Samsung seeks to promote ChatON
By Cho Mu-hyun
Samsung Electronics is promoting its own mobile chatting system called ``ChatON.’’ The company is positive about the application as it is the top mobile phone maker.
The decision to put ChatON on its latest Galaxy S3 smartphone comes after an order was made for the management to boost the company’s capability to better handle software-related systems.
Attention is being focused on whether ChatON will break down the popularity of the free mobile messenger ― KaKao Talk ― though officials insist the installment of the system doesn’t mean it is seeking to crush the opposition.
The mobile messenger was developed and released last year in October as part of the firm’s plan to expand its portfolio.
The messenger is now available in 120 countries and supports 68 languages, according to Samsung.
“Our mobile messenger ChatON supports global services, and allows group chatting and has strengthened multimedia abilities,’’ a Samsung spokeswoman said, Monday. Samsung will start the sale of the Galaxy S3 in the local market from this month.
She added that outside of Korea, ChatON is either pre-installed or available for download depending on the region. The domestic expansion is part of the firm’s global promotion
Galaxy S3 is one of the most popular handsets released by the company so far. Having started sales in 28 countries on May 29, pre-orders for the new item was over 10 million, according to the firm.
Samsung recently announced that its domestic sales of Long-Term Evolution (LTE)-enabled phones in the Galaxy series have sold more than 5 million.
Samsung officials say the delay of the Galaxy S3 in South Korea is because of the fierce competition between mobile messenger services. Kakao Talk’s services have near 50 million users globally, while NHN’s Line is also rapidly rising in Korean and Japan with over 37 million users. Daum’s MyPeople also has a solid consumer base here.
“Even though you can’t ignore strong brand image (that Kakao Talk or Line) already have, it is the advantage of the hardware manufacturer to use pre-installation for promoting,” said an unnamed Samsung official.
“There is no doubt in the market that the Galaxy S3 will be very successful when it is released, so I think it is safe to say that the domestic mobile messenger market will feel a certain impact once Galaxy S3 sales start,’’ he said.
Officials believe although ChatON is a late comer, the messenger system has huge growth potential as the company has realized an ``economies of a scale’’ of its mobile phone business.
However, another company official, who declined to be named, says there will be minimal impact as competing companies have a well established consumer base and better know-how.
“Some competing firms specialize in messenger services alone, while Samsung’s main business is hardware. I think Apple’s iMessage is a good example of failure.”