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New Samsung CEO says company must focus on “software, user experience, design”

June 18, 2012

Samsung is one of the most important companies in the smartphone and mobile business, but the South Korean giant is apparently not happy with its current status.

Samsung managed to become the largest smartphone vendor in the world in the first quarter of the year, and it controlled 90% of smartphone profits together with Apple in the same period. But the company wants to further improve certain aspects of its global business, many of them directly related to its mobile business.

A new Wall Street Journal report sheds light on a speech given today by Kwon Oh-hyun, Samsung’s new CEO, to Samsung staff, in which he highlighted potential issues in Samsung’s current business strategy:

“A particular focus must be given to serving new customer experience and value by strengthening soft capabilities in software, user experience, design, and solutions,” Kwon Oh-hyun said in his inaugural speech.

Apparently, the CEO is not happy with the company’s current progress in these areas, which are all very important to the smartphone and tablet businesses. However, the CEO did not reveal exact details on what the company will do to see major improvements in those fields, nor did he mention how much cash is Samsung willing to spend on better “software, user experience, design and solutions.”

What’s clear from his message is that Samsung engineers will put a lot more effort into TouchWiz, Samsung’s proprietary user interface that sits on top of Android on most of the company’s Android devices. And we may just as well read between the lines and hope that future major Android updates will be available to older Samsung Android devices that support them.

At the same time, we wouldn’t be surprised to see Samsung improve its proprietary bada and Tizen mobile platforms, to make them more appealing to the crowds. And let’s not forget that Samsung also makes Windows Phone smartphones, although Microsoft is not likely to let Samsung modify the overall Metro-based user interface in Windows Phone devices.

The CEO speech is all the more revealing right now, as Google’s Motorola $12.5 billion acquisition has went through, and Samsung may see the new Google-Motorola company as a direct threat to its mobile business. However, the CEO didn’t mention Google, a potential partner-turned-competitor or Apple, a business partner and fierce competitor in his inaugural speech. Although he did say that the company must secure “an absolute lead” in technology and global markets thus implying that he is not afraid of any rival.