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Hey Samsung: Not everybody has to be a platform

Matt Weinberger | Nov. 14, 2014
What Samsung is lacking, what major platform providers have in spades, is something harder to pin down, and much harder to imitate.

(The company's technical keynote takes place Thursday; maybe there'll be something more impressive that will change my mind. But I doubt it.)

The point here is that Samsung is a hardware company, in so many ways. It's succeeded in the first place by making devices that people actually want to use. And part of how it got there was by being part of somebody else's ecosystem. And yeah, it must chafe those at Samsung corporate command to have Google to thank for the success of the Galaxy S line of phones. But maybe, just maybe, throwing your support behind an operating system that nobody asked for, wants, needs or supports (Tizen)  wasn't the right answer, no matter how technologically proficient it is. 

And in the same way people ask whether Microsoft's hardware business is good for Microsoft's vision as a service provider, they have to also ask whether this whole insistence on being a software provider is good for Samsung's business. Nobody  seems excessively jazzed about developing for the Samsung-backed Tizen ecosystem in a world where Android and iOS are already pretty well standardized. 

"Ecosystem" is just a fancy word for building the stuff that users, not corporations, want. Rather than controlling everything, maybe a renewed focus on being the best part of the Android ecosystem -- and on making what customers actually want -- would do Samsung good.

 

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