Michal Lev-Ram also dives into Samsung for Fortune. One interesting/humorous tidbit I did not realize:

Samsung, which means “three stars” in Korean, started out as a small supplier of dried fish and noodles in the city of Daegu back in 1938. Eventually the company’s ambitious founder, Byung-Chull Lee, moved the company headquarters to the country’s capital, Seoul, and expanded into new businesses.

Three stars, or as it’s known in America: “meh”.

Chris Dixon:

The mobile device industry is still in its infancy. Samsung’s fate depends largely on how the industry evolves. If the computer-in-your-pocket (smartphone/tablet) business ends up being like the computer-on-your-desk (personal computer) business, Samsung is on track to be the modern Dell. Dell had a good run as the low-cost provider in a highly commoditized business, but the vast majority of the industry profits went to Microsoft.

Good follow up to my thoughts on Samsung’s rise a few weeks back.

There wasn’t really a very clear positioning of what Windows RT meant in the marketplace, what it stood for relative to Windows 8, that was being done in an effective manner to the consumer. When we did some tests and studies on how we could go to market with a Windows RT device, we determined there was a lot of heavy lifting we still needed to do to educate the customer on what Windows RT was.

Mike Abary, the head of Samsung’s PC and tablet business in the U.S., explaining to CNET at CES why Samsung was bailing on Windows RT.

It is, what we thought it was. A shitshow.

Farhad Manjoo for Slate on the rise of Samsung:

This flood-the-market strategy isn’t elegant. It can be confusing for customers, a pain for Samsung’s carrier partners, and very difficult for the firm’s engineers and designers to keep up with. It also doesn’t have history on its side. Other firms that have tried the build-everything approach—see Apple in the early 1990s, or Hewlett-Packard over the last decade—eventually begin to lumber under their own complexity.

Yet Samsung’s strategy is extremely well suited to our current tech era. We live in a time of profound transition, when the future of everything is up in the air. The world’s tech-addled masses are switching from desktop devices to mobile ones, from bulky programs to sleek apps, from limited local storage to acres of space in the clouds. When everything is in flux, predicting what will be hot a year from now—“skating to where the puck is going to be,” to quote Steve Jobs quoting Wayne Gretzky—becomes all but impossible. Samsung’s strategy is to put a man at every spot on the ice. Be in enough places and you’re bound to catch something no one was predicting—like, for instance, the world’s bizarre love affair with phablets.

It’s fascinating that, despite copying some of Apple’s products, Samsung’s overall approach is almost the exact opposite of Apple’s (many vs. few). Even more fascinating: it’s working.

Tim Culpan for Bloomberg on HTC’s most recent quarter:

Fourth-quarter operating income for the period was NT$600 million ($21 million), compared with the NT$1.11 billion average of 20 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Net income was NT$1 billion, the Taoyuan, Taiwan-based company said in a statement today. That’s the lowest since 2004 and less than the NT$10.9 billion it posted a year earlier.

Not good, But Bloomberg dances around the truly stunning number, Sky News does not:

The Taiwanese firm, whose phones include the Butterfly, said net profit in the fourth quarter of 2012 had missed forecasts and plunged 91% year on year.

Ninety-one percent.

The Android ecosystem isn’t alive and well, the Samsung one is. Expect to hear a lot more out of this story in 2013.



Student of many. Master of none.

I think laptops can benefit from touch screens, but that doesn’t mean we should consider them tablets. Laptops, phones, and tablets all play different parts in my work or play. And, for me, they each need to be no compromise machines.

It’s very interesting to see Microsoft (becasue those are Microsoft even though it is an HP machine) and Samsung advertising with the word “best” in reference to a device they’re trying to say does two things. 

And you can eat the cake too, right?