Samsung Gets Aggressive on Apps

South Korean giant Samsung is in something of an identity crisis right now. The company is tired of being just a hardware OEM, and is hoping to move more into content and services. On the content side, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) and Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL  ) both boast the largest app repositories known to man.

While Samsung's devices tap directly into Google Play, the company still clearly has ambitions beyond Google. In March, Samsung launched its own content portal, Samsung Content & Services. This storefront will compete head on with the App Store with features like AllShare Play or Find My Mobile, replicated from Apple's AirPlay and Find My iPhone, but also with Google Play.

The challenge for Samsung is that most of the apps in Content & Services are also available in Google Play, so users have little reason to venture into its digital store instead of Google's. That's precisely why Samsung is hosting a competition for Android developers to create Galaxy-specific apps: to help differentiate its devices from the Android competition.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Samsung is putting down $800,000 in prize money, which will be divvied up between 10 winners. One feature that Samsung is focusing on is Group Play, a Samsung-built feature exclusive to Galaxy devices that allows users to share content locally over Wi-Fi. A Samsung spokesperson confirmed that the company would continue to incentivize developers to tap other Galaxy features going forward.

Samsung wants to build its own Galaxy platform atop Android to better compete with iOS. To the extent that it can bolster Galaxy-specific features and services, it can further differentiate its gadgets from iPhones and other Androids. The best way to encourage that is by throwing a bunch of money at developers, much like how BlackBerry (NASDAQ: BBRY  ) has also been trying to woo Android developers.

Ahead of the BlackBerry 10 launch, the company doubled the total prize money it was rewarding developers from its final "Port-A-Thon" to $2 million. BlackBerry is aggressively using ported Android apps to pad its app count, but has also been making progress recently with getting developers to go native with their BB10 offerings.

Samsung wants more Galaxy apps, and it's willing to pay for them.

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Comments from our Foolish Readers

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  • Report this Comment On May 21, 2013, at 8:51 AM, HelpIsHere wrote:

    BlackBerry is getting the job done, Apps aren't a problem any more and they may be able to port all Android apps over in the near future.

  • Report this Comment On May 21, 2013, at 9:30 AM, cbglobal wrote:

    Only a fraction of all those apps sell in large quantities. All the best apps are available in every operating system. Samsung and Apple are just loading up on a bunch of apps that do not sell, just to say they have the most. The real question is why you fell for it?

  • Report this Comment On May 21, 2013, at 11:45 AM, k1moops wrote:

    Computers are created to run apps, all kinds of apps, otherwise there is no need for computers.

    Apple iOS and Google Android computers together run 1.4 million apps, that's why Apple and Google Android own 92.7% of the computer market, there is no if or but about it. Apps run on specific operating systems. When you pick up an app it will tell you which version of operating system to use and the minimum hardware requirements, there is no getting around these requirements. A ported app would come with its own requirements of operating system and hardware. This is why Microsoft and Blackberry are on their knees begging for app developers to write or port apps for Windows and Blackberry OS.

  • Report this Comment On May 21, 2013, at 12:02 PM, k1moops wrote:

    The quality of an app is based on how well it was conceived, designed, developed, and how well it performs on minimal hardware. Simple apps do simple things and the price is low. Current mobile apps do not charge high prices thus the quality can not be high. On the other hand, as apps are better conceived, designed, developed with high performance, the apps can command higher prices. The determining factor is the hardware the apps run on, cost, quality, reliability, performance of the hardware often spur the apps to be developed for the hardware, and vice versa. Smartphones are currently insufficient in hardware to spur apps that can charge premium prices. Tablets are catching up in hardware to surpass laptops and even some desktops as Samsung is making Galaxy tablets with octa-core processors with very high performance, and beyond 256 gigabytes flash memory disks plus USB 3 and HDMI ports. Samsung Galaxy tablets will surpass Samsung laptops in hardware soon. Samsung is enticing Android developers to write Galaxy specific, meaning not portable to other makes of even models made by Samsung, up to $800000 would be paid to qualified Samsung Galaxy developers. As computers are made to run apps, an app that is worth $800000 to develop will certainly make the computer that runs this app worth a lot more. Just to use an extreme example of an app that is worth a lot of money: an app that can consistently predict the set of lottery winning numbers. Would you buy this app? and how much would you pay for the computer that runs this app?

  • Report this Comment On May 21, 2013, at 12:23 PM, k1moops wrote:

    The past, present, and future of computing are all about apps, what's more is there to say about it?

  • Report this Comment On May 21, 2013, at 12:25 PM, k1moops wrote:

    When RIM / Blackberry said that "apps is a fad", the whole world was shocked by RIM / Blackberry, it's simply blasphemy.

  • Report this Comment On May 21, 2013, at 5:47 PM, mxh070 wrote:

    If BB10 can already run android apps why is it so hard to believe this can't be done for the complete android market. Maybe the company to took the open android OS and compressed it into an app for BB10 so the one of the downloaded android apps from the play store will run with in the android OS app. As for hardware windows and BB10 phones match most laptops now days and no app requires quad core it's just android gimmick to sell to the clueless...

    Just give up the hating and realize that technology moves forward no matter how much BS you post.

  • Report this Comment On May 21, 2013, at 6:40 PM, k1moops wrote:

    There are 700000 Android apps in Google Play.

    Go buy a BB10 Z10 or Q10, try and download any of these 700000 Android apps from the Google Play app store, then tell me that it simply does not work.

    There were 1 million BB10 z10 sold, ask any one of them how they can download from the Google Play app store, they will simply tell you that it is impossible.

  • Report this Comment On May 21, 2013, at 6:42 PM, k1moops wrote:

    So much BS from posters.

  • Report this Comment On May 21, 2013, at 8:21 PM, dexter1225 wrote:

    And we're obviously not immune to your BS, Infothathelp...

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