Samsung’s ambitious long-term thinking

Venture capitalist Fred Wilson caught my attention today with this post contrasting Google’s strategy in mobile with Samsung’s hardware-centric business. While Samsung’s mobile profits may have dwarfed Google’s overall profits in the most recent quarter, Google is “developing the strongest franchise in mobile,” Wilson opines. Meanwhile, Samsung “is just a hardware player at this point.”
Wilson makes some valid points: Android is a massive worldwide mobile operating system that generates a tremendous amount of invaluable data, and the cloud is making the world of mobile software much more invaluable than mere hardware. Replacing a smartphone isn’t a huge headache for consumers, Wilson writes, but moving from one operating system to another requires substantial effort.
But I think Samsung understands this very well, as evidenced by its plans to build out its app store with new Android titles and to target the enterprise with high-end Android devices and services. Samsung is also pursuing its own platform business with Tizen, which is expected to come to market in the next several months. Samsung is still primarily a hardware company today, but the company is moving aggressively to become a player in the much bigger world of mobile platforms.