& cplSiteName &

IoT Alert: Samsung Snaps Up SmartThings

Mari Silbey
8/15/2014
50%
50%

SmartThings, the home automation company founded in 2012, is independent no more. News surfaced late Thursday that Samsung has purchased the startup for an estimated $200 million.

With the SmartThings deal, Samsung Corp. nets 55 new employees, a slate of devices supporting applications like home security and energy management, and a smart home platform to rival technology from Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL), Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) and many others. On the SmartThings blog, CEO Alex Hawkinson outlined the advantages for his team.

"We believe that there is an enormous opportunity to leverage Samsung's global scale to help us realize our long-term vision," Hawkinson wrote. "While we will remain operationally independent, joining forces with Samsung will enable us to support all of the leading smartphone vendors, devices, and applications; expand our base of developers and enhance the tools and programs that they rely on; and help many more people around the world easily control and monitor their homes using SmartThings."

Major companies are approaching the smart home market from a number of different angles. Apple and Google are hoping to use their developer ecosystems to tie together devices such as connected light bulbs and thermostats with mobile applications. Retailers like Staples, Lowes and Best Buy are partnering with smart home platform companies to sell more connected devices in stores. And cable and telecom providers are rolling out new hardware and software bundles in an effort to sell broadband-based home security and automation services. (See Apple Joins Home Automation Wars and Betting on Smart Homes.)

SmartThings says it remains committed to maintaining an open platform for developers, hardware manufacturers and consumers, and CEO Hawkinson wrote in his blog post that Samsung "fully supports this vision." Regardless of how open the platform is, however, there will ultimately be winners and losers in the smart home technology market. Analysts Cesar Bachelet and Patrick Rusby with Analysys Mason believe that Samsung has an advantage over some of its competitors because it sells home appliances as well as smartphones and tablets.


For more of Light Reading's coverage of IoT trends, visit our IoT content channel.


Ultimately, though, the stakes also extend beyond the home as everyone tries to jockey for position around the Internet of Things. Eventually, it won't only be light bulbs, thermostats and refrigerators that these technology platforms aim to control, but everything from cars to signs to medical devices.

Samsung already has its own IoT operating system called Tizen, but that technology has gained limited traction so far. After speaking with both Samsung and SmartThings, Re/code reported that the two companies see plenty of partnership opportunities on the horizon for the separate technologies.

It will likely take some time for the platform wars to shake out, but in the meantime, Samsung has placed itself squarely on the battlefield with the purchase of SmartThings. Expect a lot more activity on all fronts heading into 2015.

— Mari Silbey, special to Light Reading

(22)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Page 1 / 3   >   >>
nasimson
50%
50%
nasimson,
User Rank: Light Sabre
9/6/2014 | 4:17:22 AM
Re: Dire
@ Mitch:

> Yes, those things are all problems for Samsung. They mean Samsung does not
> control its own products.

These things ARE the powerful partnership with Google that got Samsung to the leadership position in Smartphone market. Samsung could focus on the hardware and continued to deliver two flagship models Notex and Sx every year, beating Apple on volumes & value.

If you recall Samsung's own attempt to write a smartphone OS: BADA. That failed on many fronts including but not limited to inability to attract developers to write apps. This is just one of the many areas where Samsung is reaping benefits from Google's investments.

So its not a problem. Instead it is a recipe for success. And I dont see it changing anytime soon.
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
9/4/2014 | 5:18:59 PM
Re: Dire
Yes, those things are all problems for Samsung. They mean Samsung does not control its own products.
nasimson
50%
50%
nasimson,
User Rank: Light Sabre
9/3/2014 | 10:26:18 PM
Re: Dire
@Mitch:

> It's a problem for Samsung because Apple controls its own mobile OS.

By that logic, even Android's Playstore is a problem for Samsung because Samsunng does not control it and Apples controls its own appstore.

By that logic, even Android's Google Search is a problem for Samsung because Samsunng does not control it and Apple manages its search partnerships.

Although Samsung does get benefit out of Google Search and Andoid's PlayStore -or am I missing something here?
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
9/3/2014 | 1:10:20 PM
Re: Dire
nasimon - "> much of Samsung's value seems to rely on Android, which is a > platform Samsung does not control. @Mitch: I don't see why this is a problem. Dependency on Android is not unique to Samsung. It's also there for HTC and HUAWEI Mobile, and also true for LG. Thanks to Google, you don't have to code your OS to be a great smartphone manufacturer."

It's a problem for Samsung because Apple controls its own mobile OS. 
SachinEE
50%
50%
SachinEE,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/24/2014 | 10:08:53 AM
RE: Not so fast
I think among other start ups that have been aquired by Google, Microsoft, Apple, and now Samsung, it clearly shows that the IOT race is beginning with major competitors at the starting positions. Moreover contrary to other acquisitions, SmartThings have got a great boost because of the wide range of market they'll be falling under the canopy of samsung.
SachinEE
50%
50%
SachinEE,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/24/2014 | 10:06:16 AM
SmartThings a third party?
Although SmartThings has been acquired, would they be able to expand their business to provide third party apps to IOT hardware developers? Since they have got a huge headstart, investing by supplying applications to vendors would be a nice idea to SmartThings.
DHagar
50%
50%
DHagar,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/22/2014 | 1:18:39 PM
Re: Not So Fast
@Susan, good points.  You can win if you are competitive in your niche. 
Susan Fourtané
50%
50%
Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Blogger
8/22/2014 | 5:11:29 AM
RE: Not so fast
DHagar, 

Definitely. Not being the leading competitor doesn't mean they can't become more competivite. In fact, they should as the IoT market gets wider and the waters become populated by more sharks. :)  

-Susan 
DHagar
50%
50%
DHagar,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/18/2014 | 2:27:52 PM
Re: Dire
@bosco_pcs, you well point out the complexities they face and the waters they are going to have to navigate smoothly to get ahead.  They clearly will have to prove that they can.  But having said that, I think their recognition of the technology advantage in Smart Things does make sense - if they can manage the issues addressed; at least it suggests the opportunity.

 
bosco_pcs
50%
50%
bosco_pcs,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/18/2014 | 2:06:00 PM
Re: Dire
@DHagar (& @FakeMitchWagner et al):

So the prevailing idea that Samsung will throw everything against the wall hoping something will stick is just a fabrication?

I don't know if it is desperate but it did try to replace Android with Tizen. Don't know the details but it appears it hits a snag.

While most of the non iOS vendors are using a version of Android, Samsung's latest entanglement with Microsoft (who is supposed to reap Android loyalty more than Google) seems to suggest the OS is not really free. The problem is Samsung has to compete with its Chinese competitors in China. And China is using its anti-corruption and anti-trust campaigns to make wave, Samsung is likely to be affected more than others.

To circle back to SmartThings, so what kind of IPs does it have? Could that give Samsung a leg up on the IP war? 

Ultimately, technologies alone don't spell success. Considering Samsung recent years of making partners into competitors, if not enemies, can it really continue its strategy of spreading itself thin without suffering any repercussions?
Page 1 / 3   >   >>
From The Founder
Cisco's Conrad Clemson, recently promoted to head up the company's Service Provider Apps & Platforms developments, talks to Light Reading's Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about how he's bringing cloud video, mobile and virtualization together to empower network operators.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
4.5G Evolution: Peter Zhou on Advanced MIMO Technologies & 5G Business Prep

2|25|17   |     |   (0) comments


In the process of service transformation, operators need to catch three major opportunities and start deploying in 4.5G networks, such as video, household broadband access and digital transformation of vertical industries. 5G is coming. Operators don't need to wait for it to happen but should progressively deploy 4.5G networks by introducing 5G-oriented ...
LRTV Custom TV
What WTTX Can Deliver

2|23|17   |     |   (0) comments


Mohamed Madkour explains the benefits of WTTX while Dimitris Mavrakis discusses the challenges of delivering home broadband access.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei on Mobile Broadband

2|23|17   |     |   (0) comments


Mohamed Madkour shares his vision on MBB for the next three years.
LRTV Custom TV
Analysys Mason Talks About the Future of Digital Operations

2|23|17   |     |   (0) comments


The future of digital operations has three key aspects: 1. Highly automated operations for both service and network; 2. Highly converged BSS/OSS for business and resources; 3. Highly merged management and control for real-time cloud native operations.
LRTV Interviews
Software Trends in the Telecom Sector

2|23|17   |   03:40   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading senior analyst James Crawshaw talks with Telecoms.com Editorial Director Scott Bicheno about trends and developments in the telecoms software sector and what to expect at MWC 2017.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei's Pre-MWC Analyst Briefing 2017 Highlights

2|22|17   |     |   (0) comments


Huawei shares its vision for this year's MWC.
LRTV Interviews
MWC17: 5G, Cloud RAN & More

2|21|17   |   04:35   |   (0) comments


Ovum Senior Analyst Julian Bright talks to Scott Bicheno from Telecoms.com about all things MWC, including Cloud RAN, Huawei's pitch to the industry and the road to 5G.
LRTV Interviews
MWC 2017's Key 2-Letter Terms

2|20|17   |   08:29   |   (1) comment


5G, AI, VR... these are just some of the two-letter terms that will dominate show-floor chat at MWC 2017 in Barcelona, according to these two blow-hards (a.k.a. Scott Bicheno of Telecoms.com and Light Reading's Ray Le Maistre). And then there's PB...
LRTV Interviews
Key Trends for Mobile Operators in Developing Markets

2|20|17   |   06:37   |   (0) comments


Ovum's Matthew Reed talks to Scott Bicheno from Telecoms.com about the challenges and opportunities facing mobile operators in the developing markets of Africa and the Middle East.
LRTV Documentaries
YouTube Takes on Facebook Live-Streaming

2|17|17   |     |   (0) comments


Popular 'YouTubers' will be the first to get the new service on their smartphones. You have been warned.
LRTV Custom TV
Open Source NFV/SDN Automation

2|17|17   |   05:54   |   (0) comments


AT&T ECOMP (Enhanced Control, Orchestration, Management and Policy) code is transitioning into the Linux Foundation for placement into open source. In this video, Carol Wilson provides an update on the maturation of open source ECOMP and meets with industry leaders from AT&T, Bell Canada, Orange, Linux Foundation and Amdocs to discuss what this means for the ...
LRTV Documentaries
Uber & NASA Collaborate on Flying Car Project

2|16|17   |     |   (0) comments


Is Uber for real? Well, it's hired NASA engineer Mark Moore to lead the project, and he wouldn't come cheap.
Upcoming Live Events
March 21-22, 2017, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
March 22, 2017, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
March 22, 2017, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
May 15, 2017, Austin Convention Center - Austin, TX
June 6, 2017, The Joule Hotel, Dallas, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Uber's HR Nightmare: Company Investigates Sexual Harassment Claims
Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 2/21/2017
Broadband Has a Problem on the Pole
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 2/21/2017
Verizon to Start Fixed 5G Customer Trials in April
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 2/22/2017
Sprint to Go Gigabit Crazy at MWC!
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 2/22/2017
MANO Marriage: ECOMP, Open-O Converge as ONAP
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 2/23/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders chats with Sportlogiq CEO Craig Buntin about sports data analysis.
Eyal Waldman, CEO of Mellanox Technologies, speaks to Steve Saunders, CEO of Light Reading, for an exclusive interview about the 100 GB cable challenge, cybersecurity and much more.
Animals with Phones
No One Likes This Click Here
Take a hint!
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.