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Exclusive Interview With The 2018 Galaxy A7 + A9 Designer!

Exclusive Interview With The 2018 Galaxy A7 + A9 Designer!

The 2018 Galaxy A7 and Galaxy A9 smartphones are a very big deal for Samsung. They are not flagship models like the Galaxy Note9 or Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+, but they are big moneymakers for Samsung. Hence, it was no surprise to see Samsung bring out the big stars for the recent Galaxy UNPACKED KL 2018 launch event.

Samsung even brought in the lead designer for the 2018 Galaxy A7 and Galaxy A9 smartphones for a special interview session on the new design language. Check it out!

 

Exclusive Interview With The 2018 Galaxy A7 + A9 Designer

We were one of the few to be invited to an exclusive interview session with the 2018 Galaxy A7 and Galaxy A9’s lead designer. Sang Il Park. Here is a video of the question and answers session after his presentation :

And here are the key points from his presentation on the 2018 Galaxy A7 and Galaxy A9’s design language and process :

  • The team worked with six global design offices that conduct research into the social, cultural and design trends of the world.
  • The key target audience of the 2018 Galaxy A7 and Galaxy A9 designs are the Millennials.
  • They researched the lifestyle of Millennials in Southeast Asia, and how they thought.
  • Specifically, they identified that Millennials don’t like to follow pre-existing paths, but act on their personal beliefs and standards. They want to seek new meanings and express their own stories in different ways, and share them with others. They also want to try new things that are outside of the norm.
  • Three key design aspects of the 2018 Galaxy A9 were inspired by the Millennial’s lifestyle.
    • The quad camera is “naturally” integrated into the design, rather than being “artificially exposed”.
    • The “beaming glass in diverse colours” under the light
    • Youthful energy is expressed through the colour gradients of the metal and glass chassis.
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  • Even though the 2018 Galaxy A9 features a new quad camera, the design team intentionally minimised its appearance visually and ergonomically by making it black, and minimising its protrusion.
  • To emphasise the silhouette, the beauty of the “beaming glass in diverse colours”, they added gradated laminate film to the back glass, which is reflected by the light.
  • Making the glass curved was a big challenge, but they used it to maximise the reflective qualities of the back glass panel.
  • Samsung also used a new anodising method to create a gradated metal finish, making it possible to have a lighter-tone at the top that gradually becomes dark towards the bottom.
  • They created the three colour gradients based on the “youthful energy of the Millennials” – Caviar Black, Lemonade Blue and Bubblegum Pink.
  • Caviar Black is for those who like to be “neat” and “sophisticated“.
  • Lemonade Blue is meant to induce “vividness” and an “energetic” feeling.
  • Bubblegum Pink reflects “happy” moments.

 

Who Is The 2018 Galaxy A7 + A9 Designer?

The 2018 Galaxy A7 and Galaxy A9 designer is Sang Il Park, the Principal Product Designer of Design Team (III) at Samsung Electronics.

Park began his design career in 2001 in Samsung Electronics’ Visual Display Division, working on monitors and television products. In 2009, he joined the Advance Design Team at Samsung Design Center, where he managed future product design tasks and design-related services, arriving at his current position in 2014.

Park has received numerous design awards from distinguished organizations throughout his career, including the International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) and International Forum Design (IF). In 2007, he received a GOLD award from IDEA for his work and was a finalist again in 2011. Park also received a Gold award from IF in 2011 as well.

 

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ASUS ZenFone 5 + ZenFone Max Pro M1 Exclusive Interview!

Right after the official launch of the ASUS ZenFone 5 and ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 smartphones, we had the opportunity to sit down with the top ASUS officials to discuss their latest smartphones. Get the inside scoop on the two new ASUS smartphones, and the direction of the ASUS Mobile team in this exclusive interview!

 

ASUS ZenFone 5 + ZenFone Max Pro M1 Exclusive Interview

Four top ASUS officials sat down with us for this exclusive interview. They are, from left to right, :

  • Li Huai Pin, ASUS Malaysia Business Development Manager (Mobile)
  • Rex Lee, ASUS APAC General Manager
  • Eric Chen, ASUS Corporate Vice President
  • Leo Tseng, ASUS Malaysia Country Manager

Facilitating this interview was ASUS Regional Director (Australia and New Zealand), Portia Chang.

Here are the key takeaways from this exclusive interview :

  • There will be something interesting coming up at Computex 2018 (It was the ROG Phone).
  • The market is trending towards mobile gaming, so ASUS will have appropriate products to cater to this trend.
  • ASUS is the top gaming notebook brand in Malaysia, with a 30% market share as of April 2018, beating the runner-up by 18 points.
  • The market share for ASUS smartphones in Malaysia is currently at around 3%, but ASUS expects to improve that with the ASUS ZenFone 5 and ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 smartphones.
  • ASUS expects to sell about 1,000 – 2,000 units of the new ASUS ZenFone 5 and ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 smartphones per day, which translates into an average of 45,000 units per month.
  • ASUS chose to decouple the Max brand from the generational numbering of the flagship ZenFone series, to allow faster and more frequent launches.
  • [adrotate group=”2″]Due to increased interest in stock Android smartphones, ASUS will look into creating more smartphones with stock Android, although they may not necessarily be under the Android One programme.
  • ASUS will provide the ASUS ZenFone 5 and ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 smartphones with at least two new generations of Android upgrades – to the future Android Q at the minimum.
  • ASUS is shrinking their product models in the new generation to reduce market confusion, and to keep prices low.
  • ASUS plans to launch the ZenFone 5Z in Malaysia in early Q3 2018.
  • The ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 will directly replace the ASUS ZenFone Max Plus M1.
  • The 6 GB version of the ASUS ZenFone Max Pro M1 is in shortage worldwide, with an expected availability only around July 2018.
  • ASUS chose to use a wide-angle camera as the secondary camera because it’s more useful for landscape shots, and a telescopic camera produces noisy and/or shakier photos indoors.

 

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Exclusive : Tech ARP Interviews Keith Martin Of F-Secure!

F-Secure Regional Director of APAC and Japan, Keith Martin, flew into Singapore to ink a major regional partnership agreement with ACE Pacific Group. Timothy Shim from Tech Barrista and I had the opportunity to interview Mr. Martin about cybersecurity trends in Asia Pacific and worldwide.

 

Tech ARP Interviews Keith Martin

Keith Martin is the Head of Asia Pacific Corporate Business, F-Secure. Here was our exclusive interview with Mr. Martin after he officially signed the APAC partnership agreement with ACE Pacific Group.

The Cybersecurity Business

Tech ARP : How has your long experience in Japan helped you with F-Secure’s business in Japan?

Keith Martin : Japan is one of the largest market for F-Secure, and we are trying to replicate that (success) in the APAC region.

Tech ARP : Are you still based in Japan?

Keith Martin : Yes, but I have now racked up a lot of frequent flyer miles.

Tech ARP : What are your thoughts on the cybersecurity market in the APJ (Asia Pacific and Japan) region?

Keith Martin : Japan is a large market, but the growth rates are relatively stable. We look at the Asia Pacific region (which includes India, Australia and New Zealand), as the next source of growth for F-Secure.

Tech ARP : What are your plans, and areas of focus, for the APJ region?

Keith Martin : Without question, Singapore is going to be a major focus for F-Secure, as well as Australia and New Zealand. We just signed a major partnership agreement with ACE Pacific, which will be a cornerstone of our strategy in coming years.

Cybersecurity Backdoors

Tech ARP : Chinese and Russian companies have been hit by accusations of cyber espionage and hacking, loose security and/or inserting backdoors into their products. Do you see this as a good opportunity to promote F-Secure’s products, or is this a poison pill for the entire industry?

Keith Martin : I don’t think it’s a poison pill for the entire industry. I have never seen any direct evidence that these go beyond mere accusations, but I understand the need to be cautious. One of the things that F-Secure is proud of is our policy that we will never add a backdoor into our products.

We are willing to walk away from any business if it means adding a backdoor. This is just the way we operate, because Finland has extremely tough privacy laws.

I think it’s absolutely an opportunity for us to differentiate ourselves (from the other cybersecurity companies) with our public pledge never to add backdoors in our software.

Tech ARP : Some countries like China and Russia are demanding access to encryption keys, and in some cases, requiring registration of VPN services. How do those tightening laws affect F-Secure products like Freedome VPN?

Keith Martin : F-Secure is very focused on maintaining the security of our products, so if those are the requirements, we will decline and get out of those markets. We would rather walk away from the potential business, than compromise the security of our products.

Government Interest

Tech Barrista : On the geopolitical implications of malware, do you feel that governments are increasingly more focused on cybersecurity on a national scale?

Keith Martin : For sure. We now see nation states attacking each other. There’s no denying that fact. Look at Stuxnet, that malware (which was targeted at Iran) got released into the wild and suddenly, people have the technology to use it elsewhere for nefarious purposes. I think that any country that does not pay attention to cybersecurity is sticking their heads into the sand.

Tech Barrista : Do you feel that this presents a greater opportunity for F-Secure?

Keith Martin : It represents opportunity, of course, but our mission as a company is to stop the spread of malware and cybersecurity attacks, wherever they happen. It’s a kind of Catch-22 situation, where we wish that nation states would not attack each other, but yes, we have the opportunity to help them protect themselves against such attacks.

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Transparency

Tech ARP : What is F-Secure doing to promote and enhance source code transparency? Like opening up transparency centers?

Keith Martin : At this point in time, there are no plans to do so. We have a very good reputation throughout our 30-year history of being straightforward and upfront. I have never seen any accusations against us of malicious activities.

Tech ARP : Does F-Secure allow corporations or countries with concerns to inspect their code?

Keith Martin : I don’t know of any specific situations in Asia Pacific where F-Secure has allowed this. It may have been allowed in other regions, where governments have specific concerns, but I’m not aware of those situations.

Malware Galore!

Tech ARP : Ransomware and phishing attacks are big problems these days. Can you detail how F-Secure can help users prevent or mitigate the risks of ransomware and/or phishing attacks.

Keith Martin : Third-party analysis of our software show that we are actually better at detecting these 0-day attacks than any other companies out there. We pride ourselves in detecting not just the malware we know about, but also the malware we don’t about, using technologies we have been developing over the last 20 years.

We have a multi-layered engine, where we use everything from the basic pattern matching technology, to heuristics, etc. so that if it doesn’t catch the malware on the first layer, it will catch the malware on the second or third or fourth layer.

Tech Barrista : Is malware-as-a-service now common?

Keith Martin : It is becoming more and more common. The entry barrier to launching a malware attack is now much lower due to the ability to outsource the creation of the malware.

Cybersecurity Risks Of IoT Devices

Tech Barrista : With cybercriminals leveraging the Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence, how much more complex do you see the cybersecurity landscape becoming?

Keith Martin : It’s becoming incredibly complex. Our Chief Research Officer Mikko Hypponen said, “Once you connect something to the Internet, it’s vulnerable“. Billions of devices connected to the Internet become potential attack vectors for cybercriminals.

Most IoT devices don’t have good security. If you can get into one of those devices, you can get into the network through them.

Tech ARP : Does F-Secure have any products to mitigate the risks of poorly-secured IoT devices?

Keith Martin : On the consumer side, we have F-Secure Sense, which protects every device on your network.

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Keith Martin’s Professional Bio

Keith Martin has been Country Manager for F-Secure Japan for 2 years, before being promoted in February 2018 to oversee the entire Asia Pacific region.

Prior to joining F-Secure in 2015, he spent a decade in the telephony and contact center space, first working for four years in Avaya Japan as Director of Multinational Account Sales, followed by six years serving as Japan Country Manager for Interactive Intelligence, a pioneer in cloud contact center technology.

Before that, Keith also spent three years at internet startup ValueCommerce helping build their web hosting platform business before the company was acquired by Yahoo Japan. He got his start at global IT services provider EDS (now HP), delivering IT services to numerous financial industry accounts.

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