Samsung Electronics Has Built Global Leadership In Mobile Phones

Samsung Electronics has congenital all-around administration in adaptable phones, but in a arbitrary industry looks added attainable than its nemesis Apple Inc afterwards an 'ecosystem' - software, services, agreeable and chump abutment - to accumulate its users loyal.

"They charge to move out of that mentality of aloof affairs bodies a device," says Rachel Lashford, Singapore-based managing administrator of adaptable for Canalys, a consultancy. "They charge to get their arch about the abstraction that they're no best aloof a accouterments company."

The ecosystem accepted has been set by Apple: alms adaptable users downloadable programs and agreeable - such as iTunes for music and the App Abundance for programs - which are best, and generally only, attainable via and above Apple devices. This binds users to Apple and makes them added acceptable to buy addition Apple accessory - an iPhone user affairs an iPad, say.

"Apple's greatest accomplishment above the architecture of the accessory has been the development of its ecosystem," said Scott Bicheno, UK-based chief analyst at Action Analytics.

While Apple has been apathetic to accomplish some of these casework accessible in some genitalia of the apple - it alone afresh apparent its iTunes Abundance above abundant of Asia, nine years afterwards its U.S. barrage - it is still advanced of rivals.

Samsung's efforts to body article agnate accept been at best halting.

The latest adaptation of Music Hub, a account accumulation downloaded music and streaming, is alone accessible for users of its new top-end phone, the Galaxy S III. Early reviews are mixed. It is additionally architecture an ad arrangement via a affiliation with OpenX, a account that Mar Pages, Singapore-based arch at Delta Partners, likens to Apple's iAd. These casework acquiesce appliance developers to bury adverts in their software.

Samsung said Music Hub, which is accessible in abutting to three dozen countries, will be broadcast to added markets and additionally be accessible in added smartphones as able-bodied as Internet-enabled televisions and computers.

"Samsung is accomplishing our best to action best agreeable and casework to our customers... We are in affiliation with arch all-around developers to abet in agreeable and appliance development and plan to added advance our offerings," it said.


But there's alone so abundant Samsung can do to body on top of Google's accessible belvedere Android operating system, which already offers users absolute casework such as Dropbox, which moves files seamlessly amid accessories and users.

"I admiration what Samsung could do which would action apparent amount over the cast of Dropbox," said Action Analytics' Bicheno, acquainted Apple's ecosystem is abundantly a way to advertise hardware. "This is the bind they face."

It wasn't consistently so. In 2010, Samsung launched its own adaptable operating arrangement alleged bada, and wooed developers and users with accoutrement and an app store. Bada has steadily aggregate users but accounts for beneath than 3 percent of accessories shipped, according to technology consultancy Gartner. Android accounts for about two thirds.

The company's efforts to accomplish bada added accepted were bedfast by its own focus on accouterments sales, said Karthik Srinivasan, who formed as a artefact administrator at Samsung's Media Solutions Center in Bangalore. His aggregation would abide proposals for casework and apps alone "to be addled aback the catechism came aback from Korea: How abounding added accessories can you advertise abutting year based on these services?" he told Reuters.

Samsung has not alone bada, but its accent on Android alienated its fan abject and developers. "The top administration may accept had focus," said Srinivasan, who abdicate the aggregation aftermost year, "but it was atrocious to see the aggregation was authoritative actual acceptable Android accessories and announcement them added than bada ones."

Samsung said in January it planned to absorb its operating arrangement with Tizen, an accessible antecedent belvedere answer by Samsung and chipmaker Intel Corp. It hasn't issued a columnist absolution about bada back November 2011.


Samsung can be fast and absolute area it senses an befalling that fits its broader action of cast building.

When Bangkok-based start-up Fingi angry to Galaxy smartphones for its auberge babysitter account this year, Samsung's bounded operation was quick to help. Fingi's software accustomed a Thai auberge to action guests a Galaxy on check-in which they could use to accessible doors, ascendancy air conditioning, lighting and TV and adjustment allowance service.

When Samsung's UK operations heard about Fingi they absitively to use it to advice advance the Galaxy S III at the London Olympics, said Carl Rubin, Fingi's carnality admiral of business development. Within weeks, he said, Samsung had addled deals with hotels and helped set up the technology to accomplish it work. "They angry on a dime and got this done," he said.

The Fingi action fabricated use of the near-field advice dent central some Galaxy devices, a adumbration of area Samsung sees added opportunities. Delta Partners' Pages says Samsung afresh assassin one of Visa Inc's adaptable payments admiral and patented the words "Samsung wallet."


But its efforts to body a absolute and bounden accord with users in the way Apple has done accept been beneath convincing.

It has flagship food in several countries which allotment Apple's ablaze tones and accessible invitations to comedy with devices, but a contempo lunchtime appointment to Singapore's capital abundance saw alone a scattering of visitors and a brace of staff. A charwoman woman was bed-making the floor.

Singapore has additionally pioneered bigger chump account area agents will aces up an aberrant accessory from the user and action a accommodation assemblage while it's beneath repair. But a affiliate of agents at one of the two account centers said accommodation units weren't consistently available.

Similar issues can be begin online. An important allotment of befitting adaptable users blessed is ensuring their device's amount programs are up to date. The best accepted affection on one Samsung fan website, SamMobile, is a cheep augment alerting users to aback such software updates are due. It has 20,000 followers and is adapted added than a dozen times a day. Samsung's official agnate augment has alone 3,307 followers, and was aftermost adapted in December.

The buyer of SamMobile, Rotterdam-based Danny Dorresteijn, says he has approved in arrogant to coin a afterpiece relationship. "Samsung is not a big fan of us," he said. But he's hopeful. "Everything takes time."

Indeed, there are signs that Samsung is acquirements it needs to use amusing media better. Aback two Indian bloggers aureate by Samsung to a technology appearance in Berlin aftermost anniversary complained online that they had been abandoned because they banned to abrasion a Samsung compatible and acclaim Galaxy phones, the aggregation was quick to apologise.

Last month, Samsung assassin Damien Cummings, Dell's above Asia online director, for a new amusing media business role. In a blog post, Cummings said he aimed to "help transform Samsung into a agenda powerhouse."


Samsung does arise to be boring acceptable bodies over.

Surveys of users in Britain and the United States by Action Analytics assured that while 51 percent of Apple users would alter their Apple accessory with an Apple device, they were alone hardly beneath acceptable to about-face and buy a Samsung.

A bigger botheration for Samsung, says David Mercer, the co-author of the Action Analytic surveys, is that there's little assurance that user adherence to Samsung phones translates to affairs added Samsung products. A Samsung buzz user may buy addition Samsung phone, "but they won't automatically buy a TV," he says.

Given that Samsung is the world's better TV maker, that's a cogent miss. "That indicates those important branches of the aggregation accept connected to do their own thing," says Mercer.

It additionally raises questions about Samsung's efforts to body an ecosystem above adaptable phones to embrace added genitalia of its customer electronics business, abnormally alleged acute TVs - Internet-connected TVs that can assignment added like computers, active apps, autumn and downloading agreeable and, crucially, interacting with added customer devices.

It's not that Samsung isn't active alive with TV stations and added account providers to body acute TV services. In the accomplished week, it has appear deals with TeliaSonera and France TV in Europe, and Alt Media Sdn Bhd in Malaysia. The problem, Mercer says, is that consumers charge to be assertive its useful. "Once they accept it, they adulation it," he says.

At the affection of Samsung's claiming is to braid these articles calm with agreeable and casework that accomplish it adamantine for users to jump abroad aback they annoy of their devices. While Samsung has continued baffled engineering, it's alone afresh woken up to the actuality that users demand article more.

"Samsung will alpha to realise, if they haven't already, that they accept to lock bodies in with some affectionate of ecosystem," said Napoleon Biggs, arch of agenda affiliation for Asia at Fleishman-Hillard. "How abroad will you accumulate people's loyalty?"

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