It isn’t just those high-profile ads mocking long waiting lines of Apple fan boys. Samsung is challenging Apple on the media front with the hire of former AOL Media and Studios President David Eun. As a Samsung EVP, Eun is being tasked with "developing a global media strategy and driving new business opportunities" for the company's digital devices.
In other words, Samsung is declaring that it has the same digital hardware as Apple and can tie it together into a seamless media ecosystem with the right content offerings. At AOL, Eun ran the content operation that included 100 Web sites and multimedia production. Before that, he established content partnerships for Google.
Samsung is anticipating the next round in competition for the living room; how content and apps work across TVs and mobile platforms. This is a space where all the major mobile players are trying to find footing. Rumors continue that Apple will move directly into one of Samsung's core markets -- television -- sometime next year.
Apple has no TV yet, but it has an Apple TV that knits together mobile devices, apps and TVs. Google has the massive Android phone market, but its first attempt at penetrating the living room with Google TV was a high-profile failure.
Microsoft has a large living-room footprint with the Xbox 360, which just began to add streaming TV services. But the company’s Windows Phone 7 is struggling in the marketplace. Almost all of the newer mobile contenders in the looming home entertainment space lack some major component.
Meanwhile, Sony, which makes televisions, has been accelerating its deployment of the online video Crackle portal. And Amazon is supporting its Kindle Fire launch with a range of media partnerships and its own video streaming service.
Arguably, Samsung comes closest among the large consumer electronics manufacturers to having all the pieces it needs already in place to connect multiscreens in the home. Samsung connected TVs have a robust menu of featured content partners in the form of apps, and they are the world’s leading seller of smartphones. Eun's expertise may help coordinate the company's assets into a competitive media play.