Samsung's focus on hardware over software could be the problem with its mobile division

Samsung's focus on hardware over software could be the problem with its mobile division
You would think that Samsung's mobile division would be rolling in the dough. It offers four high-end Android phones which look fabulous, and there is no more talk about cheap plastic designs. Yet, Samsung is reeling despite having the largest market share of any smartphone manufacturer. TrendForce predicts that by the end of this year, Samsung will sell 100 million more phones than its chief rival, Apple. But its market share could still fall under 20% this year.

Samsung's mobile division accounted for 39% of the company's operating profits during the first nine months of this year. Compare that to the 68% of operating profits that the division provided in 2013. This year could see Samsung receive the smallest contribution to its profits from mobile since 2010. High-end handsets like the Samsung Galaxy S6, Samsung Galaxy S6 edge, Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ and the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 might be popular (the Galaxy S6 was voted by PhoneArena readers as the top smartphone for 2015), but it is the low to mid-range handsets like the Samsung Galaxy J series that has driven the company's sales this year.

Former employees and executives who have left the company have told Reuters that the problem is that the company is more worried about the short term sales of hardware, than it is about keeping customers long term with a unique software platform. Analysts say that without the latter, there is nothing to keep customers from buying lower priced Android handsets.

Samsung Pay could be one offering from Sammy that will differentiate its Android line, but can a mobile payment service actually drive business to a phone? The one major advantage that Samsung Pay has, is its ability to work with retailers supporting NFC and those that use MST (Magnetic Secure Transmissions). The latter works with any retailer that swipes a credit card at checkout, which means that Samsung Pay works with more than 90% of the world's retailers. Samsung still faces competition from Android Pay.

The man who helped develop Samsung Pay, Dongjin Koh, replaced J.K. Shin as head of Samsung Mobile earlier this month. That could reflect a shift on the part of Samsung. But the company still has a long way to go to change a corporate culture that is focused on hardware.

One former Samsung employee said that the company places low priority on software, which it considers nothing more than a marketing tool. "Samsung's upper management just inherently doesn't understand software," said the former Samsung employee. "They get hardware - in fact, they get hardware better than anyone else. But software is a completely different ballgame."

source: Reuters

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110 Comments

1. Sidewinder

Posts: 515; Member since: Jan 15, 2015

Google should first get their stuff right. This wouldn't be a problem if they didn't Meas up the lollipop code. Every phones that came loaded with lollipop were bug ridden and older phones which got the lollipop update became almost unusable. Even the nexus running the purest android code isn't bug free or free from software related glitches

6. meanestgenius

Posts: 21618; Member since: May 28, 2014

There isn't one company out today (that does software) that doesn't put out buggy software, some worse than others. iOS 8 comes to mind as some really buggy software.

12. aBoss

Posts: 164; Member since: Sep 15, 2014

Samsung is actually the most innovative when it comes to software. Just look at split screen, Ultra Power saving and all the features for the note stylus. The thing holding it back is s**tty bloggers copying each other complaining its 0.000012 sec slower than other devices at the particular time they tested it or it has too much software even tho its removable/can be disabled? lol what a joke.

16. willywanta

Posts: 502; Member since: Jun 04, 2014

well said. Generic users see Samsung galaxy phones as a reliable phone. Only tech nazis complain about touchwiz.

23. catze86

Posts: 731; Member since: Dec 07, 2015

Android fans love to double standart-ing Samsung. They are more complicated then iFans. IMO They bash No Micro SD and no replacable battery in Top Galaxies, but never complain when other OEMs do the same thing. Almost no one complaint Nexus 6P has no MSD slot.. I bet, if samsung give them replacable battery, they will mess with the battery again. Poor poor Samsung

51. LetsBeHonest

Posts: 1548; Member since: Jun 04, 2013

I do agree Android user are much more complicated than iPhone users because they have too many alternatives to choose from. And as for the lack of sd card on S6, I think it's just that they got used to sd card and replaceable battery on Samsung's Galaxy S series line. On the other hand nexus usually doesn't release with sd card slot. (just a thought)

56. Shocky unregistered

I still don't understand why anyone would want to go back to a 16GB device with an sdcard slot again. The change to 64GB and 128GB internal was huge, Samsung deserve a lot of credit for it, but they only get hate from moronic fanboys. Since moving to 64GB devices I've NEVER been in a position where I have to uninstall apps to make room, it's great.

61. UglyFrank

Posts: 2191; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

i'd rather a 16GB with an SD Card slot over a 32GB without one

96. azimesmail

Posts: 264; Member since: Nov 23, 2014

Internal > External anyday. The flash storage put in Samsung devices is much faster than a typical Class 10 MicroSD card. I notice the difference, especially with loading times.

105. epdm2be

Posts: 818; Member since: Apr 20, 2012

It's not about speed. It's about reliability and ease of use. Saving photos onto that SD-card is much better when that phone breaks down as SD-cards usually survives phones. Plus it's easier to swap over an SD-card filled with media than to re-download from your PC or cloud. Then there's the costs. Manufacturers tend to overcharge quite a lot for devices equiped with high storage capacity. But that's probably not important for you spoiled rich kids.

110. azimesmail

Posts: 264; Member since: Nov 23, 2014

Spoiled rich kids? Assuming a bit much, don't you think? I may be young at 27, but spoiled? Not so much. I work hard for my money, I spend it as I see fit. Maybe if you worked harder in life to get a better job, you'd have the money to spend it on better quality things. It's your fault for not being smart enough to back your phone up regularly.

107. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

With Mash mellow, mircoSD card is even more useful. It can be turn into internal storage for your apps. http://www.androidcentral.com/inside-marshmallow-adoptable-storage

64. catt4u

Posts: 145; Member since: Jul 09, 2011

Well said! That's why I got my 128 GB S6 Edge ;-)

77. medicci37

Posts: 1361; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

I prefer internal storage however not everyone wants to pay 64/128 gb prices

106. epdm2be

Posts: 818; Member since: Apr 20, 2012

You mean: not everybody CAN pay 64/128 GB prices.

54. Fellwalker

Posts: 530; Member since: Apr 04, 2014

We complained about Samsung because they took out two features that set them apart. if the Note 5 had been a better Note 4 I'd have bought. We've given up on Google because for so many iterations they've refused to use either card or battery. I remember there was a lot of negative writing when the nexus 4 was released, and again for the nexus 5. Head and brick wall come to mind. For me the blame is on the reviewers who harped on about cheap plastic. That drove Samsung to non removable backs and hence no ability for replaceable batteries or sd cards.

49. LetsBeHonest

Posts: 1548; Member since: Jun 04, 2013

I agree. TouchWiz was heavy but turned pretty decent recently. Its buttery smooth on high end and "A" series but they should pay a little more attention to the entry level phones. And I completely agree these tech site (especially biased ones) are actually exaggerating things to worse.

59. medicci37

Posts: 1361; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

No the problem is that touchwiz sucks. Every smartphone I've owned has a better ui

71. Diezparda

Posts: 941; Member since: Oct 23, 2013

Lol double post, does your phone lag so badly?

80. medicci37

Posts: 1361; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

Yes Diezparda it does. Lol

73. DoggyDangerous

Posts: 1028; Member since: Aug 28, 2015

true, samsung need to improve UI experience

60. medicci37

Posts: 1361; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

No the problem is that touchwiz sucks. Not just lag. Every smartphone I've owned has a better ui.

63. Diezparda

Posts: 941; Member since: Oct 23, 2013

Agree, flagship phone should be featurerichtic in my opinion. Why people complaining about TW when it's faster than even latest Nexuses. Face it they had better hardware & tonedown ui, exynos really made it this time but fake user will keep ranting about how lag they are.

69. Awalker

Posts: 1968; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

The reason why I stopped buying Samsung phones after the S4 was not only the slowness of Touchwiz but I wasn't using any of the extra features/bloat (depending on your perspective) that came with the phone. It made no sense to buy a phone that I was essentially using as a Nexus device.

75. Cicero

Posts: 1108; Member since: Jan 22, 2014

Not really like a Nexus device. Samsung Camera is better than Google Camera always, is one thing that come into my mind now. Also Music, SMemo and MyFiles are pretty good apps. But you are right too. I do not use SmartStay, SmartPause, AirView or AirGestures. But it is only me.

78. tedkord

Posts: 17201; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

SmartStay is brilliant. The first thing I enable on any Samsung phone I buy.

94. chenski

Posts: 755; Member since: Mar 22, 2015

Whats the point of multitasking when touchwiz struggles to hold 4 or 5 apps in ram? Nexus devices easily hold more than 10 apps in ram despite having less ram. Thats software optimization

62. UglyFrank

Posts: 2191; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

iOS 7 was the worst version ever, my iPad Air would random restart multiple times each day.

7. GreenMan

Posts: 2697; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

Yeah, Blame it all to Google! The easiest thing to do in the world is to point your finger at the other guy and say: "He did it"! But there's a solid reason behind why even the latest and greatest Touchwiz looks like it's based on Android GingerBread. These guys don't care about software optimization, it's UI or perhaps smoothness... They just give their devices super fast processors and a ridiculous amount of RAM and pray for the best... Touchwiz is TERRIBLE, TERRIBLE, JUST PLAIN TERRIBLE on budget Samsung Smartphones. Anyone here tried Galaxy J1 Ace with a 512MB RAM?

15. catze86

Posts: 731; Member since: Dec 07, 2015

Your beloved Stock got inspirations from Touchwiz bloatwares. And prais it like something awesome. Baka

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