After just 10 months of offering its own dedicated platform for users to download apps, Samsung says more than 100 million apps have been downloaded. Samsung Apps went live last spring, and even though it didn't have a lot of consumer momentum behind it, thanks to an extremely strong network of content partners, the company has been able to quickly grow and expand the digital storefront.
The Samsung Apps marketplace now has more than 13,000 titles available, or roughly 43 new apps every day since it launched. And, "We are anticipating that Samsung Apps will show a rapid growth in 2011," the firm said in a statement.
Of course, it still has a long way to go to even be considered in the same breath as Apple's App Store, which has generated more than 10 billion app downloads.
But Samsung is showing that it can at least compete. In addition to the App Store, Samsung launched its own streaming video service last year and will soon open up an iTunes rival, the Samsung Music Hub. That's a lot of work over the last year for a company that was previously regarded only as a hardware manufacturer.
For Samsung, there's a bigger picture at play. Unlike the iTunes App Store, which exists exclusively on mobile devices, Samsung wants "Samsung Apps" to be a recognizable and trusted interface throughout all of its consumer electronics.
So in addition to its smartphones, Samsung has an app store for the Galaxy Tab tablets, Internet-connected TVs, and Blu-ray players. It's also been looking into social networking apps on Facebook.
Samsung is one of the biggest manufacturers of consumer tech in the world, but it has had trouble getting consumers to really love its brand. People buy a Samsung TV because they know the name, not because they love Samsung.
What we're starting to see is a push in the direction of customer loyalty, so that if you buy a Samsung TV, you'll feel compelled to buy a Samsung phone because of interoperability between the two. It's a move that requires a lot of new resources and development for Samsung, but it's a move that the company hopes will pay off.