Aug 17 AT 1:42 PM Dustin Earley 40 Comments

Will Samsung acquire MIUI to expand software reach?


When Google (a mostly software-based company) acquired Motorola (a mostly hardware-based company), the former was quick to put up a page dedicated to hosting quotes from other Android manufacturers who approve of the deal. For the most part, the quotes were eerily similar. They were so robotic, an Android press release generator is now available online. (Let’s just say it’s dead on). Google was very clear that acquiring Motorola would not change the Android distribution method and that no special treatment would be given, but it seems no one’s buying it. Especially not Samsung. On the day after the acquisition was announced, the company called an emergency meeting to discuss software competitiveness.

In a report from South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency, Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Kun-hee said:

(The company) must strengthen the competitiveness of its information technology, secure more human resources and also more actively seek mergers and acquisitions. We must pay attention to the fact that IT power is moving away from hardware companies such as Samsung to software companies.Lee Kun-heeSamsung Electronics Chairman

Specific details on how Samsung plans to bolster their software department are still developing, but we have a good idea on where they may begin.

For starters, Samsung recently hired Steve Kondik, the lead developer behind CyanogenMod, as a software engineer. If anyone has a great relationship with the community, along with the talent and skills to really shape a software department, it would be Steve. As a standalone community-driven ROM, CyanogenMod has made a tremendous impact on Android. Steve was recently quoted saying CyanogenMod would be kept separate from his new work with Samsung. But nonetheless, his talent will be applied to improving Samsung’s software.

As great as CyanogenMod is, Samsung has been known to provide a certain level of flare not usually found in CyanogenMod. The team behind CM leaves that to you and a built-in theme engine, among other customization options. There is, however, one company who does provide that flare with a ton of customization to boot: MIUI.

Although the folks behind MIUI (Xiaomi) have just released the first MIUI-branded MI-ONE phone, the company has been in partnership talks since April of this year. The two largest companies rumored for the partnership were Motorola and Samsung. Motorola’s fate has been sealed by Google’s acquisition of their Mobility division, which leaves Samsung ready, willing and able.

Could Samsung partner up with Xiaomi and start manufacturing phones with MIUI as the default UI? Could they secretly be working to bring out the world’s first CyanogenMod device? What do you think Samsung should do to improve their software department?

Source: FierceWireless

Dustin Earley: Tech enthusiast; avid gamer; all around jolly guy.

    Most Tweeted This Week

  • Clark Wimberly

    I’m still curious who is going to snatch up GO Dev Team.

    • TWiT Commander

      I use MIUI on my Nexus One (backup for my SGS2) and I’m really not wowed by it, except for its speed and low RAM usage.

      • ddpacino

        I like the visual designs/texts/layouts that differ from most other Android ROMs. And it’s been pretty stable for me. But I switched to CM7 just to be able to use the new swype. You can’t disable/enable it in MIUI. “/

        • bizitchmaster

          There is a workaround to get swype working on MIUI.

          • joe schmoe


            It’s a bit bootleg but the only way I’ve been able to do it so far:

            1. Download and install root explorer. You’ll have to pay but it’s a useful app and worth it

            1. Download swype installer and install swype

            2. After installation, there will be a screen with 4 options:
            a. watch video
            b. start tutorial
            c. generate license
            d. finish

            Click “Generate license”

            3. Click “select android keyboard” and change the radio button from “swype” to “android keyboard”

            4. Press the home button to exit swype installer and open root installer

            5. Go to /data/app

            6. Click on “” and long hold to bring up the options menu

            7. Click move, scroll to /sdcard/download and click “paste”

            8. Press the home button to exit root explorer

            9. Open swype installer. You should get a force close error. If you do not and instead see the screen with “disable swype”, click the back button which will bring you back to the home screen then click swype installer again. Do not continue until swype installer force closes.

            10. Go back to root explorer and move “” back to /data/app

            11. Go back to the home screen and open swype installer

            12. Click “select swype” and then select swype

            13. Click “finish”

            14. After, rebooting you lose the ability to use swype. The #22 post in this thread instructs the user to reboot the phone after the above instructions. Re-open the swype-installer app. Download swype and reinstall. Just click finish after the install and it should be back. Tried and tested myself. It works.

    • Dustin Earley

      I used to use Go everything until I switched to MIUI. The guys at Go Dev are incredibly talented.

    • JonJJon

      I hope no one buys the Go Dev team, I love their stuff and hope it stays free, I support them and also wish them all the best. Go SMS Pro is unrivalled for its SMS awesomeness :-D I also enjoy Go Launcher EX and Go Dialer EX, both great apps :-)

    • cityboytech

      i hope HTC does!

    • userX

      MIUI team = GoDev team / smaller numbers or division.

      if im wrong, a LOT of their code is the same, and when I say a lot.. I mean a large, large
      portion of it.

      In the code, comments, methods for testing, jibberish written to logs…
      all the same style between the two, but you’d have to be a code-dork to know that. :)


    Dammit Dustin I think i just N****D thinking about it !!!!

  • Anil Jadhav

    You want Apple to sue Samsung again?

    I have been using MIUI on my SGS and its like iPhone UI + Android Power. I am loving it. But this will hurt Apple a lot

    • B2L

      That’s exactly what I was thinking, it sounds like Impending doom for Samsung if they decide to do this. Apple will get extremely sue happy, and we thought things were bad now.

    • Varemenos

      by hiring miui team they wont use the miui rom they will make the team work on another new ui for samsung android phones (that also applies to cyanogen, they aint buying cyanogenmod they are hiring the guy behind cyanogen to work on making yet another awesome rom like the cyanogenmod)

      • Dustin Earley

        MI-CyanogenMod2. I love it.

  • T1392

    Be crazy if google buys them too. I think if sammy buys miui they may leave android for there own ui software.

    • JonJJon

      Android is what powers it all, they can’t leave Android for a UI :-)

  • DroidSamurai

    A CyanogenMod Samsung Galaxy phone will be an amazing device!

  • ddpacino

    Apple would slap ANOTHER lawsuit on ‘em so fast, they wouldn’t know what hit em. SMH. I would fully support this move, but… didn’t they also hire CyanogenMod guy? Samsung neeeds to stay far, FARRRR away from anything that looks iOS like.

  • Joseph Carrington


    • Angie Strickland

      How dare people vote you down. You’re doing good work, man!

  • cstaff

    I honestly think this would be a great move by samsung regardless of miui’s iOS similarities. Apple has just lost a lot of credibility with this latest galaxy tab debacle, and miui is much more than just a UI, also it’s not that difficult to make miui not look like iOS.

  • Nate B.

    I honestly think Samsung could help polish the UI even more and iron out the kinks they still have. I assume the software on the phone has to be damn near perfect to have a phone launching, because it’s not completely stable as a port. Still functional though. Just the bugs we rooters face are much bigger then the simple bugs we get on big time phones. MIUI is big on eye candy, speed, ram usage, also battery. Lacks big functionality with real life use of media and other beneficial apps.

  • SliestDragon

    Like a few of the other comments have stated, Apple would have a field day with the amount of things they could use to sue Samsung with. I just don’t see this happening if they are smart…

    • Interpol91

      Yup. They would more than likely tweak it to avoid this but seeing how MIUI is cool as it is, it probably wouldn’t be the same MIUI experience if they did. Of course Apple would still try and find a way to sue.

  • maxican

    Agreed – MIUI looks too much like iOS.

    ….But a CM phone would rock! Throw that together with LauncherPro (those docks are so useful!!) and you have my business.

  • Alex

    Hopefully google acquires it and.combines ice crean sandwich with miui

  • Christopher Chavez

    Gimmie a Galaxy S II with MIUI native and I will die happy <3

    • Dustin Earley

      Up voted and agreed.

  • cityboytech

    NOOOOOOO!!!! That will do more damage than good for Samsung. MIUI looks very, VERY iPhone-ish. and considering Samsung is already in a heated copycat battle with Apple, hiring the dev(s) behind MIUI will only strengthen Apple’s case against them. Cyanogen is good enough

    • aj

      yeah but miui looked way better than touch wiz. And miui looks less like iphone than touchwiz. really the only thing that is similar to iphone is no app tray but maybe they can work that out to change. Not that it bothers me. honestly touchwizs tray on the bottom mirrors iphone more than the interchangeable app tray on the bottom which can hold up to 6 i might add(iphone and touchwiz only have 4). So in some way look foward to it. But i would the homey feeling i get when using a community rom like miui and cyanogen vs. the manufactuer built one

  • wwJOSHdo

    I have never used miui.

  • Interpol91

    Great news concerning Samsung but they obviously want to be smart about MIUI cause Apple is ready to throwdown in the courtroom. I can’t wait to see what Samsung turns up in future devices with Cyanogen and possibly MIUI

  • Juan

    I think MIUI is a must have if your the type of person who likes the ability to modify pretty much almost every aspect of your UI. I would definitely buy a Samsung branded MIUI phone as long as they kept it unlocked from the start.

  • Slith

    I hope for unlocked phones and tablets. Just hoping is all, I am tired of rooting every new device.

  • Marcus

    Man. A lot of big news for Android this week. Cyanogen, MIUI, ,and Motorola. Bought. That’s pretty awesome!

  • James

    An good week in android news, Samsung phones may have gotten more interesting.

  • Gerard

    What will probably happen is they will have the guy from cm as the head dev on functionality with miui team to create the look and feel. Imagine cm with miui look and feel. At least I hope haha

    • IliketoChoose

      => Dream ROM

  • aj

    Well to me as long as they stay with android ill be happy. I mean its win win for us the consumer. More choice is always good. Plus i love both MIUI and cyanogenmod. Honestly ive always imagined some kind of Cyanogenmod/miui hybrid baby that would be totally awesome. The full control and of course Aosp of cyanogenmod. The beautiful interface and powerful and fully customizable theme engine of MIUI. Together that would be a powerful force and then working with all the other sammy developers to make it more stable on there devices. I mean and i make this point alot. As long its got an unlocked bootloader i will always have a choice. And AND if you think about cyanogenmod(look i know he said it would be a separate project but still you never know) and miui they are always up to date so i think it could and would help sammys reputation here in teh states with updates and all

  • h0ruza

    I don’t know how true this is but…

    If this is true then I’m not surprised but it’s a bit silly of them to spend money on Bada when it was bad enough moving people to develop for Android much less Samsung only Bada. Google making phones goes against their business model which is working fine just the way it is. Samsung read too many tech blogs.

    What they should do is stop ripping the style of Apple products and invest in a good young product design team. Because of their blatant copycat tactics Apple got on the war path much sooner than it should have if at all.

    Android isn’t going anywhere and to think that there’s room for another platform to be mainstream enough for developers to support it is madness.