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Digital content to be challenge for Samsung: ex-Finnish PM

Developing digital content and providing wonderful user experiences are the next challenges for South Korean tech giant Samsung Electronics Co., Esko Aho, a former Finnish prime minister and ex-executive vice president of Nokia, said Wednesday.

Currently, Apple Inc. is seen as having an edge after successfully integrating software, hardware and digital content in smartphones, and Chinese manufacturers are expanding their presence in the market.

"If you look at what we are doing with smartphones, it's entertainment. But in the future, we are using them for health care, for education, for financial sector services," he said.

Samsung, for one, launched Samsung Pay in August, which enables users to make purchases at any shop with conventional credit card machines, unlike other existing mobile payment tools that require retailers to have separate terminals to handle them.

The tool was the company's latest effort to become a leading player in the mobile payment market with the rise of mobile device use in everyday life.

Underlining the importance of adapting to the rapidly changing market environment, the former executive of Nokia said Europe is pushing to establish a digital single market by tearing down regulatory barriers among 28 national markets.

"If you ask me why Americans have taken (the) lead in almost all areas of digital applications, one reason for that is Americans have one single market and Europe's market is divided into 28," the politician-turned-entrepreneur said.

"That is why Google, Amazon are all U.S.-based, and Europe's position is rather weak."

Aho is here to attend the OECD Ministerial Meeting Daejeon 2015, World Science & Technology Forum that runs from Monday through Friday in Daejeon, a city packed with science institutes located 164 kilometers south of Seoul.

Aho was one of the keynote speakers on the first day of the ministerial meeting, the main event of the global science summit, which wraps up with the announcement of the Daejeon Declaration later Wednesday. (Yonhap)

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