Tech guru likes Samsung’s position

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Tech guru likes Samsung’s position

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Walter Mossberg

Walter Mossberg, one of the most influential technology journalists, has handpicked Samsung Electronics as a winner when it comes to the ongoing mobile platform battle among Google, Apple, Microsoft and the Korean tech bellwether.

Samsung is turning enormous profits at the same time that it is capturing market share with its smartphones - a majority of which run on Google’s Android - as other Android smartphone producers struggle, he said in a live chat yesterday with several of Korea’s leading IT experts, including co-CEO of Kakao Lee Sirgoo and app developer Ablar Company CEO Chester Jungseok Roh.

As of the fourth quarter last year, Samsung accounted for 42 percent of all Android smartphones, according to market researcher International Data Corporation, when Android and iOS accounted for a combined 91.1 percent of all smartphone platforms. Samsung has its own Tizen operating system, which has a single-digit market share.

But the famous AllThingsD founder and writer advised that Samsung needs to be more cautious when it comes to software features for its mobile devices, because “too much software confuses consumers.” Mossberg pinpointed the two different browsers and two different media stores embedded with the latest Samsung flagship smartphone Galaxy S4 and other redundant functions with the Android operating system.

In his review of the Galaxy S4 later in April, he writes the S4 is “an evolution of the prior model and, despite some improvements, it still is especially weak in the software Samsung adds to basic Android. I found Samsung’s software often gimmicky, duplicative of standard Android apps or, in some cases, only intermittently functional.” He also said the Samsung phone “isn’t a game changer.”

Regarding KakaoTalk, he said he is closely watching Korea’s most popular mobile instant messenger, which is trying various services starting with mobile games. He disagreed with widespread perception that Americans are less actively involved with instant messaging services, saying an increasing number of them are using Twitter, a 140-word-per-message social network, and messaging apps offered by Apple and BlackBerry.

The chat, titled “Battle of the Next Mobile Platforms,” was arranged by the Wall Street Journal’s Korean Web site.


By Seo Ji-eun [spring@joongang.co.kr]

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