Samsung eyeing local, international apps strategy

Friday, April 1, 2011

It may seem that Samsung Electronics is laying bets on various fronts by developing applications for a range of mobile operating systems, but the company has a very clear strategy for where it is going, particularly with its own Bada OS, Alex Chauriye, telecoms product and services manager for Samsung Chile, told BNamericas.

According to the executive, Samsung is working with a pool of local developers specialized in applications for individual markets and for different platforms ranging from cell phones to TVs. It is also developing apps for a more international audience based on the Bada, Android and Windows Mobile OSs.

"Our phones today have two app stores - one for local applications called Samsung Apps and another for more international content. Our strategy is to strengthen both," Chauriye said.

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"We're working a lot on developing local applications to give a different value to our phones, so the customer feels that they have apps that are useful to them in their daily lives," he said.

Asked whether he felt that there was a contradiction in developing applications for multiple operating systems that compete with the company's own, Julio Hong, president of Samsung's Chile operations, told BNamericas that on the contrary, he sees it as an advantage.

"We're strong because we can provide Windows, Android and Bada. We also developed for Symbian, but now we don't where that is going. Google loves Samsung because we're the biggest customer for Android," Hong said.

"What's important is to give the consumer what they want," he added. But Hong is clear that the long-term goal is to boost Bada as much as possible.

Teobaldo Palacios, VP for Samsung's telecom operations in Latin America, seconded that, saying Bada is definitely not a "side project," but by focusing on local apps the company is seeking to "democratize the use of smartphones" and to reach different price points.

Samsung Chile currently works with six developer companies and is interested in apps both for the mass market as well as the corporate segment.

According to Chauriye, Samsung has partnerships with corporate software companies such as SAP (NYSE: SAP), Cisco Systems (Nasdaq: CSCO), Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) and Sybase, to offer them not only phones but also integrated solutions.