Samsung set to go on a software shopping spree, will this be a repeat of Nokia’s Ovi failure?

September 27, 2012
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Kang Tae-jin, Senior Vice President of Samsung’s Media Solution Center, was recently interviewed by Reuters. He told them that the South Korean handset maker is yearning to become better known for their software. In order to do that, they’re going to buy up smaller companies instead of building their own stuff in-house. Take the Samsung Music Hub for instance, which was made after the company acquired mSpot in May 2012. Samsung wants to turn that into one of the “world’s top four services within three years in both revenue and subscriber numbers.”

Does Samsung plan on making money with their services? Not really. Kang admits that “selling content won’t make much of a contribution to the bottom line.” There are benefits to selling devices that are backed up with a rich set of software and services however, just look at the success of the iPhone around the world or the Amazon Kindle Fire in the United States.

We have to wonder though, is Samsung setting themselves up for failure? Back in August 2007, Nokia announced a new brand: Ovi. It was an “umbrella brand” that covered all the online services that the company was trying to push to consumers. There was an Ovi Music Store, an Ovi Cloud Storage platform, an Ovi Share service that let users share photos and video, an Ovi Contact Sync solution. Hell, there was even a web based Ovi Email service! Were those separate pieces, each built by different companies, seamlessly integrated? No, and that caused a ton of frustration. So much so that Nokia killed the Ovi brand in 2011 after discovering people would rather use the web services they were already familiar with instead of signing up for something new.

“We have an internal target to break even in software,” said Kang. That’s an incredibly fancy way of confessing that what Samsung is doing now is subpar compared to the competition. We love Samsung hardware here at Android Authority, make no mistake about that, but the thought of the Galaxy S4 or Galaxy Note 3 coming with even more Samsung bloatware just makes us incredibly frustrated.

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