Company Strategic Development through differentiation: Samsung Galaxy vs. Sony Experia

Sony Experia Z vs. Samsung Galaxy Note
The announcement of Samsung G4 and Samsung Note 8.0 LTE reminds me my recent personal experiences in switching from my old Samsung Note to Sony Experia Z phone. After I switched to Sony, I realize that Samsung has really done a lot on the "soft-power" side of the phone. Comparing to Sony's new flagship smartphone Experia Z, all I really get is an impression of nice solid hardware body but I cannot tell you what's so special about Sony's implementation of Android. Comparing with Samsung Galaxy Note, the differences are very obvious. Do allow me to list them out:
  1. Samsung has its' very own App Store. In fact, in Hong Kong, Samsung office has proactive approached my company to recruit our Apps in Samsung's App store. They have invested dedicated App Acquisition team in offices around the world.
  2. Samsung Galaxy Memo App with the Stylus pen makes a great integration of software and hardware.
  3. Samsung has a larger collection of pretty widgets to allow their users to build pretty Home Screen in their Android phone / Tab.
  4. It seems that my old 1st generation Galaxy Note phone is able to do smart-dial contact search even faster than the 4 quad cpu Sony Experia Z phone. This is a sign of real "software programming" power.
  5. Being the king of music with it's Walkman legacy, Sony's Experia Z's built in Music Player App (also called Walkman) does not play WMA format! Samsung Galaxy Note's build in app does play WMA!
  6. Sony's only selling point to me is really it's look. Even the waterproof feature is really not important to me (at least in the last 2 decade I have not dropped my phone in any form of water).
I was also invited to the launch of the 3rd generation Samsung SmartTV and I know that Samsung is working very hard in seriously making their Hardware Device Smarter through software development.

It seems Samsung has really placed much attention in finding the right strategies in creating differentiation out of a Me-Too-Android platform. Not just that but Samsung has also boldly launched so many different screen sized device to test the market to come to realized the "unexpected" win of Galaxy Note configuration. Now of course Samsung is really leveraging the Galaxy Note with 8.0" size to take on iPad Mini.

The rise of Samsung and falls of Sony is obvious. I personally have nothing against Sony's brand otherwise I wouldn't buy the Experia Z. But my recent experience in comparing the product from the two companies simply reminds me the drive for product differentiation has been increasingly on the "soft and subtle" of smart services and design instead of just pushing for raw hardware power!

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