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#MWC2013: Dropbox On Mobile Devices & Services Partnerships


At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona yesterday, Samsung’s Dr Injong Rhee appears to take a bit of a snipe at Apple, saying that “On a samsung device, you see a lot of partner products. We dont force our users to use Samsung products and services. If our in-house service is not good enough, we’ll look for the best of the breed.” Rhee warned that it’s easy for handset manufacturers to fall into the trap of the Larkin Effect, and just as Samsung uses partner chipsets, it also doesn’t believe in the handcuff approach when it comes to products and services. He cited Samsung’s Dropbox partnership as a key example: “We launched a Dropbox service on our galaxy S3. It’s the best of the breed in the cloud storage service. We can actually developed cloud service solutions in Samsung, but we know we have to use Dropbox because the customer wants it. We’ve not just launched a preload; we’re doing an integration of Dropbox with our systems applications like camera and gallery, to provide a better user experience, and combining our differentiation in terms of hanrdware support.”

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Not unexpectedly, Lars Fjeldsoe-Lielsen, Head of Mobile Business Development for Dropbox, agreed with the notion of partnering saying that the state of the digital ecosystem right now is that all the rules are changing.

- Independent Services Replacing Carrier Services: “Carriers have been making their own services – lets do cloud services, instant messaging, music, social networking. Each has been taken up by other companies: Whatsapp, Spotify, and Facebook, and Dropbox is trying to be the cloud service leader in that segment. I call this the French Revolution of mobile services right now.
- The Samsung Partnership: A survey Dropbox conducted suggested that 18% of people bought the Samsung S3 handset because of its partnership with Dropbox. “40% of subscribers are likely to churn from one carrier to another in the UK, and (so) what are the partnerships that allow customers to stick with their carriers and their handsets? The partnerships that we have today, the most noteworthy is with Samsung. we’re working with HTC, a partership with CES. We announced the Samsung Galaxy Camera partnership.”

- Bringing Consumers on board:

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- Why are these partnerships successful? The reality is that we’re listening to users. We are taking so many photos now. But the problem is getting photos off the handset. Dropbox helps solves this problem of transferring. Over a billion smartphones are expected to be sold this year.
- How Cloud Is Changing Things At Work: “With people bringing their own devices to work, we are working with samsung knox, which only allows you to access apps that the IT administrators allow. People are just following the trends in the industry. We are setting up Dropbox for teams, which gives administrators more control over. We initially launched as a consumer service, and when people started using it for work, it’s coming back to us. We have to respond to that and develop it to address that need. 95% of fortune 500 companies are using Dropbox, and 2 million businesses.”