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Samsung eyes Taiwan wearable, health care apps

TAIPEI -- South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co., the world's largest maker of mobile phones, held a Taiwan developer conference Thursday as part of efforts to create more mobile apps for wearable devices and healthcare services.

It marks the second consecutive year the electronics giant has held the Samsung Developer Day in Taiwan, with the event's participants increasing to more than 200 from 80 to 100 last year, said Nicholas Foo, head of developer relations at Samsung Asia.

“We need more applications. We just don't have enough of them, and we would like to see more from Taiwan and other countries,” Foo said during his opening remarks at the conference.

Samsung, which has a 32 percent share of the worldwide smartphone market and 26 percent of the global smart TV market, is eager to find more apps designed for its own wearable devices and will soon release associated software development kits (SDKs), Foo went on.

One key reason is that worldwide shipments of wearable devices are forecast to grow more than 10 times, from 29 million units in 2012 to 300 million units by 2016, the executive said.

Samsung has integrated its new Gear smart watch with BMW's new i3 electric car and new bicycles made by Trek Bikes, Foo said.

The other promising segment is mobile healthcare, Foo continued, predicting that this market will have grown from US$700 million in 2012 to US$8 billion by 2018.

He said that only 97,000 healthcare Android apps are available currently, lagging behind an estimated 250 million users of mobile healthcare services.

Samsung now offers nine SDKs — Enterprise, Mobile, Gear, Gear Fit, S Health, Group Play, Smart TV, Multi-screen Game and Multi-screen — for worldwide developers.

Developers usually can share 70 percent of their app revenues from Samsung's own app store, where Samsung will also promote their developers' apps.

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