San Francisco - Samsung Electronics Co., the world’s biggest seller of smartphones and TVs, is introducing software to help share content across devices, inviting developers to create more applications for its products.
The Suwon, South Korea-based company is showing the products at its first global developer conference, a three-day event in San Francisco, the city that’s also home to annual developer forums hosted by Apple Inc. and Google Inc.
The company today is unveiling a kit for software designers to create apps that let tablets and smartphones share information with gestures, wireless technology and digital pens.
It is also releasing a kit for multiscreen developers to make products, such as games and photo-sharing, that are compatible with a broader range of devices, including televisions.
“There are half a billion connected devices today, yet none are connected to each other,” Samsung President Hong Won- Pyo said in an interview.
“We foster an ecosystem of multiscreen apps and user experiences to improve the way people do the things they love, in turn, and create new business opportunities for developers.”
Samsung’s products present a challenge for app developers as the company uses different operating systems across product categories.
The new kits can sit on top of contrasting systems to enable developers to design one app for multiple products, according to Curtis Sasaki, senior vice president of cloud service innovation and media solutions at Samsung.
“We want to create services that go back and forth in a very easy way,” Sasaki said in an phone interview.
“Our goal is to set the stage for innovation and give developers a lot of ideas they can take with them.”
A keynote demonstration today will show users listening to online radio on Pandora Media Inc. on Samsung Galaxy mobile phones and switching the service to another Samsung player in the home.
Another presentation will show handwriting recognition software on a Galaxy Note 3 tablet facilitating a connection to an address on Trulia.com, the real estate website.
While Samsung is the leader in smartphones sales, it’s been criticised for a lack of innovation in products, said Ben Bajarin, an analyst at Creative Strategies Inc.
“They’re trying to create proprietary value on their hardware,” said Bajarin, based in San Jose.
“That’s going to be goal No. 1 for them. That’s challenging because to do that takes more than putting innovative features in a product that not everyone uses.”
This year, Samsung added its first phone with a curved screen to its roster, introduced its $299 Galaxy Gear smartwatch and registered designs for spectacles to challenge Google’s Glass in the wearable devices market.
In July, it bought Boxee Inc., a startup that makes video-streaming apps for phones and tablets as well as a Web-connected TV set-top box.
“Everything we do is about putting the most innovative technology and software in people’s hands,” said Hong, Samsung’s president.
“It was also important to continue growing our presence in Silicon Valley, the hotbed of technology innovation.”
The company last week posted record third-quarter earnings helped by sales of cheaper Galaxy smartphones in emerging markets.
The mobile unit, responsible for about two-thirds of Samsung’s earnings, reported third-quarter operating profit of 6.7 trillion won ($6.3 billion), up from 5.63 trillion won a year earlier.
Profit at its consumer-electronics division, which oversees the TV and home-appliance businesses, declined as TV makers reel from sluggish demand as tougher competition is accelerating price reductions.
Samsung’s event is symbolic as well as functional. Apple, which holds its annual developers conference a few blocks away at San Francisco’s Moscone Center, releases fourth-quarter results today.
The Cupertino company is projected to report a 12 percent drop in net income to $7.21 billion, on sales of $36.8 billion, according to the average analyst estimate compiled by Bloomberg. - Bloomberg News