Samsung is the unexpected champion of the open ecosystem

It’s purely by accident, but in a world where every company is trying to close their ecosystems and extract as much profit from the customers caught in the trap, Samsung has arisen as the unexpected consumer hero we all need.

The position comes from the company’s laudable strategy of growing their market share by trying very hard to please every customer, either with one product that does everything, or a wide range of products that serve every niche.

The ultimate expression of this is the Samsung Note 8, which includes everything except the kitchen sink, ranging from removable storage, stylus, waterproofing,  fingerprint reader and even a 3.5 mm headphone jack.

Its the last item which inspired this editorial. This venerable port is under sustained assault by phone OEMs, including giants such as Apple and now Google. Were it not for Samsung’s stylish S8 and Note 8 we would have had to accept Google’s claim that the Pixel 2 needed to get rid of the headphone jack to “move towards a bezel-less future” (a joke in itself given the massive bezels on the new Pixel devices) or Apple’s claim that this was needed for waterproofing . Strange how the Note 8 is IP68 (3m depth) and the iPhone 8 only manages IP67 (1m depth). Also funny how the companies which create problems by removing the headphone jack conveniently have expensive solutions for the issue.

Samsung’s desire to please all has given us devices such as the Samsung Galaxy Book or the Samsung Galaxy S8 Microsoft Edition, and even the Samsung Odyssey WMR headset, despite the company having their own GearVR ecosystem.

In a world where companies continue to insist you can’t have it all, and that they know best, Samsung is the only one letting us have it our own way, and thumbing their nose at the competition in the process, and that is pretty great.

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