Samsung's Chief Strategy Officer becomes an Apple fanboy at home

Samsung's Chief Strategy Officer becomes an Apple fanboy at home
Are there two fiercer rivals in the world right now than Apple and Samsung? In the courtroom or in retail stores, both sides are trying hard to knock out the other. If the two aren't battling over patents, they are fighting over sales. The Apple iPhone 5 battles the Samsung Galaxy S III for supremacy of the smartphone world and the Samsung produced Google Nexus 10 has just become Android's best response to the fourth-generation of the Apple iPad.

Even when Samsung acts as a supplier to Apple, providing the latter with some very important parts for the Apple iPhone and Apple iPad, there is so much tension between the two that Apple is seeking another source for chips. In other words, there is some real acrimony built up over years of fighting. That what makes the story of Samsung's Chief Strategy Officer Young Sohn, so hard to believe. In his own words, Sohn says that "I’m responsible for driving strategy and innovation globally. My job is to work with our team in the U.S. and Korea, including the CTO and M&A office, to identify new technologies and markets around the world."

In an interview with MIT Technology Review, Sohn makes a startling admission. "I use a Mac, actually, at home. I’ve always used Mac, an iPhone, and an iPad. I also have the Galaxy." Even the reporter conducting the interview seems stunned for a second and asks the Samsung executive if he is still using Apple products. Sohn responds by saying, "At work I’m using Samsung devices; Apple at home, mainly because all of my systems and files are done that way. That’s sticky, you know?"

Does the Chief Strategy Officer at Coke drink Pepsi? Does the CSO at Google search using Bing? Does Mark Cuban go to a Dallas Mavericks game and root for the other team? And further on in the interview, the Samsung executive admits to liking Apple's ecosystem in the form of iCloud. He even seems to say that the ecosystem is more important than the phone itself. Pointing out the Samsung GALAXY Nexus owned by the interviewer, Sohn says, "Look at your phone [Samsung GALAXY Nexus]. It’s a better phone, in my view. It’s a better display. It’s faster. But eventually the connected ecosystem is really critical."

A Samsung executive praising Apple products. Is this the first sign that the Mayans were right?

source: MITTechnologyReview via Gizmodo

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82 Comments

1. jsdechavez

Posts: 793; Member since: Jul 20, 2012

If I were the boss, I'd fire this guy.

4. darkkjedii

Posts: 30966; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

For what may I ask?

17. TheOldOne

Posts: 196; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

He knows its products are not better (not the phone itself but the environment, marketing, and everything related to customer perception on it) and did nothing to improve that. But I don’t think it is the case anymore, Samsung Mobile from 4 years ago is not the same Samsung from now.

34. nofear

Posts: 151; Member since: Jun 22, 2012

I have what he have but I'm still stop using or buy iProduct.

45. Commentator

Posts: 3722; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

"Did nothing to improve that"? Oh, I'm sorry, I forgot we live in the Magical World of Sarcasmaland, where every major business decision is accomplished in the blink of an eye and a snap of the fingers, and anything can happen on the breath of a wish! Dude, if the guy can recognize quality in his opponents he should keep his job for that alone. Greater empires have fallen because stubborn helmsmen disregard the icebergs of change that doom their ship (RIM of 2007, I'm looking at you.) This guy is obviously working to improve Samsung's ecosystem, and using Apple as a target isn't a bad way to do it.

18. AamirSIII

Posts: 187; Member since: Oct 04, 2012

do u have common sense? he is a Samsung executive and in an interview he says he uses Apple products knowing of all the tension between 2 companies... he should not only be fired but he should be interrogated for the reasons why he put that statement!!

25. darkkjedii

Posts: 30966; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

No need to b rude. Just asking the persons opinion

64. Commentator

Posts: 3722; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

This isn't a war with lives at stake, this is a competition between two businesses. To fire somebody for expressing their opinion is not only rediculous, but is also immoral and violates freedom of speech. The same people who are saying this guy should be fired would very likely be the people who would praise, say, Jony Ive if he came out and said he was impressed by Samsung.

35. Kriksis

Posts: 94; Member since: Aug 27, 2012

Exactly my question, darkkjedii... As far as I understand he is chief STRATEGY officer of Samsung, and he is doing his job as well as anybody should... By using Apple products he gets glimpses of Apple strategies and can make SAMSUNG strategies even better...

61. sats.mine2k4

Posts: 208; Member since: Aug 10, 2012

When you are at such a high rank and your obsessed with all competitor products, you try to copy them rather than innovate...This guy should be seen as major hindrance to innovation at samsung and should be fired...

6. aaronkatrini

Posts: 242; Member since: Jun 06, 2012

I could not agree more with this guy. He is just saying Samsung is making better devices but Apple has a better ecosystem. Anyone can see that Samsung phones are way better than iPhones but the ecosystem, simplicity, and trust goes to Apple.

9. OHaZZaR

Posts: 131; Member since: Aug 19, 2011

aaronkatrini I agree as well. Like it or not Apple makes excellent computers, phones and tablets, but for certain types of users, myself included to an extent, others offer features that aren't on iOS or OSX that are absolutely necessary on android. I have a GALAXY Note and a MacBook Air and an iPad 3rd gen. I do disagree a bit since you can create a mixed ecosystem, albeit with a bit more difficulty, it can be done. I use Dropbox to backup documents and photos, I could find them on my Note and the MacBook Air, thank goodness for the overwhelmingly generous 50GB dropbox gave me for Jelly Bean update.

48. TROLL

Posts: 4851; Member since: Apr 13, 2012

What ecosystem , that is lockdown can't transfer files, has no filemanager, and the list goes..... What a joke, my foot™®©

14. MeoCao unregistered

Calm down LOL, this guy is responsible for strategy at SS so he MUST understand what Apple is about. The best way to do that is using Apple products.

19. Valdomero

Posts: 666; Member since: Nov 13, 2012

true, the best way to win a battle is to know your enemy, do that and you've won

41. androiddownsouth

Posts: 598; Member since: May 02, 2012

+1 to you Valdomero. This is the very essence of how to defeat an enemy/competitor. If you understand what they do and how they do it, you can devise an appropriate strategy to attack and win.

38. nofear

Posts: 151; Member since: Jun 22, 2012

Yes I am 100% agreed with you and this is allowing Sammy stay on top its competitor.

80. roscuthiii

Posts: 2383; Member since: Jul 18, 2010

As a chief strategist for Samsung, then yes that statement holds true... as long as he's looking at Apple's product's objectively. As a fan however (if he is indeed an Apple fan) then his perceptions become more subjective and his value to Samsung in the performance of his job duties drops significantly. Perhaps other members of Samsung were also Apple users and/or enthusiasts. Say, right around when a certain phone(s) were put to market that lead to certain lawsuits because of certain resemblances...

40. lovefist unregistered

it's just a basic strategy. keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

56. oister85

Posts: 508; Member since: Apr 27, 2012

Im stunned as well too. So is ok to say sprint ceo uses att for it personal phone provider, no thats not ok. The worst thing about this interview is he's chief strategy officer wow.

63. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Both apple and samsung spent millions in the form of marketing. Make no sense to promote your competitions at the expense of Samsung. The one that pays your expense. He can be a apple fan but he should not make it a statement in the media, doing so is a conflicts of interest and biting the hands that feed.

2. antmiu2

Posts: 550; Member since: Jun 19, 2011

you re fired!

3. darkkjedii

Posts: 30966; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Well there's nothing wrong with that. Both r great device makers.

8. protozeloz

Posts: 5396; Member since: Sep 16, 2010

Indeed, but he made a bad example tho, he could share his calendar with his FAM and they could see this events on android too

5. XYZ360

Posts: 53; Member since: Jan 01, 2012

waiting for the article where he got fired

7. chaoticrazor

Posts: 2347; Member since: Aug 28, 2012

i hope this will stop the stupid hate from android users saying apple devices are for stupid people..........news flash people have there own personal preferences for what they like to use

12. OHaZZaR

Posts: 131; Member since: Aug 19, 2011

Thank you! Coming from a GALAXY Note and a MacBook Air user.

42. frydaexiii

Posts: 1476; Member since: Dec 01, 2011

Just because it's made for stupid people doesn't mean smart people can't use it...You can operate a Fisher-price "My first computer" right? Same thing here.

44. chaoticrazor

Posts: 2347; Member since: Aug 28, 2012

has to be one, first its not made for stupid people....why do you lot think just because someone uses something different to you that its an indication they must be stupid........so if they choose something else there stupid so your boxing people into only use one os....and you slate others for following the crowd lol and i love how you android fans are convincing yourselves he only uses apple products to learn whats good and use it to beat apple...talk about deluded. he uses it and again i will try to be clear because thats what he chooses to use...no secret agenda to it

55. frydaexiii

Posts: 1476; Member since: Dec 01, 2011

Don't you think if it were different we'd consider it so? We'd call OSX a Windows equal when it can do at least 3/4 of what we can do on a Windows PC. Don't get me wrong, I'm not calling people stupid because they use OSX, I'm saying they're using OSX because they're stupid, there's a difference. But of cause, once in a while, a few "professionals" use OSX simply because the pros of OSX for their use outweighs the cons. Take this guy for example, he's a chief strategy officer, all he probably needs a computer to do is browse the web and send emails and documents, which both Windows and OSX can do, however, OSX is less prone to viruses, while Windows is not. But, when we're talking about raw power and what each OS can do, OSX is clearly a kid's toy next to Windows (hell, it's more confusing than Windows lol)

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