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Samsung buys stake in WacomBy Ryan Noik 4 February 2013 | Categories: news
One interesting development that clearly indicates Samsung’s commitment to the stylus is the news that the Korean company had bought a $58.9 million stake in Wacom.
The development is not entirely surprising, as Wacom has earned its reputation as being the go-to company for drawing tablets and stylus based input, and Samsung has made a concerted effort to incorporate the company’s technology into its Galaxy Note range of devices, often to great effect.
Under the capital and business alliance agreement, Samsung and Wacom will apparently work together to “establish a broad strategic partnership in the smartphone and tablet areas by strengthening cooperation on product strategy and planning and by improving business processes.”
The nitty gritty
The nitty gritty
In addition to selling its own lines of pen tablets and LCD tablets under the Wacom brand, such as the excellent Intuos 5, Wacom has reiterated its commitment to supplying digital pen solutions for integration into notebooks, tablets, e-book readers, and smartphones.
The company elaborated that “it is becoming increasingly important to form close relationships with manufacturers of mobile information terminals, particularly smartphones and tablets, and to bring new products to market in a timely manner.”
For its part, Wacom receives the wherewithal to reach new customer segments. Most interesting for South African users though, is the statement by the company that this includes “users in countries and regions to which it presently does not provide products.” The company further elaborated that it anticipates that this will accelerate the expansion of its market share.
Indeed, while Samsung’s buy-in gives it a 5% shareholding in the company, it is also intended to grant the Korean manufacturer timely access to Wacom’s proprietary digital pen technology and products. This, in turn, is expected to strengthen Samsung Electronics’ global competitiveness, at a time when Apple and Samsung are locked in a fierce contest for market share.
To the point
For users who favour using a stylus, such as those who prefer handwriting and drawing or painting applications in particular, the news is actually quite good. The Galaxy Note 10.1 (review) owes its main distinguishing factor - ease of drawing and writing on the device – to the integration of Wacom’s technology, and Samsung’s agreement with the company seems a clear indication that we can expect more devices in the Galaxy Note range, for example.
Already an 8” Galaxy Note tablet is expected to be unveiled this year at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next week, presumably to go head-to-head with Apple’s 7.9” iPad mini.
In related Samsung news, the International Data Corporation reported that Samsung is currently ranked as the number two tablet vendor after Apple, having experienced an impressive 263% year-on-year growth.
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