No longer content to live under Google's shadow, Samsung has announced its first-ever developer conference, to take place in San Francisco in October.
It's no secret that Samsung has been the leading supplier of Android devices for some time now – by a wide margin. According to one study, fully 94.7 per cent of all profits in the Android device market went to the South Korean firm in the first quarter of 2013.
Yet so far, the main event for Android developers each year has been the Chocolate Factory's Google I/O conference, also held in San Francisco. The event routinely sells out months in advance, with tickets running out mere minutes after online registration begins.
Little wonder, given Google's legendary largesse. Each year, I/O attendees receive a bagful of hardware freebies, which in the past have included a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, a Samsung Galaxy Nexus phone, and a Samsung 4G LTE mobile hotspot.
No doubt Samsung reckons two can play at that game. After all, it ships Android handsets in greater numbers than anyone – surely it can spare a few.
And Android isn't even the only iron Samsung has in the fire. Like many mobile makers, the Koreans are looking to diversify their offerings as a hedge against Google's tight-fisted control over the Android platform.
Samsung's leading alternative bet is Tizen, an open source mobile OS being developed under the auspices of the Linux Foundation. At the Tizen Developer Conference in May, Samsung was there to offer technical overviews of the platform and hand out prototype developer devices to every attendee.
The source code and SDK for Tizen 2.1 was released in May, and products based on Tizen 3.0 are expected to appear next year.
Moreover, Samsung is working on platforms beyond just Android and Tizen. It is reportedly collaborating with the Mozilla Foundation to develop a next-generation web browser engine for mobile devices. And don't forget that in recent years it has also become one of the leading suppliers of Windows laptops and tablets – even if Samsung execs have been less than pleased with sales.
Samsung's conference announcement itself gave little details of what attendees can expect at the inaugural event, suggesting only that developers will be able to learn about new Samsung tools and SDKs and "create what's next."
In fact, registration for the conference has yet to open. Leave your email address at the conference website and Samsung will let you know when it's time.
In the meantime, mark your calendar for the event, which is set to take place at San Francisco's Westin St. Francis Hotel from October 27 through 29. ®