Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Can Samsung innovate?

 As with the semiconductors used in memory and screens, which gradually increase in complexity with each generation, the current wave of smartphones and tablets can be seen as a steady progression. Each new model gets thinner, with better screens and faster processors, plus hardware add-ons such as NFC (near field communication) chips, but the overall concept doesn’t change.

“Samsung is like the Japanese companies when they were at the their peak, pumping out tech products for cheaper and cheaper,” said Hiroyuki Shimizu, an analyst at Gartner.

Shimizu said one way out of this spiral is software, but Samsung has had little success in developing its own. The company has largely abandoned its Bada OS, first announced in 2010, and is almost entirely dependent on Android for core content like maps, apps and video.

“Samsung emphasizes speed and execution. But this is contradictory to creativity. If you want speed and execution, you don’t expect to create something new,” said Chang. “Software is more individual and requires out-of-box thinking.”

Still, Samsung has opened up new segments of the smartphone market...

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