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article imageOp-Ed: Why Samsung could dominate the smartphone market completely

By Milton Este     Feb 23, 2014 in Technology
The Mobile World Congress, to be held at Barcelona is just a day away, but Samsung is one of the smartphone manufacturers that have been reportedly working on several different angles.
Samsung is probably most notable for its game of "who did it first" as seen with their Galaxy Gear smartwatch, Galaxy S4, and even the Tab editions. Nevertheless, I choose to regard these as short term plays to keep competitors at bay. Their corporate practices maybe a bit strange especially compared to those of Apple or HTC, but especially Apple.
Apple iPhones have historically been updated on an annual basis. It's really just one smartphone that Apple markets with new improvements each year. HTC seemed to have adopted this practice recently with the HTC One. This flagship marks their key seller and we can see them at a pause while they scramble to work on the improvements, which details of the HTC One 2 can be found here. Samsung operates on a slightly different model. They have a key Galaxy model, but also tens of other models as well. The Galaxy S2 was a key seller until the Galaxy S3 came along and now sits with the Galaxy S4. However, they also continuously release other phones on the side as well paired with different hardware and software specifications.
If we were to treat this as market research, we can see it being quite effective. The phones producing greater sales would have its own reasons for the popularity. Simply put, this could very well be Samsung's own experiment with the optimal screen size, which we now see they are going with the "bigger is better" ideology.
Back on the topic of Samsung's competitive advantage, the company recently announced the second generation Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo smartwatches. What's even more surprising is their choice to ditch Android and go with their own TizenOS. The specifications have definitely been improved with the following key highlights:
- 1.63-inch 320 x 320 AMOLED display
- 1GHz dual-core processor
- 512MB of RAM
- 4GB of internal storage
- 2 megapixel camera
- Pedometer, heart rate sensor, sleep cycle monitor and more
- Bluetooth 4.0 LE
- irLED
- Accelerometer and gyroscope
- 300mAh battery
The key focus here is the TizenOS operating system. This could potentially be Samsung's biggest selling point as they slowly move away from Android. Why? This actually goes back to Apple's philosophy. What made Apple so successful was not the products, but rather the hardware and software integration. One of the biggest Windows flaws is the integration between the operating system and hardware. Because they are so dependent on each other, they both struggle to become more powerful and thus leading to a vicious cycle which we now see with Android.
Hardware manufacturers focus their energy on greater processing power, bigger batteries, more memory allocation, and so on all to better handle Google's Android operating system. While hardware manufacturers are doing that, Android developers see the more powerful system resources at their disposal and as a result churn "heavier" software counterparts.
Apple products run efficiently for this reason. The tight-knit development has optimized the hardware to fully support the software and vice versa. It looks like this is what Samsung is aiming with their TizenOS.
Samsung has more or less developed their own hardware especially processors. This can be seen with the Galaxy S4 actually. The two models use a Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 and an Exynos 5 processor with the latter developed by Samsung Electronics.
Their next major investment to make sure the TizenOS is a success is development of accompanying applications. The Tizen App Challenge was not just a contest, but to collect and record a wide selection of applications possibly for use in the operating system. By the way, this isn't just any small app development contest. To be exact, it was a 4 million dollar contest that ended just recently.
Can Samsung really pull this off and by this I mean dominate the market? It really depends on how they manage TizenOS. Is it going to be like Android where anybody can develop applications and have them listed in their store? Is it going to be advertisement supported, which could degrade the overall user experience? In order for them to really be a success, it's unfortunate to say that Samsung will have to control all aspects of TizenOS from application approval to selecting hardware for the software integration.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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