& 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
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
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 Interviews
No Stopping Cable's Ethernet Gains

12|9|16   |     |   (0) comments


Vertical Systems' Erin Dunne explains why US cable operators, which now command a record-high 26% of the Ethernet market, will keep boosting their share.
LRTV Interviews
Fixing IoT Security Is an Ecosystem Challenge

12|9|16   |   05:34   |   (1) comment


Level 3 Communications' Chief Security Officer Dale Drew says service providers, manufacturers and even consumers must combine to halt massive DDoS attacks using IoT devices in botnets. The solution he has in mind includes reputation-based routing by the service provider but also more secure endpoint devices and greater consumer awareness.
LRTV Interviews
Cox Clears $2B in Business Revenue

12|8|16   |     |   (0) comments


Cox's Jeff Breaux discusses how the third-largest US MSO will reach the $2 billion revenue mark this year and plans to hit $3 billion by 2021
LRTV Interviews
Can Cable Climb Upmarket?

12|7|16   |     |   (0) comments


Carol Wilson and Alan Breznick assess cable's prospects for winning more enterprises in a landscape rocked by corporate M&A activity.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
TalkTalk Exec: Find Your North Star at Work

12|7|16   |   3:38   |   (1) comment


Women need to find their purpose, a professional North Star, and create a personal board for themselves, according to Alex Tempest, director of partners at TalkTalk Business.
LRTV Interviews
Verizon: Beware Unknown Unknowns

12|7|16   |   04:58   |   (0) comments


Chris Novak, director of the Verizon Enterprise Solutions Risk Team, explains that enterprises who don't conduct a thorough audit of their assets often leave some things unprotected because they don't know they exist. Many times these unprotected assets are part of corporate M&A activity but left unshielded they can become a hacker's playground, he tells Light ...
LRTV Interviews
ETSI's CTO Talks NFV, 5G & NGP

12|5|16   |   09:45   |   (0) comments


Adrian Scrase, CTO at standards body ETSI, talks about the various initiatives and specifications developments related to NFV, 5G and NGP (next-generation protocols) that will underpin next-gen networks.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Korn Ferry Consultant: How to Find, Cultivate & Be the Best Talent

11|30|16   |   4:10   |   (2) comments


Erin Callaghan, a managing consultant for Korn Ferry Futurestep, shares strategies for companies to improve how they recruit and for women to ensure they don't get lost in the pipeline.
LRTV Custom TV
We Can Make the World More Sustainable

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


GeSI is a global e-Sustainability Initiative organization bringing together 40 big multinational companies around the world. According to GeSI's report, information and communication technology can make the world more sustainable. Luis Neves, chairman of GeSI, shared with us his opinion at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
Finding a New Way to Engage Customers & Drive Revenue

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


Mobile revenues are declining. Digicel, a player in the Caribbean telecommunications/entertainment space, has found a new way to engage customers and drive revenue. John Quinn, CTO of Digicel, shared with us its story at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016)
LRTV Custom TV
Do You Really Need Gigabit Infrastructure?

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


Altibox is the biggest fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) player and the largest provider of video and TV in Norway. They started out with zero customers in 2002. Now they have close to half a million households and companies attached to their FTTH business. Nils Arne, CEO of Altibox shared with us their story and insight on 5G at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
BT’s Openreach Strategy & Its Updates in 2016

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


A lot of developments at Openreach this year in terms of strategy and planned investments. Peter Bell, CIO of Openreach BT, shared with us the updates of Openreach at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016).
Upcoming Live Events
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
Cable Nodes Becoming a Choke Point
Brian Santo, Senior editor, Test & Measurement / Components, Light Reading, 12/5/2016
Consolidated Snaps Up Fairpoint for $1.5B
Iain Morris, News Editor, 12/5/2016
Small Arctic ISP Caches Netflix in New Way
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 12/7/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
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.
Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
Animals with Phones
A Mobile Safari Click Here
Literally.
Latest Comment
Live Digital Audio

Even when there's a strong pipeline of female talent in the comms industry, it tends to leak all the way to the top. McKinsey & Company says women experience pipeline leakage at three primary points: being unable to enter, being stuck in the middle or being locked out of the top. Each pipeline pain point presents its own challenges, but also opportunities to stop the leak. Wireless operator Sprint is making a conscious effort to improve its own pipeline from new recruits to the C-suite, and it wants the rest of the industry to do the same. In this Women in Comms radio show, WiC Board Member and Sprint Vice President of Enterprise Sales Nelly Pitocco will give us her take on the industry's pipeline challenges. Pitocco, who joined Sprint in May and has spent 20 years in the comms industry, will also offer solutions, share how Sprint is tackling the challenge within its own organization and take your questions live on air.