S. Korea to invest 420 bln won in smart device industry
By Kang Yoon-seung
SEOUL, Sept. 22 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will invest 420 billion won (US$357 million) to foster the so-called smart device industry over the next four years amid slowing growth in the traditional smartphones and PC industries around the globe, the government said Tuesday.
The Ministry of Science, ICT, and Future Planning said it is shifting focus as the country's traditional tech industries have been slowing down throughout 2015. This raises the need to find new growth engines in other areas such as wearables and Internet-of-Thing (IoT) devices to compete with other global tech giants.
The world's smartphone market is expected to grow 8.9 percent on-year in 2015, significantly slowing from 51.7 percent posted in 2011, the ministry said.
The ministry said the latest trend of the smart device market contrasts with previous devices such as smartphones, as they connect to the surrounding environment to provide intelligent services, such as smartwatches or glasses.
Through the investment, the government plans to foster 300 local smart devices companies that can compete on the global stage.
The government will also make efforts to secure 10 core parts and modules for smart devices, while releasing 1,000 new devices to the market by 2019.
It also seeks to foster some 10,000 experts and help local firms find opportunities overseas.
Specifically, the government said it wishes to have IoT-related technologies applied to the fashion or healthcare sectors to create new opportunities, and induce traditional industries to embrace the latest technology.
It will also push conglomerate-level firms to open their IoT platforms to smaller players, and beef up cooperation among different companies in the market.
The ministry added the smart device market is also key for the government's so-called creative economy policies that call for generating new opportunities through merging different industries.
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