September 12, 2013

Why is Samsung Throwing Money at Startups?

In a swank office building, waiters handed out fried pickles and caviar-covered sushi. Shiny new LCD screens covered several walls. It was opening night for Samsung’s new startup accelerator in midtown Manhattan, and the company had spared no expense. "The future for us is about the thoughtful integration of hardware and software," said David Eun, the head of Samsung’s Open Innovation Center. "And that means startups."

The smartphone market is increasingly made up of vertically integrated companies that create both the hardware and software for their devices. Apple was the pioneer of this model in its modern form. Google got in the game when it purchased Motorola. And Microsoft completed the trifecta when it acquired Nokia. Samsung,...

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