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?