Samsung has partnered with Irish drone delivery company Manna to deliver new Galaxy devices to Irish customers.
While the service is initially for customers in Oranmore, Co Galway, where Manna has been offering deliveries of goods through a pilot programme, Samsung hopes to extend this nationwide in the future.
The announcement comes as Manna is due to reveal expansion of its drone delivery services to another Irish town shortly.
Samsung is the latest company to partner with the start-up founded and led by Bobby Healy. Other brands to sign up with Manna include Tesco and food delivery service Just Eat, which is offering takeaways from Camile Thai. It has also partnered with a number of local stores in Oranmore.
The consumer electronics giant said drone delivery would be made available to customers purchasing the latest range of Galaxy devices – which include the S21Ultra, the Galaxy Tab S7 and the Galaxy Watch 3 – via its online store.
The partnership is the first of its kind for Samsung globally, which employs more than 280,000 people and recorded revenues of $211.7 billion (€177.36) last year.
Manna’s custom-developed aviation-grade drones fly at 80km/h and deliver within a 2km radius in less than three minutes.
"At Samsung we are always looking for ways to bring meaningful innovation to our customers so we're really excited to be the first technology company in Ireland to make our products available to our customers via drone delivery. To be able to deliver our products to our customers within three minutes of leaving the dispatch centre is a brilliant example of innovation in motion," said head of online Eamonn Grant.
Established in 2018, Manna's backers include Atlantic Bridge, Irelandia Aviation, Dynamo, Greenman, Elkstone, Frontline Ventures and Stripe's founders Patrick and John Collison.
The company has been doing about 100 deliveries a day in Oranmore since its trial started last October. It estimates it has delivered to about a quarter of homes in the vicinity during that time with 65 per cent of orders coming from repeat customers. Over this period, the company has delivered items that include milk, chips, books, coffee, burgers and pharmacy items.
Manna said it would announce plans to introduce delivery services in another Irish town in June.
"This partnership with Samsung marks the first of its kind in the world. To date, we have been working with Tesco and local businesses to deliver grocery, hot food, books and pharmacy items, to people in the area. We recognise that the potential for the application of drone delivery is enormous," said Manna chief technology officer Alan Hicks.