Rivals and press for decades had been ridiculing Apple for insisting on controlling the whole widget. The iPhone maker took it on the chin, but nowadays many companies have come to realization that the best way to create delightful experiences is to approach product design from Apple’s perspective rather than slap together off-the-shelf components which run outsourced software.
For example, Google will pay $12.5 billion for phone maker Motorola. In exchange, the Android team gets to instruct Motorola’s hardware unit on how to build handsets sporting a greater interplay of software, services and hardware. Samsung, too, is looking to bolster its software as competition with Apple intensifies, reports Reuters, quoting head of the Samsung Group office Kim Soon-taek:
Chairman Lee told top managers to come up with various measures including M&As to enhance software competitiveness.
The revelation doesn’t come entirely out of blue, however. Samsung already makes Bada, its own operating system for feature phones that some think is the company’s plan B should their bet on Android go down the hill. They also create custom software for consumer electronics devices such as networked television sets and their smartphones run custom user interface built atop Android, dubbed TouchWiz.
Samsung could do well buying an established software company. Research In Motion pulled a similar maneuver with last year’s acquisition of QNX software unit from Harman International, which the BlackBerry maker at the time downplayed by arguing the software wizards would help integrate BlackBerry phones into cars. RIM is now betting its future on smartphones and tablets powered by QNX, with first devices slated to arrive some time in 2012.