|Mar 20, 2013, 02:38 PM||#477|
Can Samsung survive without Android?
The Death of Google or Samsung?
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it means Samsung will never truly control the end-to-end experience on its products. It also means Samsung will never truly own its smartphones and tablets. Instead, Samsung’s devices will deliver an experience that is an amalgamation of Google’s vision and its own.
But there are alternative options. One example is the path Amazon has taken. Amazon let Google do the grunt work and then took its open-source Android OS and built its own software and service layer on top. Kindle Fire users don’t sit around waiting for Android updates — many of them don’t even know they’re using an Android-powered tablet.
Samsung could do the same thing, but there is a great deal of prep work that would need to be done first. Amazon’s efforts were so successful (depending on your measure of success) because the company already had a massive ecosystem in place before it even launched its first device. Streaming movies and TV shows, eBooks, retail shopping and a stocked application store were all available on the Kindle Fire from day one.
Samsung doesn’t have this luxury. Yet.
Samsung could also take ownership of a new OS, and Tizen may or may not end up being that OS. Samsung is co-developing the new Linux-based mobile platform with Intel (INTC) and others, and a new rumor from Japan’s The Daily Yomiuri suggests Samsung plans to launch its first Tizen phone in 2013. “Samsung will probably begin selling the [Tizen] smartphones next year and they are likely to be released in Japan and other countries at around the same time,” the site’s sources claim.
This will be a slow process. If Samsung follows the same path it took with Bada, the company’s earlier Linux-based OS that was folded into the Tizen project, things will start out slow as Samsung launches regional devices that are restricted to a few Eastern markets. Testing the waters before dumping serious marketing dollars into the project isn’t a bad idea, especially considering the battle at the bottom of the smartphone OS food chain that will already be taking place in 2013.
But one thing is clear: Samsung is looking to broaden its strategy and move beyond a point where it relies entirely on another company for its smartphone software.
|Mar 22, 2013, 10:25 AM||#478|
Among my friends and coworkers, the customers Apple lost to Samsung are due to lack of product innovation (perceived).
When iPhone 5 came out the general milieu around it was:
* easy to scratch compared to iPhone 4
* current accessories won't work without expensive adapter that makes the device long and puts too much bending force on the tiny new port
* screen is small compared to competitors
* maps app sucks (this is debatable now but I think Jobs would have spun it way differently than the new guy, and not just apologize, which legitimizes all the negative PR and does nothing to defend Apple's image -- when in reality Maps app is, software-wise, a huge improvement, it just had some easy-to-fix bad map data at the start)
* nothing about it seems to be exciting
* manufacturing difficulties called its quality into question
Was this milieu fueled by the militant anti-Apple commenting militia on news sites and blogs? Yes. But also the media bought into it a fair degree and where Jobs would have been out there the next day in the press holding a conference and actively defending the device, providing counter-spin, defending Apple and making counter-arguments to all the criticism, meanwhile the new guy did nothing but apologize and demote their best innovator.
And now finally this soft, gay (in the non-pejorative, "happy" sense of the word), lovey-dovey ad campaign comes along, which feels more like a Charmin ad, or something that belongs in the pages of Oprah's magazine.
But maybe, 65-year-old women are the demo you should worry about, Apple. Worry about my mom because she needs to be reaffirmed that her iPhone really is better. Protect and solidify your most reliable demographic. OK, sure.
But what about my coworkers and colleagues, all 20- and 30-somethings who went Samsung for things like a larger screen, pen stylus, memory card slot, and more open operating system? What are you doing to get the tech geek young adults who look at all the gadgety features like near-field communications and total processing power?
The original iPhone had a whole host of innovative features and it was perceived as being superior hardware with better engineering. What did iPhone 5 bring? Thinness is not a feature, by the way. It's a design element. I am fine with the size and weight of the iPhone 4S. My colleagues who all switched to Samsung are obviously fine with its size and weight and view the larger screen as a bonus.
But Samsungs ads are all desiged to make Samsung into the new Apple in all our minds: the new innovator, the new leader in technology, the brand who has the latest features first. Google announces what they're developing and Apple has a policy of secrecy. Yet all the new products are getting leaked way in advance anyway it seems. Samsung and the Google militia disrespect Apple and its believers. Apple does nothing to fight back and this ad feels like a white flag, not a counter-offensive.
I sincerely think Apple does not know what to do when it's not the underdog. Please don't repeat the 1990s, Apple. Stay on the attack and leave no stone unturned. LISTEN to your customers! And talk back to them as well. You can start by hiring community managers to reply to posts on Apple discussions and forums like this, and give feedback to your team, and post messages to solve issues and reassure your base.
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