​Samsung mobile chief insists it is not just a hardware firm

Following his debut at the Mobile World Congress, Samsung mobile president DJ Koh stressed that the tech giant is not just a hardware manufacturer, and vowed to expand software services as well as strengthen partnerships with Google and Facebook.

Samsung is not just a hardware manufacturer and it will empower mobile software further to launch new services that are like Samsung Pay and Samsung Knox, the firm's new mobile chief said.

In a press conference at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Samsung mobile boss DJ Koh said he disagrees with the firm being labelled a "hardware company" and said it will also strengthen partnerships with global firms such as Google and Facebook going forward.

"I disagree with the [labelling of] Google being an OS company and Samsung being a hardware company," said Koh. "We are stressing the importance of service and software, and our organisation has changed accordingly."

"That being said, just because we are stressing software, it doesn't mean that we are competing with Facebook or Google. They are our special partners," he added.

Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg made a special appearance during the launch of the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge launch on Sunday at Barcelona, a show of their continuing partnership going forward in areas such as virtual reality.

"Facebook believes that what connects people is moving from words to pictures, and pictures to video, and video to 3D video. We share this belief and believe we can make this technology leap together with Facebook," said Koh.

Samsung, in its reshuffle last year, named Rhee In-jong, the executive responsible for Samsung Pay and Samsung Knox, as head of the mobile R&D team 1. It was the first time the company appointed a software expert at the helm of the research team in its mobile division -- a key indicator of the firm's future handset strategy.

"We want to make the Galaxy S7 a hub that combines wearables, accessories, contents and services," said Koh. "To do this, we must continue to earn the trust and cooperation of our partners.

"We are working closely with Google, Facebook, and Amazon, and we value these partnerships," said the president. "Smartphone computing power is getting stronger and the values it gives to consumers have diversified. To deliver these values, we must work with our partners."

Koh also said that he believes the Galaxy S7 series will sell more than the S6 series, though he declined to reveal expected unit sales.

"We improved the feel of the grip greatly for the S7. We believe that consumers will share their feedback on this more and more," he said. "To make a metal phone that has a microSD slot and is water- and dust- proof is incredibly difficult, but we achieved this because there was strong consumer demand."