Samsung may shut down ChatOn messenger to reduce further mobile losses

Samsung ChatON messenger

Samsung hasn’t had the best year, but the company isn’t sitting around hoping things will get better on their own. The company has already confirmed plans to trim the fat from its smartphone portfolio next year, and there’s talk of executive restructuring (including a new head of mobile).

If you thought that was enough to fight back against the 49% drop in net profit Samsung announced in October, the company apparently also has plans to cut back on its ChatOn mobile messaging efforts.

Word comes via the Korea Times, which cites one Samsung official as saying the company will exit the mobile messaging market “from region-to-region.” This is supposedly part of the company’s plan to restructure unprofitable businesses and improve overall profitability.

From the sounds of things, Samsung plans a gradual shut down, but it’s not clear how many markets (if any) will get to keep ChatOn. Korea Times cites one Samsung official as saying, “From a business point of view, ChatOn isn’t a business that can show improvement in the future.”

However, the article also notes that ChatOn has popularity in some regions and cites another official as saying it’s highly unlikely Samsung “will immediately drop its mobile messaging business as the ChatOn service has received positive reviews in some markets.” Later, these officials say the service will be updated in some countries “before being pulled down completely.”

So while ChatOn is popular in some areas (it does have 100 million users worldwide), this sounds like the death knell for the servie, even if it won’t be a single flip of the switch.

Samsung has yet to confirm this report in an official capacity. Still, if there’s fat to be trimmed, redundant applications with user bases that are dwarfed by competing solutions are as good a place to start as any, right?

[source]Korea Time[/source]