NEW YORK: Samsung, the electronics giant, is looking to "intelligently integrate" digital services provided by innovative start-ups with its devices, and thus achieve truly differentiated experiences for users.
Sang Ahn, managing director/strategic investments at the Samsung Open Innovation Center – a unit of the firm which taps fledgling enterprises developing interesting products – said this approach offered a dual benefit.
"Where we historically have done very well is innovating on hardware," he told delegates at the M1 Mobile-First Summit. (For more, including details of the four main ways the company is engaging the start-up world, read Warc's exclusive report: Samsung, start-ups and the new user experience.)
"Software and services that sit on top of that hardware is really where the value can be accreted to for both the user as well as for us."
One tactic available to Samsung in pursuing this goal has involved collaborating with partners that are a good strategic fit, gaining popularity among consumers and becoming well-known brands in their own right.
"For class-leading companies that are innovating and are recognisable, we will take their innovation and find a way to more intelligently integrate that into our hardware solution," said Ahn.
An example of this came when buyers of its Galaxy Note II and Galaxy camera received 50GB of free space on cloud-based storage platform Dropbox – a "recognizable brand" used by many customers – for two years.
Similarly, people purchasing the Galaxy S III smartphone could access an exclusive version of Flipboard, an app where users create their own digital magazines – a move letting Samsung show off the device's features.
"In the case of the Flipboard integration, it was really a new way of consuming the content on the Note device itself in such a way that, beyond just the Flipboard content, much of the content that was consumed would be viewable in that 'flip' manner," said Ahn.
The benefit of these affiliations for customers, and thus for the company as it seeks to promote its products, are clear, according to Ahn.
"Those are directionally where we are heading, which is to say: how can we make this not just about the tablet, about the screen, about the processor, but about a better experience for you?" he said.
"Instead of just making it a tablet sale, it's a tablet that comes with some services and software."
Data sourced from Warc