April 28, 1999 in Social Responsibility News

Samsung Electronics Launches "yepp", the World's Smallest MP3 Player

SEOUL, Korea - April 28, 1999 - Korean manufacturers are gaining a significant portion of the Internet audio (MP3 player) market. Amid fierce competition for the top market share, Samsung Electronics has come out with two different MP3 models under the "yepp" brand name. Now, the company is aiming to create the "2nd Walkman legend."
The MP3 player is a digital audio device that allows the user to download music files from the Internet or other on-line services. Currently, Korean manufacturers are leading this industry. The "yepp" models are no bigger than an ordinary business card (58mm x 85mm x 17mm) and very light (64 grams excluding battery). They are designed to appeal to the youth market and come with a basic 40 megabytes of memory, enough to store ten (average length) songs. If more memory is needed, the user can take advantage of the "yepp card" (Smart Card).

Survey results of 500 young people, the main target for "yepp," were used in developing the product. Respecting the wishes of most survey respondents, Samsung Electronics included an FM radio, recording capability (160 minutes) and telephone directory (500 names). The magnesium case provides a touch of elegance that has been well received by consumers.

The center of "yepp" has a liquid crystal display that indicates the title of the song being played, the song length and the lyrics. The product takes two AAA batteries which will last for ten hours of continue play time.

The sound quality of "yepp" is on a par with that of a compact disc player. The songs being played will not skip or be interrupted even when the "yepp" user is engaged in rigorous exercise.

Samsung Electronics' "yepp" is available in two models: a basic unit (YP-E16) and a deluxe unit (YP-D40). Buyers can choose either gold or silver versions. The deluxe model is also equipped with an FM radio tuner and is capable of recording external sound such as lectures or performances. Both of them provide back-band headphones. Users can also take advantage of a variety of services through a dedicated home page.

Samsung Electronics has also built in its exclusive SecuMax program to prevent users from pirating unauthorized songs.

The world market for internet audio players is estimated at 1.2 million units in 1999 and forecast to explode to 3 million units in 2000, 7.8 million units in 2001 and 30 million units by 2005. At that time, demand will surpass that for conventional cassette tape recorders. Demand in Korea will also surge from some 80,000 units this year to 500,000 units next year, and on to 1 million units the following year.

Samsung Electronics expects to sell 500,000 units in 1999 and 42% of world market share.

To expand sales, Samsung Electronics plans to introduce a "yepp" model for automobiles and a Recording Station that allows the user to instantly convert music from CDs or cassette tapes to MP3 files without needing a computer. These new products are scheduled for release in the second half of this year.

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., with 1998 sales revenue of about 16.6 billion dollars (US), is a world leader in the electronics industry. The Korea-based firm has operations in more than 50 countries with 60,000 employees worldwide. The company consists of three main business units: Multimedia & Home Appliances, Semiconductors and Information & Telecommunications. For more information, please visit our website, http://www.samsungelectronics.com

All brands or product names are the property of their respective holders.

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