According to the Wall Street Journal, Samsung is moving about 500 software engineers out of its mobile unit so that they can work with other divisions of the company such as consumer electronics, TVs, network, printer, and Samsung’s corporate software research and development division.
Samsung released a statement claiming that they are looking to strengthen their “software prowess” and that they will be focusing on enhancing their “competitive edge in the Internet of Things (IoT) industry and increase synergies for the Tizen platform.”
Tizen is an operating system that Samsung has been developing for years in the hope that the open-source platform would one day be able to compete with an operating system such as Android. Unfortuately, as this site has discussed on a number of different occasions, Tizen has been through a number of delays and has yet to be featured on a smartphone, although recent reports suggest that Samsung will be releasing a smartphone with the Tizen platform in India by the end of 2014. At the moment, Tizen has only been used in several wearable devices, such as a camera and smartwatch. The Tizen-powered Samsung Z, which Samsung launched in Russia this summer, has yet to go on sale, after several delays.
Mobile sales make up 97 percent of sales in Samsung’s IT & Mobile Communications division, and sales in the division were down 21 percent year-over-year and down 12 percent from the first quarter.
“It sounds like (Samsung) doesn’t plan on going big with Tizen on its smartphones,” said Song Myung-sup, an analyst with HI Investment & Securities in Seoul. “The move will likely help resolve convergence issues that arise when connecting network devices like TVs and wearables with smartphones, but this shows less determination on Tizen smartphones,” Song said. – Wall Street Journal
A move such as this may be a signal that Samsung is easing up their desire to heavily compete with Android. But it should be noted that Samsung had roughly 40,506 software engineers last year. Therefore, 500 software engineers may not seem like much of a loss. However, Samsung doesn’t reveal how their software engineer numbers are spread across different divisions so we are just not sure how much of a specific loss this is for the mobile division.