform.
“With the all-new Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge, Samsung is offering what’s next in mobility, along with a new standard to drive the global mobile agenda,” stated JK Shin, CEO and Head of IT & Mobile Communications Division at Samsung Electronics, in a press release.
“By listening to our customers, and learning from both our success and missteps, we continuously push forward new technologies and ideas,” he added. “With a reimagined design, robust partner network and novel services, the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge offer users the ultimate experience in smartphone options.”[more]
Samsung’s executives talked about how they reimagined the Galaxy user experience and have now embraced what they’re calling “design with purpose,” as highlighted in the video above.
“No more necessary alerts and notifications and struggling with hard to find or hard to use features,” its executives stated at the #Unpacked reveal. A new Gear VR innovator edition of its virtual reality platform will integrate with both smartphones.
Wireless charging was another big theme. Powermat touted its integration with Galaxy S6, while a new partnership with IKEA will bring a collection of Qi Wireless charging furniture (desks, tables and lamps) to IKEA’s stores in North America and Europe next month.
“With the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 edge—featuring the world’s first, universally compatible embedded wireless charging technology—and IKEA’s new home furniture range for wireless charging, users will enjoy a fully plug-free charging environment at home,” Samsung stated.
According to the Wall Street Journal, IKEA “will also sell wireless charging kits to build into existing furniture, with a starting price of EUR30 ($33.60).”
The Wireless Power Consortium noted today that “Leading brands like Samsung, IKEA, Marriott, McDonalds, Toyota and others are continuing their commitment to wireless charging by embedding Qi into their products and locations.”
And in a game-changing bid to compete with Apple Pay, the company followed up its LoopPay acquisition with the announcement of the Samsung Pay mobile payments platform that will launch this summer in the US and Korea, stating it will be the most widely accepted mobile payments platform.
MasterCard and Visa are on board at launch, while Samsung said it’s “working hard to expand the partnership ecosystem for Samsung Pay with key financial partners globally, including American Express, Bank of America, Citi, JPMorgan Chase, and U.S. Bank” to be accepted virtually anywhere that accepts credit cards, debit cards or NFC payments.
“From the start, Samsung’s vision for mobile payments and commerce has been centered on security, wide acceptance, and a simple user experience. With MasterCard’s tokenization services in conjunction with Samsung’s unique MST (magnetic secure transmission) and NFC technologies, Samsung Pay makes secure contactless mobile payments possible at most NFC or traditional magnetic POS terminals,” stated Samsung Electronics EVP Dr. Injong Rhee in MasterCard’s press release.
“Samsung’s KNOX security platform and fingerprint authentication make Samsung Pay transactions highly secure and easy to use,” he added. Visa’s Token Service technology is also supporting Samsung to enable secure payments across a broad range of connected devices.
According to Visa’s press release, “This new innovative technology from Visa replaces sensitive payment account information found on plastic cards, such as the 16-digit account number, expiration date and security code, with a unique series of numbers that can be used to authorize payment without exposing actual account details—helping to make mobile payments safer for everyone, everywhere.”
“Working in partnership with Samsung, we are able to bring secure mobile payments to millions of consumers around the world,” said Visa global president Ryan McInerney. “Combining Visa’s expertise in payment technology with Samsung’s global leadership in creating innovative mobile experiences gives more choice to financial institutions who want to enable their customers to pay with the new generation of mobile devices.”
Other partners include Synchrony Financial (formerly GE Capital Retail Finance). Samsung Pay will first be made available for US consumers this summer, to be followed by additional global markets including Korea.