Samsung planning big software push, but what could be the reason?

May 15, 2013
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Samsung

Samsung plans on spending no less than 170 billion won (roughly the equivalent of $153 million) in the software industry of its native country of Korea, says a report by Yonhap News Agency quoting company officials.

The money will be spent in the next five years, both on training software engineers and helping the industry grow, with the company having plans to hire over 2,000 software engineers yearly until 2017, an almost 30 percent increase over the company’s average in later years.

This is part of a continued effort by the company to support the software industry in its country, which includes training liberal arts majors to become software engineers.

Korea is not the only country where Samsung invests in software development. Just months ago, the company has announced putting $1.1 billion in a new innovation center, with focus areas such as cloud infrastructure, mobile privacy, Internet of Things, human interface, and mobile health.

Also, if you take a look at Samsung’s global research and development organization, you’ll certainly notice a pretty strong focus on software. Why would that be?

Focusing on software

One of the reasons for Samsung’s focus on software could be that, with flagship devices that are more and more similar when it comes to hardware, software could very well be one of the factors that makes the difference in favor of one device or another for an undecided buyer.

This can be seen in the increasing number of software features unique to Samsung which a device like the Galaxy S4 (which is the company’s fastest-selling smartphone ever), includes. It’s no coincidence that Samsung promotes them aggressively through TV ads – remember the Pool Party ad (which also happens to make fun of traditional rival Apple), or the series of ads promoting the Group Play, Sound Shot or Translator features.

You can take a look at some of them in our review of Samsung’s flagship device:

Also, with the growth of the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) business market, companies need to know that a device entering their network is secure and that data won’t fly out of it too easily (or at all, for that matter). Part of that is done through software, like the Samsung Knox security system, and that software needs developing.

Even if Samsung does make a lot of money from Android devices, the Korean company has never been one to put all of its eggs in one basket. It still has Windows Phone devices on the market and in the past it has developed Bada, which it has merged with Tizen not too long ago. Since Samsung seems to want to rely on others less, it’s currently working on the development of Tizen, together with other partners, such as Intel, Fujitsu or Panasonic.

While Tizen probably won’t be much of a threat to Android, Samsung looks like it’s keeping its options open, together with the diversity of products it can offer.

These are just a few examples of why Samsung would have a strong interest in investing in software development.

Do you think Samsung’s thinking is right, and software is the way of the future?

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