Samsung Galaxy Apps Nudges Out Google App Store
Samsung has created Galaxy Apps, an app store that eliminates the need for Galaxy owners to turn to Google Play.Samsung's Android-running Galaxy devices have helped make it the world's top-selling smartphone maker. But in what could easily be interpreted as its latest move to put space between itself and Android-maker Google, Samsung has introduced Galaxy Apps, an online app store that Galaxy device users can turn to instead of Google Play. Samsung introduced the store in a July 11 blog post, saying it "features hundreds of exclusive apps," will offer Galaxy device owners greater customization, and will make promotions and discounts more easily and obviously available to owners of Galaxy devices. "At Samsung, we continuously strive to create value for our customers by providing differentiated solutions and services coupled with innovative devices," WonPyo Hong, president of Samsung's Media Solution Center, said in a statement. "Samsung Galaxy Apps is an extension of that promise, as it offers our customers exclusive apps to enrich their experience." Galaxy Apps is divided into three sections: Staff Picks, Exclusives and Top. The Staff picks section doesn't feel so inspired—there's no sense of actual staff members making recommendations. Top, as expected, offers views of the most downloaded apps, sortable by pricing or popularity.
Exclusives is the key area and likely a major motivation for the store's existence. (Knocking the Google name out of the picture, and encouraging users to think of apps in terms of Samsung, not Google, is surely another.)
Stepping Away from GoogleIn February, Samsung refreshed its Galaxy Gear smartwatches, slimming them down but also transitioning them from Android to Tizen, its own mobile operating system (with roots back to Intel and Nokia).
Later, in June, Samsung introduced the Samsung Z—its first smartphone to run Tizen. The phone's introduction was timed to the third annual Tizen Developer Conference in San Francisco, where the Tizen Association—which has representatives from Samsung, Fujitsu, Huawei, LG, Intel and five wireless carriers on its board—encouraged developers to create for the OS. Intel Managing Director Christopher Croteau, at the time of the Gear smartwatches' debut, said in a statement that Intel sees a "unique role for Tizen in the industry to create and to grow a new, open and flexible mobile operating system." The Samsung Z debuted in Russia, and reports have suggested that the next Tizen smartphone could arrive in India, where loyalty toward Android isn't yet strong. Follow Michelle Maisto on Twitter.