During the second annual Africa Regional Forum in Nairobi, Samsung reportedly revealed a solar-powered netbook called the NC215S. Although additional information regarding the device wasn't provided at the show, the netbook's unique power feature will enable it to operate in environments where electrical power may be intermittent or even non-existent.
Wednesday's netbook reveal follows a denial by Samsung that owner Lee Kun-hee told the company that it needed to reconsider plans for developing solar batteries due to technology limitations. But as seen with the NC215S netbook, Samsung has already embarked on its journey into the solar-powered business, saying it's one of many future engines of growth.
"We will continue to push forward in the (solar battery) business," said Rhee In-yong, vice executive president of Samsung’s communications team, in a press briefing. "There has been no such decision made regarding adjustments in the business plans of Samsung’s affiliates, and the chairman has not mentioned anything in particular."
The Korea Herald reports that Samsung has been pursuing the solar power business for two years due to Lee's insistence to find new business opportunities of the future. Up until now, the efforts reportedly had yet to result in an substantial progress surpassing those of its rivals.
Samsung's new solar-powered netbook is also just one example of the company's plan to dominate the African electronics market. Kwang Kee Park, president of Samsung Electronics Africa, said this will be done with aggressive expansions and by taking advantage of the middle class with disposable incomes.
"Through our Samsung Blue Project, we intend to become a $10bn region by 2015, growing the market to the size of China's," Park said. "To achieve this, we will start by more than doubling our 2010 growth to 63% in 2011."
It's speculated that the solar-powered netbook is a prototype that may actually appear at COMPUTEX 2011 next month. Additional information should be revealed in the coming weeks.