After watching mobile profits fall and seeing Apple catch, if not surpass, it in smartphone sales, Samsung appears to be taking drastic measures. Aside from changing to sleeker, metal designs for some handsets, the company appears to be removing its TouchWiz software, at least in part, from Android.
That’s the report from SamMobile, which doesn’t have details on the scope of the TouchWiz changes, but says that Samsung is removing many of its own features from the phone software. TouchWiz won’t be gone, though. SamMobile notes that Samsung’s own extra functions will be available for download, presumably through the company’s app store, although some handset makers provide apps directly in [company]Google[/company] Play for their hardware.
As someone who has watched TouchWiz grow over the years — both through my own purchases as well as Samsung review units — I think this is long overdue. TouchWiz has morphed from a user interface with a few nice features to a sometimes overwhelming number of features that take the spotlight from the interface — not ideal, in my opinion.
There will always be power users who want, need or use every possible function a phone can offer. The problem is that there are far more everyday users who don’t. Catering to a niche group has led Samsung away from offering simplicity and power at the same time. And the falling smartphone sales illustrate what happens when you go down that path: Consumers will look for alternative handsets that generally have the same hardware but are easier to use.