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Summary:

These are the companies, startups and giants alike, that are changing or could potentially change the mobile landscape in the most profound ways.

The-mobile-15-logo

Samsung Electronics

CEO: Oh-Hyun Kwon

Number of employees: 221,726

The business:

Samsung Electronics is a highly diversified company, ranging from mobile devices to televisions to household appliances. The company is also one of the largest chip producers in the world: no. 2 behind Intel in 2011 as measured by revenues.

The backstory:

Samsung was always part of the mobile phone world, and in 2007, it took over the second sales spot worldwide, passing Motorola. However, this was just as Apple’s iPhone arrived and the shift from feature phones to smartphones began. Over the next several years, Samsung changed focus and started to see smartphone success with its first Galaxy S phone in 2010. Since then the company quickly moved through the ranks of top smartphone sales to oust Nokia for the no. 1 spot.

The innovation:

Much of Samsung’s Galaxy phone line has an iPhone-inspired look and feel, but the company has pushed beyond a simple copy with advances in both hardware and software. Early adoption of Near Field Communications (NFC) chips allow Samsung phones to be used for wireless payments. The use of a digital stylus — and smart software that takes advantage of it — for note-taking and image editing or creation is becoming more prevalent in Samsung’s mobile products. The company also sensed an early trend for large, high-resolution displays on smartphones, blending the lines between handsets and connected tablets.

The plan:

Samsung clearly has struggled in the courts. A judge recently found that the company had infringed on a number of Apple’s patents and ordered it to pay damages of $1.05 billion. However, Samsung shows no signs of backing off its push for advancements in hardware and software, particularly where rivals have not. Larger but still portable smartphone and advanced stylus software will continue to keep Samsung near the top of the smartphone market.

—KCT

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  1. Tapit were Winners @ 2012 AIMIA for Best New Service in innovation – NFC

    http://www.mobileawards.com. au/MA2012/entry_details.asp? ID=10757&Category_ID=4852)

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  2. Check out this slide deck titled “A Catalog of Mobile Device Innovations”

    http://www.slideshare.net/timhigg/catalog-of-mobile-device-innovations-92012

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  3. Surya Narayanan Tuesday, September 18, 2012

    Sadly you have not looked at the emerging markets hard enough. You would have found very interesting examples including Safaricom’s m-pesa which is by the larger than Western Union Money Transfer. Please look to create a more inclusive list..

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    1. It would have been good to consider the social impact of innovations. There are so many innovative mobile companies out there, but if they don’t make people’s lives better then do they really answer the “so what?” test. M-PESA is a great example of a mobile innovation that has changed millions of people’s lives and is helping to create a vibrant mobile ecosystem. Its influence can be seen in every mobile wallet/banking/payments initiative the world over.
      If you don’t know M-PESA, read this: http://mobithinking.com/country-guides-home/guide-mobile-web-kenya

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  4. all of your links to the “Mobile 15″ are broken

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    1. Thanks, this is fixed.

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  5. Alcatel – Lucent and Nokia? You’ve got to be kidding me…Why not add RIM and MySpace too..

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  6. With Windows 8 just around the corner its bizarre that Microsoft didn’t make the list.

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  7. Have you ever heard of republic wireless?

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  8. I did not realize GigiOm was this desperate for money

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  9. Including Nokia and **not** Qualcomm renders your list laughable, and from the entire staff to boot ? No need reading any further and further questions the value of anything Gigaom.com?

    Jim M

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  10. Great innovation! Glad to see Thinfilm on the short list!

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  11. What an amazing story. I had the luck to meet all of the team yesterday, and today at #SEMICONEuropa http://twitter.com/SEMICONEuropa here in Dresden, Germany

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  12. Amazing folks – currently in Dresden at http://Twitter.com/SEMICONEuropa – had the pleasure to talk to them, and learn more about this amazing product. Well deserved!!!

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