Samsung isn't gaining much traction in its efforts to slather its Android phones with its own apps and services, according to Strategy Analytics.
The research firm surveyed 250 users of Samsung's Galaxy S3 and S4 in the United States, using an app that monitors smartphone usage and rewards users for their participation. The survey found that Samsung's apps don't account for nearly as much usage as popular Google apps and services.
On average, the surveyed Galaxy S3 and S4 users spent just under seven minutes with key Samsung apps, such as the messaging app ChatOn and the Samsung Apps store. Those same users spent 149 minutes per month on the Google Play Store, Google Search, and YouTube alone.
Samsung's ChatOn app, which is supposed to be an answer to messaging apps like WhatsApp, was among the worst performers, accounting for just 0.1 minutes of usage among Galaxy S3 and S4 users. Samsung's S Voice and S Memo apps fared the best, but still only accounted for 3.6 minutes and 3.9 minutes per month, respectively, on the Galaxy S4, while Galaxy S3 users only spent 2.5 minutes with each service.
The good news for Samsung is that Galaxy S3 and S4 users consume 14 percent more video than the industry average, and 24 percent more data, suggesting that users are enjoying their Samsung handsets. They're just not paying much attention to Samsung's own apps and services.
Samsung wants to push its apps as a way of reducing dependence on Google. As the Wall Street Journal notes, Wonpyo Hong, the president of Samsung's Media Solution Center, has called software “crucial,” and said the company has more research engineers working on software than hardware.
Samsung has also been a key player in developing Tizen, an open-source operating system similar to Android, and has used the OS on its latest Galaxy Gear smartwatches. A Tizen-based Samsung phone may also be in the works, but the gap in usage between Samsung and Google services shows just how far Samsung has to go before such a device would be viable.