Ben Thompson: ‘Smartphone Truths and Samsung’s Inevitable Decline’

Great piece by Ben Thompson:

Ultimately, though, Samsung’s fundamental problem is that they have no software-based differentiation, which means in the long run all they can do is compete on price. Perhaps they should ask HP or Dell how that goes.

Actually, it’s even worse than that. Samsung does offer its own software: TouchWiz, etc. But the overwhelming consensus from reviewers is that Samsung’s add-ons to Android make the system worse, not better. Samsung sees the need for software differentiation, but to date they’ve proven incapable of doing it well.

In fact, it turns out that smartphones really are just like PCs: it’s the hardware maker with its own operating system that is dominating profits, while everyone else eats themselves alive to the benefit of their software master.

Relevant piece from the DF archive, circa 2009: “Herd Mentality”.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014