Samsung may extend Android to cameras
Part of move to extend common software and apps platform to all its products, from TVs to consumer electronics
Published: 15 March, 2012
Samsung came fairly late to the Android smartphone race, but has certainly made an impact in the past two years with the Galaxy family. Now the Korean firm is reported to be looking at a far broader range of consumer devices, bringing Android to many of its other offerings, such as digital cameras.
One of the strengths Samsung shares with Sony, but few other rivals, is the huge reach of its consumer electronics products and brand, and it is increasingly looking to create a unified platform for all the gadgets as well as home equipment such as TVs. This involves bringing an operating system even to devices which have traditionally been fairly dumb, so that they can all tap into the common, Android-based content and apps stores. In turn, this encourages incremental device sales, brand loyalty and software revenues.
Google's own Android efforts have mainly focused on handsets and tablets, but it has recently extended the OS to Google TV, while some third parties have stretched the platform far further - into set-top boxes, cars and other increasingly intelligent gadgets. According to Engadget, Samsung is now evaluating a smart camera, in an effort to revive the market for a separate digital camera as opposed to a cameraphone. With advanced technology coming to handsets - even a 42-megapixel capability in Nokia's new 808 PureView - there has been declining consumer interest in standalone cameras.
Samsung could launch an 'open', apps-driven camera, with heavy support for social image services, later this year, said one insider. It would not be the first Android camera, since Polaroid has already shown off its SC1630, for shipment later this year, the first of a family.