Will Apple envy wreck Samsung?

By , Computerworld |  IT Management, Apple, Samsung

It's not clear whether the Mobile World Congress demonstrations will be open to the public and the press, or if they'll be held behind closed doors for select partners only.

Samsung phones running Tizen are expected to hit the market by the end of the year.

It's not just about Tizen or smartphones

Samsung is by far the leading seller of television sets in the United States. Many of those TVs run Google TV software, which is based on Android and Google's Chrome browser.

Samsung is also the maker of some Chromebooks -- laptops that run a variant of the Chrome browser as a kind of operating system.

Tizen is designed to run on all these platforms.

Eun announced very clearly this week that Samsung's intention is to build a software ecosystem where TVs, laptops, tablets and smartphones all connect with one another seamlessly and easily, as Apple devices are supposed to do.

"All these screens are connected to the Internet, but they are not yet all connected to each other," he said. "Once we connect all these devices to each other, we will effectively have one of the world's largest platforms for distributing content, services and advertising."

In order to pull that off, Tizen will have to be super successful.

So what about Android?

It seems clear that Samsung is tired of being such a successful company in hardware, all the while watching Apple and Google run away with most of the money.

Samsung sells far more phones than Apple does, but Apple makes more than twice as much profit as Samsung. That's because Apple controls and owns the whole ecosystem. It makes money from hardware and software sales, and takes a percentage of app sales. It also controls the content business through iTunes. When Apple sells a phone, it uses that phone as a means of continually extracting money from the buyer through apps and content.

Samsung makes money from the sale of phones. But after that, Google and other companies make money from the user via advertising, content and services.

Google makes billions of dollars from advertising because it offers the services used by most users of its Android software.

Samsung, it appears, wants to be like Apple in controlling the hardware, software, services and content distribution, and also like Google in becoming an online advertising company. It's a rational desire. But can it succeed?

Samsung's dilemma

There are three basic directions Samsung can go in:

It can continue to be a hardware company, making hardware that enables other companies to make money from services, content and advertising.


Originally published on Computerworld |  Click here to read the original story.
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