Not content with following Nokia’s past playbook, by saturating the mobile market with countless iterations of its smartphone hardware, pushing a whole Galaxy of gizmos at every price point and form-factor fancy you can think of, Samsung has gone one further. It’s opened an R&D centre in Espoo, Finland, right on Nokia’s doorstep. Literally on Nokia’s doorstep. If you were in any doubt that Samsung is the new Nokia, this really has to be the final call.
Samsung said the R&D facility, its first in Northern Europe, is being located in Finland because of “the excellent technology development eco-system in Finland”. Which is basically another way of saying ‘thanks to Nokia, and the tech skills of the local people who likely acquired them working at or with Nokia at some point over the past several decades’. Nokia’s presence in Finland has helped build a thriving startup culture, thanks to the pool of local tech skills and experience but also as Nokia has had to reduce its own headcount it has actively encouraged entrepreneurship through its Bridge Programme by supporting former employees leaving to found their own startups. The irony now is that Samsung is looking to tap into an ecosystem Nokia has been helping to build up.
The R&D center — which is part of Samsung’s strategy of ramping up spending in this area this year, up from the circa $10 billion it spent on R&D activities last year — will focus specifically on development of open source software and “advanced technologies in the domains of graphics, web & security for digital devices such as smartphones, tablets, Digital TV and PCs”.