Image: by Dropbox
Dropbox and Samsung today announced that some Samsung new top-of-the-line devices, like Samsung Galaxy Grand, Samsung Galaxy Note, etc. will come out with Dropbox pre-installed and deep integrated. These smartphone users that activate a Dropbox account will automatically entitled for a 50GB storage plan (for only 2 years though, check here). This is also a deeper integration than merely a preload, Samsung will use Dropbox as its option for cloud storage, and OS level tweak has will be developed to enable features like thumbnail to offer the best cloud storage service without hindering user’s data plan too much.
The first thing came to mind when I got the news is :’Wow, that’s a good deal! I wish my iPhone has this kind of deal!’. Honestly, a 50Gb upgrade will be so sweet for me. I’m a long time Dropbox user sitting on merely 2.5GB of storage. I really liked their service: Simple, out-of-the-way UI style, reliable and fast quality of service, well thought out and progressive mobile strategy(their cross-platform support for one). The only downside for me is the free storage they gave me is only 2.5GB, far from enough. They’ve always have the referral program that if you recommend one friend to use it, you’ll get 250Mb storage for free, that is a cheap and viral way to expanding their subscriber base, now they seem to find another way to expose themselves to broader audiences.
Preloaded software/services are widely considered by the mobile generation as the ‘original sin’ from desktop ‘dark age’. True that we all had our ‘good’ time with the shiny new HP laptop we bought came with one hundred kinds of ‘printing software that make your life easier!’ vaporware out of the box. We all had bad taste in our mouth when stuffed with something we don’t like or requested in the first place. But a preload software isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If the preload software is a very useful one and has solid reputation, which will add value to the entire product offering, then why not? All in all, even Apple’s mighty iOS came with quite some preloads and people seems to be OK with it. (Apple Maps anyone?) Like a pre-arranged marriage, if the girl is actually quite hot and is everything you ever wanted, who cares it’s a pre-arranged one or not? You’ll jump without a second if she appears on your Match.com hunting anyway. 😉
I believe this is a win-win-win for all parties. Samsung will provide more value to their smartphone offerings. Dropbox will reach out to more people and develop more subscribers. (Samsung sold 30millions Galaxy S3 and Dropbox only has 100 millions subscribers or so end of 2012). And for our users, who wouldn’t love a 50Gb free storage space on all your computers and mobile devices?