& 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
The independent evaluation of Nokia's key virtual network functions (VNFs) was a defining moment for the Finnish giant.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
The Real-World View of Service Provider Innovation
Executives from Deutsch Telekom, Facebook, AT&T, Vodafone, and Masergy share insights from their company’s major transformation efforts and updates on key issues including open source, managed cloud connections and 5G.
LRTV Documentaries
Light Reading Hall of Fame 2016

5|23|16   |   05:43   |   (0) comments


Find out who has been welcomed into Light Reading's Hall of Fame this year.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE TM Forum Highlights

5|23|16   |     |   (0) comments


ZTE showcased its new ICT solutions at TM Forum in Nice.
LRTV Interviews
Gamma's MD on the Emergence of UC2

5|20|16   |     |   (0) comments


Gamma Communications Managing Director David Macfarlane believes the unified communications (UC) market has reached a tipping point.
LRTV Custom TV
The Ultimate 5-Minute Guide to Digital Customer Engagement

5|20|16   |     |   (0) comments


In this short video, you will hear all about how Digital Customer Engagement is the key to meeting customer expectations, keeping them happy, and maximizing revenue. VP Product & Marketing at Pontis, Ofer Razon, breaks down for us the five essential capabilities for successful Digital Customer Engagement. Don’t miss!
LRTV Custom TV
NFV in 2016: Part 1 – NFV Use Cases Get Real

5|19|16   |   05:57   |   (0) comments


Consensus is building around the key use cases for NFV, including managed IP services at the network edge and on customer premises, which can generate new revenues from enterprises/SMBs and consumers; Evolved Packet Core to support LTE migration; and adjacent technologies, such as TAS and IMS, to support VoLTE and next-generation charging and policy control ...
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia's Steve Vogelsang on NFV – Part 3

5|19|16   |     |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang discusses the challenges of operational transformation and how Nokia helps its customers. Join Steve at the Big Communications Event in Austin the morning of May 24, on his keynote and optical networking panel.
LRTV Interviews
Level 3: Why UC Is In Demand

5|17|16   |   04:12   |   (1) comment


Andrew Edison, Level 3's senior VP of sales, EMEA region, talks about the drivers of growth in the unified communications services market.
LRTV Custom TV
ARM's OPNFV Action

5|17|16   |     |   (0) comments


At the ARM booth at MWC 2016, Joe Kidder and Bob Monkman speak to Light Reading about OPNFV and their upcoming action.
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia's Steve Vogelsang on NFV – Part 2

5|16|16   |     |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang gives advice to service providers on how to move to NFV. Join Steve at the Big Communications Event in Austin the morning of May 24, on his keynote and optical networking panel.
LRTV Interviews
Interoute CTO on NFV's Maturity

5|13|16   |   06:46   |   (1) comment


Matt Finnie, CTO at international operator Interoute, explains how NFV has made life easier in terms of logistics and how Interoute can now enable a 'software-defined moment' for its customers.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
UBBS 2016 Highlights

5|12|16   |     |   (0) comments


Highlights of Huawei's UBBS event in Hong Kong.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
European 2020 Digital Agenda

5|12|16   |     |   (0) comments


Anacom's Fatima Barros discusses the plan to bring ultrafast broadband to Portugal by 2020.
Upcoming Live Events
May 24-25, 2016, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
December 6-8, 2016,
June 16-18, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
A new survey conducted by Heavy Reading and TM Forum shows that CSPs around the world see the move to digital operations as a necessary part of their overall virtualization strategies.
Hot Topics
WiCipedia: Short Skirts & Back-Up Plans
Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, 5/20/2016
Nokia Plays It Smart With Major Mobile Devices Brand Deal
Iain Morris, News Editor, 5/18/2016
AT&T Plots Mobile 5G Tests in 2017
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 5/18/2016
Ingenu Revs Up IoT Rhetoric
Iain Morris, News Editor, 5/18/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
In this latest installment of the CEO Chat series, Craig Labovitz, co-founder and CEO of Deepfield, sits down with Light Reading's Steve Saunders in Light Reading's New York City office to discuss how Deepfield fits in with the big data trend and more.
Grant van Rooyen, president and CEO of Cologix, sits down with Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, in the vendor's New Jersey facility to offer an inside look at the company's success story and discuss the importance of security in the telecom industry.
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Our world has evolved through innovation from the Industrial Revolution of the 1740s to the information age, and it is now entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution, driven by technology. Technology is driving a paradigm shift in the way digital solutions deliver a connected world, changing the way we live, communicate and provide solutions. It can have a powerful impact on how we tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems. In this radio show, Caroline Dowling, President of Communications Infrastructure & Enterprise Computing at Flex, will join Women in Comms Director Sarah Thomas to discuss the impact technology has on society and how it can be a game-changer across the globe; improving lives and creating a smarter world. Dowling, a Cork, Ireland, native and graduate of Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program, will also discuss her experience managing an international team focused on innovation in an age of high-speed change.