Weekly Cornerplay: Will Samsung app store’s revamp make a difference?

The best Android apps won’t limit their potential market by being exclusive to a second-rate store; it’ll be on Google Play, says Jeffrey Yuwono

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Welcome to the Weekly Cornerplay, a guest column where each week we analyse a tech product or service.

Oh Samsung. Did you know the Korean giant has its own Android app store? The friendly, local Samsung team asked us to put feecha on it and we were happy to oblige. Just a few hundred downloads later over the next three months, we’ve been neglectful about uploading new version updates.

Perhaps our experience wasn’t the exception, because Samsung recently revamped its app store from the ground up. It’s called Samsung Galaxy Apps now with a fresh coat of paint. The cool thing about it supposedly is that it has “hundreds of apps” that are exclusive to Samsung Galaxy devices.

Guess how good those apps will be? If you guessed “not very,” you’d be right. The best Android apps won’t limit their potential market by being exclusive to a second-rate store; it’ll be on Google Play.

But the Weekly Cornerplay is no arm chair analyst. Here’s what we would do if we were Samsung — make it the most highly curated app store on the planet. The boast is not about hundreds of thousands of apps; but just the best one thousand. Developers who make it will show off because it’s that special, and will spend the time to keep their store entry updated.

How many apps do people use? Most studies indicate about 30 to 35. The problem most of us have today is too many apps; we’re too busy to learn which ones are good. So why not an app store where Samsung hand picks the best 10 over a wider set of categories than Google is willing to specify because it doesn’t want to overcomplicate its store? Like “the best 10 apps for technology news” or “the best 10 arcade racing games.” Like a Wirecutter for mobile apps.

These selections won’t be based on popularity but quality. They shouldn’t look like Google Play’s top lists; because as experts, Samsung will be able to discover excellence before the mass market does. They become talent scouts prowling bars for the next big music hit.

This way the Samsung store will mean something. It will complement Google Play wonderfully instead of trying to compete with it.  Search Google’s store to find an app you already know you want; explore Samsung’s to discover what you may not know you want.

Wait, you might ask — aren’t there many app stores who already do this?  Yeah, but as the average consumer I don’t know who they are and I don’t care what they think. But if Samsung is the curator… it’s Samsung bitch.  The Samsung brand carries weight.

Of course, Samsung won’t follow our suggestion. Its app store was never about serving customers better, it was about pointless strategic competition with Google. Oh Samsung.

The author, Jeffrey Yuwono, blogs at the The Cornerplay, a weekly column about the tech and startup scene.

The views expressed here are of the author, and e27 may not necessarily subscribe to them

e27 invites members from Asia’s tech industry and startup community to share their honest opinions and expert knowledge with our readers. If you are interested to share your point of view, please send us an email to writers[at]e27[dot]co

Jeffrey Yuwono

3-time tech entrepreneur, slaving away at http://feecha.com. Stanford MBA, Duke grad. Blogs once a day about tech, start-ups & gadgets at http://cornerplay.com.

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