Looking to pull even with Apple, Samsung to pay developers for Galaxy-specific apps

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Apple rival Samsung is turning to third-party developers to help improve the standing of its smartphone lineup against the iPhone, offering $800,000 in prize money for Galaxy-specific apps.

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Samsung's global developer competition will see 10 winners, with the prize money distributed among them. The company is most interested in apps that can coordinate with Samsung's Group Play service, which allows users to share content like photos, games, and music between devices at the same time, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Attracting developers specifically to the Galaxy line would allow Samsung to further distinguish itself from other Android manufacturers, putting more distance between itself and the pack in a smartphone industry that has turned into a two-horse race.

Developers will need to use Samsung's proprietary Chord SDK for media streaming and impromptu networking in order to be eligible for the prize money. Samsung developed the Chord SDK in order to make local device information sharing easier, and the company is looking to develop it to the point where it's an industry standard.

Of the contest's $800,000 prize, $200,000 will go to the first place winner, with three second place winners taking home $100,000 each, and six third-place winners getting $50,000 each. Uniqueness, functionality, usability, commercial potential, and design will determine the winners, who may receive an investment from Samsung's venture capital arm. All submitted entries must be for free apps, not paid, though they can use in-app purchasing and advertising.

The new competition marks the second time the South Korean giant has used its considerable cash reserves to drum up developer support for its devices. In 2010, the company paid out $2.7 million to draw developer interest to its bada budget smartphone platform. This year is the second year of the Smart App Challenge for Android.

Samsung and Apple together account for 100 percent of the profit being made in the smartphone industry, with Apple every year offering one new, high-end phone and its South Korean competitor peppering the market with a wide range of devices.

Apple's devices run that company's iOS platform, and apps written for iOS have tended to have more polish than those written for Android, due in no small part to the myriad devices that make up the Android ecosystem. Getting Galaxy-specific apps of comparable quality ? apps that leverage unique Samsung phone capabilities ? would help the tech giant to close the gap with Apple in terms of user experience, which is an area where Samsung is typically thought to lag behind the Cupertino company.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 52
    rednivalrednival Posts: 331member
    Paying developers to write apps for your product? Didn't the editorial from this weekend discuss that very practice? (http://goo.gl/3wkqr) It doesn't work. There's either demand or there is not demand. These people need to go back to Economics 101.


  • Reply 2 of 52
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,972member
    Google-"We're working on the fragmentation problem"
    Samsung-"We're making fragmentation worse"
    A dysfunctional relationship at it's finest.
  • Reply 3 of 52
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    1) You aren't going to beat Apple if your solution is to pay off developers to support your specific platform. This didn't work with Palm or MS. Incentives are great, but you still need to have an environment that cultivates developer interest once they get their or they'll just leave once the checks stop coming in.

    2) This might be the first step toward Samsung forking the Galaxy line to be it's own version of Android. You get a decent number of [I]Glandroid[/I]-specific apps, then create an app store for Samsung devices that are vetting much in the same was as App Store apps, but still allow apps from Google Play with a simple option in Settings that warns you that apps from Google Play may open you up to more malware. Users can still get apps where they want but Samsung makes there store look better in comparison and they get to follow in Apple's footsteps.
  • Reply 4 of 52
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    dasanman69 wrote: »
    Google-"We're working on the fragmentation problem"
    Samsung-"We're making fragmentation worse"
    A dysfunctional relationship at it's finest.

    I've only seen them say they are working on the fragmenting problem they designed, and I believe once, a few years ago, it was stated it would be resolved soon. I've seen no actual effort to fix it and frankly I don't see how they can with how they've purposefully designed their system to be an uncultivated, unfocused system.
  • Reply 5 of 52
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,085member


    How short-sighted, and meant to **** the Android platform. Samsung has shown that it really has no problem making things messier for consumers and making the industry worse as long as it benefits. Throughout its existence Apple has sought to simplify and unify things.

  • Reply 6 of 52
    matrix07matrix07 Posts: 1,993member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post



    2) This might be the first step toward Samsung forking the Galaxy line to be it's own version of Android. You get a decent number of Glandroid-specific apps, then create an app store for Samsung devices that are vetting much in the same was as App Store apps, but still allow apps from Google Play with a simple option in Settings that warns you that apps from Google Play may open you up to more malware. Users can still get apps where they want but Samsung makes there store look better in comparison and they get to follow in Apple's footsteps.


    I think you're onto something there. Now Google has Moto Sammy must be desperate for their own OS.


  • Reply 7 of 52
    theothergeofftheothergeoff Posts: 2,076member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post



    1) You aren't going to beat Apple if your solution is to pay off developers to support your specific platform. This didn't work with Palm or MS. Incentives are great, but you still need to have an environment that cultivates developer interest once they get their or they'll just leave once the checks stop coming in.



    2) This might be the first step toward Samsung forking the Galaxy line to be it's own version of Android. You get a decent number of Glandroid-specific apps, then create an app store for Samsung devices that are vetting much in the same was as App Store apps, but still allow apps from Google Play with a simple option in Settings that warns you that apps from Google Play may open you up to more malware. Users can still get apps where they want but Samsung makes there store look better in comparison and they get to follow in Apple's footsteps.


    Glandroid?


     


    or GalDroid?  or potayto/potahto


     


    This is the battle that Google has to worry about...  and in part created (with all the Nexi, and the purchase of Motorola Mobility... what... for the patents... we saw how that worked out).  


     


    This is how the PC wars were fought, albeit at a much lower level.   A driver vendor  and an OEM tweaked up a working interface, and cornered a small market, often by being paid by the OEM to get the driver to work with their motherboard/BIOS etc.  Then a class of engineers, gamers, or whatnot would flock to that device.


    Lenovo after picking IBM's lot seemed to be very good at this, as was alienware etc.  


     


    Now its about consumer hardware, that surprisingly, has to be more rock solid than 'commercial grade'  And with the new 'sandbox' and limited extensibility (any one screaming for flash?  for VGA ports? for add-on laser scanners?, for SIMM plugin?), you pretty much have to drive differentiation in 2 places... interoperability with the outside world (eyeball scanning, NFC, bump to share, and then of course screen size and resolution), and apps.


     


    Where Google and MS paying people to write apps to a random set of specs, vs Samsung doing it to a intimate set of family specs, I think it will work better for samsung.


     


    I do think that Google's long term goal will be folly, as it hasn't grasped people will pay for good hardware, but want a free internet, and the software to go with it.  It's in the hardware.  and Google, save for what stupid stuff it's doing with MotoMobo, isn't establishing a beachhead hardware product.   Glass?  ChromeBook?   I don't think so.


     


     


     


    That said, I went to BestBuy over the weekend and walked up with my iPhone 4s out comparing it to the Samsung Gal4.  A Samsung BlueShirt came up and asked to show me a demo... I asked him to show drag and drop between two apps onthe screen at the same time....  he 'almost' got it to work before the thing hung up, not responding to touch.


     


    I went on to buy my ink.

  • Reply 8 of 52
    gtrgtr Posts: 3,231member
    Samsung still hasn't learned the most important lesson of all:

    If you aren't Apple then all your efforts will be fruitless...
  • Reply 9 of 52
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 19,805member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post





    I've only seen them say they are working on the fragmenting problem they designed, and I believe once, a few years ago, it was stated it would be resolved soon. I've seen no actual effort to fix it and frankly I don't see how they can with how they've purposefully designed their system to be an uncultivated, unfocused system.


    You might not have understood how the changes announced at Google I/O addresses much if not most of the fragmentation issues. It's not a complete "fix" but it's a pretty good start.


    http://ishouldhaveknownthisbefore.wordpress.com/2013/05/16/google-solved-android-fragmentation-and-forgot-to-tell-everybody/

  • Reply 10 of 52
    constable odoconstable odo Posts: 1,041member
    Another smart move on Samsung's part. Keep the momentum going and continue pounding Apple's iPhone ecosystem hard. Better to spend the money and possibly get a chance to reap huge benefits. That's what reserve cash is for. Apple constantly hoarding cash isn't doing the company one bit of good to increase market share, shareholder value or market cap. Samsung seriously wants to corner the smartphone industry and is pretty much on its way. It will do whatever it can to destroy the iPhone empire. Any aggressive company would do the same.

    Samsung is just grabbing both consumer and media mind share from Apple at an astounding rate while Apple is doing absolutely nothing in retaliation. Sitting back and letting rivals upstage your company is never a wise thing. Apple needs to wise up quickly before it's too late.
  • Reply 11 of 52
    This isn't a payment though, it's just PR, a chance to enter a competition. Big deal. If the app is good enough it will make money in any case, winning a competition is a nice to have extra but wouldn't result in us changing our business strategy and software roadmap just to enter.

  • Reply 12 of 52
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    gatorguy wrote: »
    You might not have understood how the changes announced at Google I/O addresses much if not most of the fragmentation issues. It's not a complete "fix" but it's a pretty good start.
    http://ishouldhaveknownthisbefore.wordpress.com/2013/05/16/google-solved-android-fragmentation-and-forgot-to-tell-everybody/

    1) I hadn't heard that. Thanks for the link.

    2) I still have doubts. It's good that they shored up some issues but there are still a whole lot of different devices with various specs out there, and I question that they really can push API changes to these older devices without an OS update. At this point any start is a pretty good start, but I am not satisfied that's it's going to resolve a majority of the fragmentation issues plaguing Android. Let's see in a year how that is working out (setting calendar event for May 20, 2014).
  • Reply 13 of 52
    bullheadbullhead Posts: 493member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Constable Odo View Post



    Another smart move on Samsung's part. Keep the momentum going and continue pounding Apple's iPhone ecosystem hard. Better to spend the money and possibly get a chance to reap huge benefits. That's what reserve cash is for. Apple constantly hoarding cash isn't doing the company one bit of good to increase market share, shareholder value or market cap. Samsung seriously wants to corner the smartphone industry and is pretty much on its way. It will do whatever it can to destroy the iPhone empire. Any aggressive company would do the same.



    Samsung is just grabbing both consumer and media mind share from Apple at an astounding rate while Apple is doing absolutely nothing in retaliation. Sitting back and letting rivals upstage your company is never a wise thing. Apple needs to wise up quickly before it's too late.


     


    apple is doing nothing?  New phones, tablets, laptops, etc.. come out every year.  Along with new OSes, itunes, online services.  And do not forget all the supply chain management, stores, etc...   What exactly isn't apple doing?  creating a low end cheapo device which fragments and destroys the brand?  Or a 20" phablet ?  Since those are selling so well...

  • Reply 14 of 52
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,626member
    Another smart move on Samsung's part. Keep the momentum going and continue pounding Apple's iPhone ecosystem hard. Better to spend the money and possibly get a chance to reap huge benefits. That's what reserve cash is for. Apple constantly hoarding cash isn't doing the company one bit of good to increase market share, shareholder value or market cap. Samsung seriously wants to corner the smartphone industry and is pretty much on its way. It will do whatever it can to destroy the iPhone empire. Any aggressive company would do the same.

    Samsung is just grabbing both consumer and media mind share from Apple at an astounding rate while Apple is doing absolutely nothing in retaliation. Sitting back and letting rivals upstage your company is never a wise thing. Apple needs to wise up quickly before it's too late.

    Troll. Apple still has the number 1 selling phone. The only reason they allegedly grabbing media mindshare is they pay them.

    And you're right, sitting on a cash pile doesn't do anyone any good. Then again you have no proof Apple isn't doing anything. I'm pretty sure Cook et al aren't swimming in a vault of gold coins.
  • Reply 15 of 52
    pedromartinspedromartins Posts: 1,333member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Constable Odo View Post



    Another smart move on Samsung's part. Keep the momentum going and continue pounding Apple's iPhone ecosystem hard. Better to spend the money and possibly get a chance to reap huge benefits. That's what reserve cash is for. Apple constantly hoarding cash isn't doing the company one bit of good to increase market share, shareholder value or market cap. Samsung seriously wants to corner the smartphone industry and is pretty much on its way. It will do whatever it can to destroy the iPhone empire. Any aggressive company would do the same.



    Samsung is just grabbing both consumer and media mind share from Apple at an astounding rate while Apple is doing absolutely nothing in retaliation. Sitting back and letting rivals upstage your company is never a wise thing. Apple needs to wise up quickly before it's too late.


    And that's a great strategy.


     


    Eventually, the media will get tired of Samsung and will pound it instead;


    Eventually, low life ignorant trolls like you will get tired of posting the same sh*t over and over again and being laughed at;


    Apple saved tons of cash.


     


    See? Get a job, man. Grow up.

  • Reply 16 of 52
    marskmarsk Posts: 30member
    Samsung has been paying different sort of developer like local software house vendor to write tons of useless android free apps , but submit with different developer name , hope that boost up the app numbers when compare to the Apple App Store . I know many software house keep doing that and get paid by Samsung under the table.
  • Reply 17 of 52
    Samsung to Google: You need us more than we need you.
  • Reply 17 of 52
    Samsung to Google: You need us more than we need you.
  • Reply 19 of 52
    pendergastpendergast Posts: 1,358member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post



    2) This might be the first step toward Samsung forking the Galaxy line to be it's own version of Android. You get a decent number of Glandroid-specific apps, then create an app store for Samsung devices that are vetting much in the same was as App Store apps, but still allow apps from Google Play with a simple option in Settings that warns you that apps from Google Play may open you up to more malware. Users can still get apps where they want but Samsung makes there store look better in comparison and they get to follow in Apple's footsteps.


     


    GalaxyOS.


     


    "Tizen" is just a codename. 


     


    People don't by Android phones, they buy Samsung phones. They may use Google's services, but you can bet these will be supported, just like the iPhone supports them. Customer's won't know the difference, and Samsung controls its own destiny.


     


    If I was a betting man, I'd wager that the next flagship Galaxy S5 release not only has no mention of Android, but highlights the new "Galaxy OS". 

  • Reply 20 of 52
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    slurpy wrote: »
    How short-sighted, and meant to **** the Android platform. Samsung has shown that it really has no problem making things messier for consumers and making the industry worse as long as it benefits. Throughout its existence Apple has sought to simplify and unify things.

    I think they can make it much less messy by offering both a cultivated "walled garden" like Apple's App Store and still allow the post-apocolyptic Mad Max Beyond Android Dome environment of Google Play for those that want it. I think this could give Samsung an advantage that no other Android vendor could compete wi
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