The Samsung Galaxy S3 is one of the most hotly anticipated smartphones of 2012 with its 720p display and quad-core CPU, but Maeil Business is reporting that it will also bring with it the launch of Samsung’s S Cloud to compete with Apple’s iCloud. According to the report, Samsung will be offering over 5GB of space and whilst no pricing is mentioned, this level of storage will likely be free.
I’ve been a big supporter of Samsung’s products and innovations that has resulted in them leading the Android pack and competing toe-to-toe with Apple. However I just don’t see the relevance of Samsung offering a cloud storage solution and audio/video/picture sharing in the same way that Apple and Microsoft do, and Google is due to start offerings soon. Samsung does not have a music or video store for integration that would add some relevance to this product. Moreover, the S-Cloud is apparently being built by Microsoft – so I don’t know why the two companies don’t just offer Sky-Drive integration. Or maybe they are?
Microsoft’s SkyDrive is their competitor to DropBox and Box.net and provides 25GB of cloud storage for free, with a good web interface and official apps for iOS and WP7 – but currently no such app on Android. Apple’s iCloud offers deep integration with iPhone and iPads, and SkyDrive will be deeply integrated into upcoming Windows 8 devices – but there is currently no such “official cloud storage” for Android devices. Google is rumoured to be launching GoogleDrive very soon with just such integration in mind, but if Microsoft has managed to integrated SkyDrive as the official cloud storage for 2012’s flagship Android device, then they may steal that market away. User’s want some form of cloud storage with their connected devices, and if Microsoft can be that provider for Windows and Android, then that gives them some serious clout in their battles with Apple.
Samsung already partners with Microsoft and sells some of the better WP7 (Windows Phone) smartphones, so there is a relationship there already. By partnering like this, Microsoft may even waive some of those expensive patent licenses that Android smartphone manufacturers currently pay to Redmond for each device sold. With Samsung not currently in the digital media game, getting a lucrative contract with Microsoft could be beneficial to both companies who are trying to usurp Apple’s dominance in mobile technology, and Google’s dominance in web-content services.
Motorola bought Zecter, the makers of cloud storage service ZumoDrive, late last year and that may be the base for Google’s GoogleDrive as they have acquired Motorola. If Samsung feared that only Motorola smartphones would be offered integration with the GoogleDrive, and HTC having already partnered with Box.net to provide 50GB of free space to users – now is the time for Samsung to get involved. And I think Microsoft SkyDrive may just be the right fit.