Samsung woos developers with promise of converged living rooms

Samsung hopes developers can make its users more loyal

Samsung Electronics' worldwide tour to drum up developer interest stopped in London on Monday, as it hopes more developers will take advantage of features such as its S-Pen.

Samsung has stepped up efforts this year to convince developers to make use of features the company has added on top of Android-based devices, such as the Galaxy Note family, as well as on its TVs.

The thinking is that more customized apps will help convince consumers to pick its smartphones, tablets and TVs over competing products and create loyalty. Samsung knows it needs to evolve to remain the world's biggest phone and TV maker, and help from developers will be a crucial ingredient going forward, SP Kim, president and CEO of Samsung's European headquarters, told an audience of about 200 people from 16 countries.

Samsung's massive sales volume -- including over 80 million smartphones sold to end users during the third quarter, according to Gartner -- has helped pique the interest of developers. The company also sells about two TVs every second, it said.

"While this may be a European developer day, by partnering with us your product or service can take advantage of our global reach," said Lee Epting, vice president of Samsung's Media Solutions Center Europe, which was started earlier this year to improve developer relations.

But getting developers on board isn't just about volume: good tools, support and channels are also needed. One of the more interesting tools is the Multiscreen SDK, which is currently being beta tested and aims to make it easier to develop apps that tie together mobile devices with Samsung's TVs.

"The Samsung Multiscreen SDK provides a simple set of Android, iOS, C++ and Javascript APIs, which allows developers to create multiscreen applications for any mobile device platform," Epting said.

Convergence may be a buzzword, but it's happening in living rooms as people sit on the sofa with smartphones and tablets while watching TV, according to Epting.

"I believe the opportunity for everyone in this room is how we can work together to create the services that connect these devices in a truly meaningful way," she said.

Beyond games and other popular application categories, there are some areas the company is especially interested in.

"Samsung is actively looking for partners for new propositions in the areas of mobile health, commerce and kids, which present a myriad of vertical opportunities for developers. If your business is working in one of these areas we want to hear from you," Epting said.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

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Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
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