Korean Chaebol Samsung has partnered with Digital content specialist Acetrax to launch movie store geared towards mobile users dubbed Samsung movies.
Now, as much as Samsung's move to counter Apple's iTunes movie services has to be commended, the timing of the consumer electronic giant could have been much better.
The media industry is slowly but surely moving towards an eat-as-much-as-you-can pricing scheme. The success of Spotify is a striking example of how a service's simplicity can eliminate barriers to adoption. But Samsung will be charging £2.49 per rental day or £4.99 if you want to download the movie. Apple charges the same for renting but substantially more - £6.99 - for buying movies.
(2) Phone Support
So how many devices will support the Movie store? Right now? One. The Tocco Ultra Edition (S8300). Hardly a mass market consumer phone. It is a great phone on its own but compares poorly with the iPhone. It only comes with 85MB internal memory compared to the iPhone's 8GB.
The Movie store will aim mobile users first according the manufacturer. The Tocco Ultra Edition has a 2.8-inch touchscreen which is helplessly small. Samsung could have gone for something similar like the 3.2-inch Samsung Pixon or the Omnia.
iTunes UK has more than 14000 movies and TV Programmes for rent and to buy. Compare that to Samsung's 500 and there's not much of a comparison. Samsung is planning to bring in more content later this summer but this is unlikely to bridge the huge gap between the two programmes.
The Movie store, Samsung says, is the first movie service designed specifically for your PC and Samsung portable device. That's a direct take on Apple's strategy. You will need to download the PC and mobile copies on your computer before transferring the movie to your Samsung smartphone as there's no over-the-air Option (ed: unlikely that networks would allow this anyway).
The problem for Samsung though is that the service offers too little to wow its prospective users. At best, the Movie service is an iTunes web-only wannabe but at worst, it is a lousy clone let down by a poor implementation and an expensive price.