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?