Samsung said in a statement it would end support for the service, called ChatON, in the first quarter next year to focus on services in health, mobile commerce and other platforms. The statement cited the fast-changing market environment for the decision.
ChatOn is scheduled to be shut down on Feb. 1 in all its supported markets except the U.S., where its set to be terminated by the end of March.
Launched in 2011, the app is currently available in more than 200 countries across a number of platforms, including iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, and the Web.
ChatOn is preinstalled on every Android-powered Samsung smartphone and equipped with special features including auto translation. Even so, ChatOn has failed to command a significant user base and ably compete with far more popular cross-platfrom messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Viber, Line, and KakaoTalk.
As noted above, in its decision to discontinue ChatOn, Samsung cites its intention to focus on, among other things, mobile commerce. As it happens, the South Korean tech giant has recently been rumored to be partnering with the mobile payment startup LoopPay to launch a new competitor to Apple Pay.