Beautiful devices and apps are key to success says Samsung

Beautiful phones and a wide selection of apps are crucial for a mobile operating system to succeed, says Samsung's Lee Epting.

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Andrew is CNET's go-to guy for product coverage and lead photographer for Europe. When not testing the latest phones, he can normally be found with his camera in hand, behind his drums or eating his stash of home-cooked food. Sometimes all at once.
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Andrew Lanxon
2 min read

Beautiful devices and apps from third-party developers are the two crucial elements to the success of a mobile operating system, according to Lee Epting, a vice president at Samsung's European Media Solutions Centre.

"I think that the success of an OS is based on [two] key things. One and most importantly, you have to make beautiful devices -- consumers want beautiful devices and if they can have beautiful devices, I don’t think they’re too interested in the operating system," said Epting, who's in charge of growing Samsung's content and services business.

"If you have an OS that doesn’t support a broad array of applications and it doesn’t cover the kinds of things a consumer now expects from a smart device, then I think you’ll have a problem, and so I think that’s the second element of why an OS may be less successful," Epting said in an interview with CNET at the Samsung Developer conference.

"It’s those two things -- it's a world of beautiful devices as well as having that developer cooperation to create a really rich third-party ecosystem around an OS."

It's perhaps this reason that Samsung has had very little focus on Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system, which, while visually appealing, is yet to offer any kind of challenge to iOS or Android due in part to its pitifully stocked app store. Samsung's Windows Phone portfolio currently spans only four devices, the latest of which -- the Ativ S -- was released in 2012.

"We have a multi OS strategy so absolutely we are investing cross platform, Epting said. "We've got work we’re doing on Android, we've got work we're doing on Windows Phone, we’re doing work on other operating systems like Tizen. We’ve got a lot of different operating systems we’re working on and right now... as you can see, the lion’s share of our efforts are on the Android side."

At the event, Samsung also explained that its Tizen operating system -- currently in development with Intel, which will see its way on to phones -- will be developed alongside Android, not as a replacement of Google's software. No firm dates of when a Tizen-based phone will be seen were discussed, however.

Are apps crucial to a phone's success? Would you give Windows Phone a try if it had a better app store or are you already sold on its colourful, tiled interface? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below or over on our Facebook page.