SmartThings generates a lot of consumer media buzz for Samsung, but I suspect all along it’s been a very small part of their technology strategy.
The truth is there’s nothing new, and nothing patentable, about the SmartThings platform itself. Nicely packaged, and a wide vision, but really nothing technical that can’t be easily replicated by anyone else. However, it was a really interesting proof of concept for consumer use of a multi protocol home automation setup.
SAMI, on the other hand, along with Artik, are both really new. They do have some competition because this is a problem yet to be solved, but Samsung will be fighting off rivals on the basis of engineering. Really big company engineering. Intel and TI as competitors, Apple and Sony as customers.
Did you know Samsung is the largest memory chipmaker in the world? And that’s a profitable division.
SmartThings was always likely to have a full technology overhaul, I think. Probably for version 3. But the main business justification for its continuing existence is a combination of name and driving the purchase of other devices.
And if SmartThings eventually proves compatible with Artik-powered devices, Samsung scoops the pot: consumer media buzz and purchases by their real target market: device makers. (Maybe even including HomeKit, eventually.)
From an engineering standpoint, it looks like a very sensible roadmap. If they can make the big pieces work.