Culture

Why Samsung and Amazon Stumbled

TIZEN

The South Korean electronics giant had planned to debut its new smartphone running the company’s home-brewed Tizen operating system in Russia, but the debut has been postponed indefinitely:

It didn’t give any details about what precisely needed to be defined or how long the delay would be, but the reference to the ‘Tizen ecosystem’ hinted at fresh concerns over the availability of apps and related services that are needed to make the product sell.

Such concerns were, in part, behind the decisions of network operators NTT DoCoMo and France’s Orange SA to pull out of promotional campaigns launching the Tizen phone.

Samsung has already launched Tizen-driven smartwatches and cameras, but is desperate to extend it to smartphones in order to gain more control over the end-user experience in its most important products. Its license agreement with Google GOOG restricts its freedom to make more than cosmetic changes to the Android system.

Copying somebody else’s hardware to run somebody else’s software and buying up marketshare is easy. Creating your own ecosystem to protect yourself from even cheaper copycats and bossy software providers is hard.

Uh-oh:

Jeff Bezos is testing the patience of investors after Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) missed analysts’ estimates for a second straight quarter, sending the shares tumbling almost 10 percent.

The world’s largest online retailer yesterday reported a second-quarter loss of $126 million, more than double what was predicted, even as sales climbed 23 percent to $19.3 billion. Expenses jumped 24 percent to $19.4 billion.

As a consumer, I love what Amazon does. It’s the first place I go to buy almost everything except for lunch. But investors have been absolutely insane to run up its stock price they way they up, with incredible and unjustifiable P/E ratios. A ten percent drop? That ought to be just the beginning for a company whose expected turn to profits, as John Gruber wrote last year, will probably turn out to be a will o’ the wisp.

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cross-posted from Vodkapundit