iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple ecosystem used at home by Samsung’s chief strategy officer Young Sohn

by: Chris SmithDecember 13, 2012


It’s not every day that you’re going to hear a Samsung exec talking about how he uses an iPhone, iPad and Mac at home, and how he prefers Apple’s ecosystem’s to Samsung’s device centric policy. Let alone the company’s president and chief strategy office Young Sohn.

The official, who sat down with MIT Technology Review for an interview, is fresh Samsung blood, having started with the company just this August. Sohn has worked before with various semiconductor and storage companies in Sillicon Vallley but also for Intel.

Now he’s supposed to help drive Samsung innovation and, among other things, increase the company’s presence in Silicon Valley, where so many things tech-related happen.

So why is he using Apple gear instead of alternatives from Samsung. Here’s the full bit of the interview in which he explains his choice for home devices:

OK, so think about Apple compared to Samsung. I use a Mac, actually, at home. I’ve always used Mac, an iPhone, and an iPad. I also have the Galaxy. So I’m a great example.

If you look at the strengths of Apple, in a way it’s not the product per se. It’s that consumers like their ecosystem such as iCloud. I like that my family 6,000 miles away in Korea is able to see my schedule and see all of my contacts and photos. It is sticky, but it is a proprietary architecture.

Look at your phone [pointing to my Samsung Galaxy Nexus]. It’s a better phone, in my view. It’s a better display. It’s faster. But eventually the connected ecosystem is really critical.

I think we have probably the largest platform in the world between the devices and displays and televisions we sell. We actually provide more devices that are interacting with consumers than anyone in the world. But if you think about our experiences, it’s device-centric. It’s experienced by itself. It’s not experienced in a connected way. So we think we can provide a lot more things than what we are doing today with an open ecosystem with our partners. […]

At work I’m using Samsung devices; Apple at home, mainly because all of my systems and files are done that way. That’s sticky, you know? However, I did figure out how to sync all of my contacts and all of my schedules between the two different systems. You can do it. It’s a bit of work, but it is possible.

Sohn didn’t mention anything about the ongoing Apple vs Samsung patent war – he wasn’t specifically asked about it either – but instead about the iPhone maker that it’s a “very innovative company. They are a customer of ours, and they are a competitor of ours.” But nothing about any of the current lawsuits or the rumors saying that the business relationship between the two will slowly fade away.


The exec did not offer specific details about Samsung’s immediate or long-term plans, but did specify certain areas of interest, where growth is expected in the future by Silicon Valley investors, including “cloud technologies, big-data technologies, mobile-ecosystem technologies, and enterprise infrastructure.” He also revealed that the company is going to go into the health-care space as well in the future, as “there’s an aging population that requires better care, and that’s a big market.”

And while Sohn may be using Apple gear at work, but he’s still working for Samsung. And from the sounds of it, he’s really confident in Samsung’s future:

At Intel, when I was working there, Andy Grove told us, “Only the paranoid survive.” Samsung has that same philosophy. We’re highly paranoid. You are only as good as your latest product, and so we’ll continue the push for innovation and talent that can put us in a new place. And we will continue into new businesses.

What do you think of Sohn’s use of Apple devices? What would you like to see from Samsung in the future?

  • Spoken Word™

    I’m betting he won’t be working for Samsung much longer.

    • MattEgansHairLine

      so they will need to sack everyone at Google as well, they all use macs (Googleplex is discribed as looking like an Apple advert by Android Authority).

      Xaimio would have to shut as well, every image of their products is surrounded by Apple desktops and laptops, and saw a vid of their new phone being explained by Hugo Barros, and what is on the table: His MacBook Pro.

      You would need to remove from any roid device all music and video, photography, most modern books, graphics and icons, text and change your UI. There wouldn’t be any ads for these products or websites to view them on. Because as we all know the graphic,audio and litural world all use Macs.

      Even most software is dev’ed on Macs because we can run all OS’s.

      Without, Apple you would be reading this on a WAPText site, green on black.

  • he should go to apple if he likes it so much

  • fadilkarim

    It’s a disgrace and a slap in the face for Samsung. Apple is their rival for gods sake. He should be fired. You would never hear Tim Cook praising Samsung. Samsung needs someone who is ambitious about the company he works for and believes in their company’s products.

    • onevivip

      Although it is nice to know that someone in at Samsung recognises the strengths of Apple’s ecosystem and products so that maybe they can gradually implement such features into Samsung’s own products in the near future. It’s better than having someone who is completely stubborn (E.g Steve Ballmer) and fails to see the strengths of competitors. Nevertheless, I don’t think he should have said this publicly.

      • fadilkarim

        Yeah its something he Definitely shouldn’t have announced in public especially since they’re such fierce competitors. It would be one thing to compliment HTC or any other company but apple? No the way. I do believe each system has its own strengths. But someone at such a high position at samsung should not be saying such things.

    • hoggleboggle

      i disagree, if anything he should be given a pat on the back. Samsung are playing the good cop vs apple’s sabre rattling “thermo-nuclear war” bad cop. this is a very smart way to improve one’s image in the public mind as the sensible honest trustworthy one whilst making your competition (Apple) look petty shallow and narrow-minded.

      • fadilkarim

        That is a different, but interesting insight. always nice to hear things i didnt think of:)

    • What’s wrong with that? This guy knows all of the i devices have Samsung parts in them. From screen to processor to battery.

    • MattEgansHairLine

      Tim Cook and Steve jobs both praised Samsung, for what they do best: manufacture and copy innovative companies like Sony, Dyson and Apple.

  • rob

    He’s mistaken a closed eco system that locks you in for something that’s “sticky”. And if he thinks apples stuff is people centric when you can only use your device in the manner apple approves of…his potential as a valuable executive needs to be re-examinef

  • r121

    I have many close friends working in Apple have to their Android phones secretly. Let’s keep our mind open.

    • fadilkarim

      Secretly is the key. But you’ll never find the CEO of apple publicly admitting it.

  • john

    Despite the vague/casual tone of the statement above by Sonh, I can think of million different ways to counter it. I’m sorry, did I just hear “I like my apple products because a) they connect and sync really well, b) their ecosystem is really good, c) because it’s sticky. Well, except for the first point, other two doesn’t really make sense. For the syncing and experience-via-connectivity, did he ever try Google services? I’m sorry, he mentioned an entire charade about ecosystem, connectivity syncing, cloud bla bla without Google? The guy is…clearly nuts.

    On the other hand, knowing the guy is far from sane, he must be really good at what he is doing to be hired by Samsung. Still, he is quite mad.

    TL;DR Try Google Sohn, and you would never touch that bug riddled, slow, limited, not-so-module, no plugin, red-taped apple ecosystem ever again.

    • kascollet

      He is primarily a Mac user if I understand well. In this case, he has a point. Mac OS is totally plugged to iCloud. iPhone, iPad and Macs : the trio of doom :-)
      I guess he could replicate this with a Tab 10.1, a GS3 and a Chromebook (but in a totally browser-oriented way). Do you think this is a better or worse scenario ?
      Have you ever tried to make an Android device work seamlessly with a Mac ?

  • note 2 user

    He uses it because Samsung Kies sux balls.

  • note 2 user

    Maybe he uses apple products because kies and AFT for mac cant coexist on his mac.

  • sved

    This guy has guts, his feet on the ground, and is open enough to acknowledge what competitors/clients do best. I would trust this guy with my company as well.

  • Note2

    Try replying to a meeting invitation sent by email using the native email application. Let me know if you can accept or reject the invitation from the email. You cant, unless you install a plugin that requires all sorts of permissions on your phone.

    Set your alarm to x:00am, x:15am. Listen to the voice that tells you what time it is. Hilarious.

    Samsung Kies is the worst syncing software out there. Does not work with AFT software. Samsung software not playing nice with Android software so users have to uninstall it.

    Why bother creating native software for your own hardware that is so bad it is not useable?

    Not only do Android users bash Apple users, but they bash each other about who gets the updates first based on their carrier/hardware. That’s a joke.
    Stop with the penis measuring already.

    S Voice? Hangs all the time. Can’t even read the last txt message sent to me. Use Google Now? That cant read last txt message sent either. I need a digital assistant that can turn up the volume on my phone, turn on blue tooth, read my emails while I’m driving.

    I would not recommend Samsung phones as a business tool. It’s meant for playing and that’s why I own a Note 2.

    voice that tells

  • Note2

    The only way to beat your competition is to know what they do best.

  • equator180

    He should be history as of this minute, no excuse, clear your desk, nice knowing ya, bye bye..

  • MattEgansHairLine

    You do realise Android Authority website was created and is maintained on Macs?