Follow The Emerging Middle-Class, says Samsung CSO

The i2i market is a major opportunity for growth according to Samsung’s Chief Strategic Officer, Young Sohn, speaking at this week’s IEF 2012 organised by Future Horizons in Bratislava.

"The sub-$100 computer is one of  the biggest opportunities I see for this industry," said Sohn, "there's a huge potential market in i2i - the Ivory Coast to Indonesia market - there is a huge middle class developing there that did not exist before."

Sohn's thesis is that the growth opportunity is in the world's emerging middle class wherever that may be happening, rather than following particular geographies or specific product types.

However this emerging middle class market is clear about what it wants - smartphones. "Consumers all want smartphones," said Sohn, adding "the emerging markets are by-passing the PC."

These emerging middle class consumers require a product which has full Internet connectivity, the growth of this market is controlled by the retail price with a target of $100 to $200 and the base performance requirement for the product is  ARM11.

Supplying this market requires" new ways of doing things" said Sohn because no one can afford to do it all. Sohn praised ARM and ASML as "good examples of how you can become  world-class companies dominating their space" by developing a surrounding ecosystem such as ASML's initiative of getting its customers to invest in ASML to secure the funds to develop EUV.

Large companies have the problem of getting imaginative projects off the ground, said Sohn. He pointed out how Sun developed Java as an off-site secret project with a team small enough to sit around a table in a Chinese restaurant, and how a Lockheed Skunk Works delivered the first 400mph fighter plane with a small, isolated, crack team of engineers working in secrecy with short decision loops.



  1. I did spell it out in para 2, Robtronics – Indonesia to Ivory Coast – maybe para 1 was so boring you decided to venture no further. In which case I apologise. And what is iandi in the Caribbean may I ask? I have to say some intriguing possibilities spring to mind.

  2. What is i2i? I know that iandi has been around forever in the Caribbean.

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