Samsung exec wants to emulate Apple's strengths, uses rival's products

Samsung Galaxy Nexus
Despite the rivalry, Samsung admits it can learn from Apple

Samsung and Apple may not be the best of friends, but that doesn't mean employees from either company don't see the merit in their rival's tech.

Despite being the top phone manufacturer during the third quarter of 2012, at least one of Samsung's executives believes there's more to be learned from Apple's practices.

In an interview with MIT Technology Review, Samsung's Chief Strategy Officer Young Sohn talked about how envious he was of Apple's iCloud, even going so far as to admit he uses Apple devices outside the office.

What's more, Sohn believes a critical point in Samsung's future relies on creating an open ecosystem like iCloud if the company hopes to have continued success.

It's better on the cloud

Samsung has just built two new research and development facilities in Silicon Valley, and Sohn revealed what he hoped those new branches would accomplish.

"We make really great devices," Sohn said. "But actually if you think of our future, it's in answering the question of how we put it all together and how we manage the data that's coming out of these devices and encourage the innovation ecosystem for our platforms."

Sohn added that Samsung would be looking into critical growth areas like cloud and mobile ecosystem technologies.

All of this would be to better emulate the strengths of Apple, which Sohn believes lie in the unified ecosystem iCloud provides.

"If you look at the strengths of Apple, in a way it's not the product per se. It's that consumers like their ecosystem such as iCloud," Sohn stated.

"[The Samsung Galaxy Nexus] is a better phone, in my view. It's a better display. It's faster. But eventually the connected ecosystem is really critical."

Unlike Apple, Samsung's devices are very single-minded according to Sohn, and that's an area he hopes to address soon.

"[If] you think about our experiences, it's device-centric," Sohn related. "It's experienced by itself. It's not experienced in a connected way. So we think we can provide a lot more things than what we are doing today with an open ecosystem with our partners."

Samsung is rumored to introduce a radical brand makeover at CES 2013, and indicated that consumers should expect "something new" at the convention.

Whether that includes some of the ideas Sohn presented in his interview remains to be seen, but at least there are only a few more weeks until we find out just what Samsung has in store for the future.

Via The Verge, MIT Technology Review