ChatOn closure highlights Samsung's app, services woes

Buyers of its Galaxy smartphones and tablet continue to prefer Google and third party apps

Samsung Electronics continues to struggle to attract users to its own apps and services, forcing the company to focus on more on collaborating with other companies and stepping up efforts to offer better-looking devices.

Smartphone manufacturers develop apps and services to attract new buyers and convince old ones to remain faithful. However, with the exception of Apple, this has proven very difficult, even for a company with huge resources like Samsung.

Last week, Samsung announced it was pulling the plug on its ChatOn messaging app. The company also plans to shut down the WatchOn TV guide app in all countries except the U.S. and Korea on Dec. 31. Earlier this year, Samsung also gave up on its Hub line of services, including Books, Music, Video and Media, which had failed to compete with Web-based offerings from the likes of Amazon, Spotify and Netflix.

CCS Insight analyst Paolo Pescatore summed it all up by saying Samsung should be applauded for trying to develop its own suite of services -- but what it offered wasn't what customers wanted.

Samsung isn't alone in having in-house apps and services fail, though that probably won't doesn't make beleaguered mobile executives at the company feel any better. HTC closed its Watch video service this year and last year BlackBerry closed its music service.

However, the failures so far don't mean Samsung is giving up its app development efforts. Last month the company took a new stab at the video market with the launch of Milk Video in the U.S., a video service for which Samsung has partnered with Funny Or Die, Vevo and Vice.

Samsung is also hoping to make a mark in areas such as health and mobile commerce. To be able to compete with Apple Pay, Samsung is rumored to be in talks to license LoopPay's mobile wallet technology. Collaborating with a company that has a proven platform could be a better option for Samsung than developing its own products from scratch. In the wake of the closure of its apps, Samsung has in fact relied more on collaboration with companies like Amazon and Slacker for books and music.

But in the end, a lack of applications and services isn't the reason why Samsung has struggled this year as its smartphone sales dropped.

The all-plastic design of the Galaxy S5 didn't resonate with consumers and put a damper on the company's most important product. Samsung has started to make some changes with the use of metal on smartphones like the Galaxy Note 4, but it remains to be seen if that's enough. Getting the high-end design right during next year will be much more important than any services Samsung can come up with.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags mobile applicationsSamsung Electronicsmobile

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?