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May 11, 2010

Samsung Announces Major Expansion into Solar Cells, Rechargeable Cells, Medical Devices and LEDs

By Patrick Barnard, Group Managing Editor, TMCnet

Samsung (News - Alert) is reportedly planning to invest about $20.6 billion over the next decade in technologies such as solar cells and medical devices. What's more the South Korea-based company plans to increase its workforce by tens of thousands.

Company officials say the money will be used to develop new products in five areas: solar cells, rechargeable cells for hybrid electric vehicles, LED technologies, biopharmaceuticals and medical devices. Officials said the biggest chunk of money will be used for the development of LED technologies used for backlit displays, lighting and car electronics.

The expansion is expected to create about 45,000 jobs and will significantly boost revenue for Samsung and its affiliate companies by 2020, the year through which the investments are slated, Samsung officials said.

In other news Samsung today introduced the Samsung Seek, an affordable and compact messaging device featuring a full-QWERTY slide-out keyboard and an intuitive touchscreen. Initially it will run on Sprint's (News - Alert) 3G network. The phone sports a customizable menu system that gives users instant access to their favorite features and applications.

Also, the Samsung Seek will be the first phone to come packaged in Samsung's new eco-friendly packaging. This innovative packaging system allows customers to reuse the packaging, postage paid, to ship their old wireless phones, batteries, accessories and data cards back to Sprint for recycling.

According to a release, several plastic elements, including the inner tray, bags for literature and the battery, and mailing envelope have been replaced with paper-based solutions. In addition, the box and inner tray contain are made from at least 90 percent post-consumer waste (PCW) paper fiber, are 100 percent recyclable, and come from sustainable forests. Top sheets and liners are chlorine-free, printed with soy inks, and have a water-based aqueous coating.

But the eco-friendliness doesn't end there: The new mailing label contains 30 percent PCW paper fiber, is 100 percent recyclable, has a water-based acrylic adhesive, and is attached with glue dots that are RoHS and REACH compliant. What's more the Literature band contains at least 30 percent PCW paper fiber and is also 100 percent recyclable.

"Sprint is committed to environmental sustainability and product responsibility," said Kevin Packingham, senior vice president-product development, Sprint, in a release. "Each time customers use the postage-paid mailing label with the box to recycle an old device, they are helping keep electronic and packaging waste out of landfills and support Internet safety for kids. All net proceeds from the sale of recycled equipment collected will be used to fund and promote 4NetSafety, a charitable program of Sprint Project Connect."

Patrick Barnard is a senior Web editor for TMCnet, covering call and contact center technologies. He also compiles and regularly contributes to TMCnet e-Newsletters in the areas of robotics, IT, M2M, OCS and customer interaction solutions. To read more of Patrick's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Patrick Barnard

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