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CES 2019: Samsung teases 5G phone, touts leadership in the burgeoning technology

Samsung Electronics outlined its vision for the company in 2019, and next-generation 5G wireless technology will play a starring role.

Speaking on Jan. 7 at a CES Media Day press conference, HS Kim, president and CEO of the consumer electronics division at Samsung Electronics, reiterated the company's commitment to launch a 5G phone in the first half of 2019. In December 2018, both Verizon Communications Inc. and AT&T Inc. announced plans to offer a 5G smartphone from Samsung in the first six months of 2019. On Jan. 7, Sprint Corp. also confirmed plans for a 5G smartphone from Samsung expected to launch in summer 2019.

The speed, capacity and latency of 5G will "transform how we live, how we work, how we play," Kim said during the press conference, noting that the company was the first to receive approval for a commercial 5G product from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission.

Kim did not provide any other specifics about the 5G phone. "We are so excited about what 5G will do in 2019 and beyond," he said.

Also at the Jan. 7 event, the company unveiled a new QLED 8K TV that will be available for preorder in the U.S. starting Jan. 7. Beginning in the spring, Samsung's smart TVs will support Apple Inc.'s AirPlay, and it already supports Alphabet Inc.'s and Amazon.com Inc.'s personal assistant and streaming platforms. Certain programming on iTunes will offer exclusive debuts on Samsung smart TVs beginning in the spring.

The company also touted the integration of its smart TV line with its other appliances in its Bixby artificial intelligence platform and SmartThings smart home platforms.

"We pride ourselves on working with top industry leaders to deliver the widest range of content services to our Smart TV platform," Won-Jin Lee, executive vice president of Samsung's visual display service business, said in a news release. "Bringing more content, value and open platform functionality to Samsung TV owners and Apple customers through iTunes and AirPlay is ideal for everyone."

Earlier in the day, LG also announced that it would release a 5G phone in 2019 with few additional details.