Samsung has already announced plans to scale down and refocus smartphone production in the face of dropping profits. Now, the company may be doing the same for its mobile services as well.
The Korea Times reports that the company’s cross-platform messaging app, ChatON, will be phased out in at least some markets, according to one unnamed Samsung official. Despite finding success in a few regions, the South Korean giant is preparing to retreat from the messaging market after losing out to more focused rivals like WhatsApp and China’s popular WeChat.
ChatON first launched in 2011, and is currently available as a free app for Android, iOS, Windows Phone and BlackBerry in 120 countries. The service hit its peak at about 100 million users, but failed to keep growing much beyond that. The app comes pre-installed on Samsung devices, giving it a large user base, but the company seemed to admit it was never very popular.
“The key issue is that usability of the application is low and that means the volume of transaction isn’t that much,” a Samsung official told The Korea Times. “From a business point of view, ChatOn isn’t a business that can show improvement in the future.”
Most people probably won’t notice ChatON’s absence, especially with so many other options to choose from. It’s unclear exactly what the news means for the app’s die-hard users, though it may be time to switch over to a competing service.