Feb 26 AT 3:16 AM Dustin Earley 56 Comments

Google’s biggest supporter, Samsung, could be its worst enemy

google logo generic Image via: Robert Scoble with Creative Commons

With the popularity of the iPhone, carriers found themselves in a tight spot. Don’t carry the iPhone, and miss out on thousands, possibly millions, of activations every year. Carry the iPhone, and bend to the will of Apple. Google may soon find themselves in a similar situation, in the spot of the carrier, with Samsung playing Apple’s role.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Google is becoming concerned with Samsung’s popularity, and the control it may give them. Last year, Samsung alone consumed nearly 40 percent of the global market. With a large percent of those smartphones being Android, it’s safe to assume there are more Samsung branded Android phones being sold than any other manufacturer by a large margin. This gives Google plenty reason to be nervous.

Not only is the threat of Samsung commanding control over Android from Google a very real concern, so is the fear that Samsung may fork Android, taking complete control of the platform cutting Google out completely. There is also the fact that Samsung could very easily leverage the Galaxy brand and ditch Android for something entirely different.

Google has a plan though. Besides throwing their weight behind different manufacturers for Nexus devices, Google is also making their own hardware now, like the Chromebook Pixel, and the first real Google -Motorola phone has yet to see the light of day. Andy Rubin has said that Motorola will, hopefully, be used as a tool to keep Android balanced. We’ll have to wait to see how that works out as soon as this summer.

Via: The Verge

Source: Wall Street Journal

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

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  • Nukes for peace

    US vs Korea! Enemies forever. Go Google!!!!!!

  • Sameer

    People loves Samsung not because of Samsung only, they love the combination with android. I do not think, Samsung will ignore this fact

    • mkstvns

      That’s what I was thinking. If people suddenly lost access to all/many of the apps in the Android app store, it wouldn’t take long before that began impacting on sales.

      • Sameer

        Before android Samsung was no where in smartphone market. Nokia, Blackberry dominated the market. Yes you raise a good point , one important point of popularity of Android is its huge app store. That help manufacturer to grow with android. In coming 5 6 year also, i assume the trend will be same

        • dcds

          Exactly, I don’t buy it either. Samsung’s success happened because of many factors: good hardware, good software, manufacturing capacity, good marketing, retail chain around the world (carriers, stores)… everything seems to be set up correctly. Other manufacturers struggle with one or more of these requisites.

          We have seen Samsung’s software: except for a few breakthroughs mainly by tweaking Android, they also make a lot of disposable fluff (not just TouchWiz). Before Android, things were much much worse. Therefore, I don’t think they would be willing to risk one of their success components for (almost) nothing.

          In short, I don’t think Samsung has the guts to fork Android to make it a better Android than Google’s own, and use it as a general purpose smartphone system, like Google’s own. However, I can definitely see them forking for “appliance systems” like TVs etc.

          The closest of a competitor to Android inside Samsung seems to be Tizen, but it used to be Bada as well. Tizen seems better than Bada, but there are many challenges for Tizen yet, besides its identity crisis of course.

          But I’d love a competitor to Android. The latest Linux experimentations look promising (Firefox OS and Tizen itself).

          • http://None Javier Bastardo

            I wouldn’t consider Firefox OS to be a proper competitor to Android, I support it completely, but for me a real threat, if they manage their cards right, to Android is going to be Ubuntu Touch, they will battle in everything (phones, tablet, TVs, desktop, laptops).

            I don’t believe that Samsung will risk ditching Android. Yes they have become a superpower but we the users are the ones that gave it that power, and we did it because of their great devices partnered with Android. A whole bunch of us don’t like TouchWiz and other Samsung tweaks, so a fork would have to be something impressive and quite different.

            Competition is always good, Google should level things out, be it releasing their own hardware or helping OEMs the way they feel.

            Samsung on its own wouldn’t last in the long rung without the Google/Android ecosystem.

        • Dave

          Samsung truly still needs android. It’s not possible to quantify the impact of android improvement with ICS & JB for Samsung. I use the note 2 and it’s a really great device, but it’s android that makes it great. The smartphone market is maturing and there will be more competition, but Sammy has a long way to go before they can ditch Andy. Also, Samsung is still working to establish a reputation for decent firmware and updates. If camshaft me that they are using the previous development resources for forking android. They need to fix their own house first.

          • Dave

            Heh heh camshaft…. Concerns

          • epps720

            I hope this does not become an issue and Samsung sticks with Android. I agree with the article that the Moto X and the HTC will be big. They need to have some success to level off the playing field.

            I think the fear of Samsung getting so big where they forget the reason they are so good is very real. They need to remember that their success is in conjunction with Android and not only because their product and business plan. You will see in the near future that Samsung will try to push the Tizen line. They will begin testing it a lot more and perfect it in Asia, then dump Android b/c the profits will be so much greater. The thing is Samsung has the money to make this happen.

          • jcommaroto

            Yeah this is all group think. I have now seen a few dozen articles all spouting the same thing. The problem with analysis like this is that it points out the limitations and ignores the strengths of one brand/company while pointing out only the strengths and not the limitations of the other.

            Samsung makes great phones, has great marketing and smartly fills nearly every niche with a quality product. No surprise they do great.

            With that said I believe the majority of consumers don’t buy phones because it has a Samsung logo on it. They walk into a carrier or Best Buy and say “what is the best phone” or “my nephew told me I should buy X” and then they find the phone that feels right or is pushed on them. Which is often Samsung because of everything I laid out.

            However what is missing is that the consumer does say “I want an iPhone or I want one of those Android phone things because I use Gmail” or “my last phone was an Android one and I feel comfortable with it.”

            Android is a strong brand and one that likely drives a great deal of consumer decision making. Just go around and ask regular non tech people what phone they are using and why they bought it. They don’t make these decisions in the same way tech people do. Android and the Google name carry a lot of weight. A lot of the people I ask that of actually think Google makes the phone and don’t even know what Samsung really is. “I have the Google phone, the one with Android.”

            Samsung has growing weight and influence on Google but there is little actual evidence that they are so unhappy or burdened by Android that they want out. Everything seems to suggest the contrary. They get a great OS that had a wonderful brand following and they make billions of dollars off of it.

    • Paul

      I’m less worried about Samsung leaving Android and more ‘concerned’ about them doing what Amazon did, detaching Android from Google. What if they partner with Amazon App store or Yandex or create their own? Then they can just use the free Android source code and put Android on their phones with an alternative store. Completely taking Google out of the loop. When they’re big enough they’ll be able to do that. But I’m not completely against this either. Google’s support sucks, they ignore their users, their forums are filled with people asking for help or reporting issues, they’re not very supportive of their developers or being atuned to their needs, etc. they’ve got the “We’re Google, we can do what we want, we’ll offer it for free without support and there’s nothing you can do about it. If you dont’ like it, don’t use it” attitude, and while some of it’s true and understandable, I think they need to be knocked back a peg or two. Samsung may be big enough to make them rethink how they treat users and developers. Don’t get me wrong, I love Google, but with as much staff and money and resources they have, I think they should be a little bit better about handling users and developers and if they don’t, Samsung could knock them on their proverbial rear.

    • elijahblake

      People like US, that visit sites like this, this would definitely be true. But a lot of your every day smartphone buyers probably wouldn’t know if Samsung forked Android… I mean have you ever asked one of those people which version of Android they have on their phone?

      Sad, but true..

    • Richard Yarrell

      This whole ordeal makes no sense whatso ever. I will equate this to the 99-1 priciple where you do 99 things correct then that 1 time you make a mistake you get burned in the business world. This is a pretty sad conclusion if true. How easily we all forget when android wasn’t worth spit and nobody wanted to take a chance on a new platform no manufacturer or carrier. Then finally T-mobile stepped forward and gave the G-1 a shot on it’s network then android was born. The overall problem here is that ”GOOGLE HAS GOTTEN TO BIG FOR IT’S BRITCHES” Similar to Apple forgetting exactly where they came from and why they are where they are today. Android is open source giving every OEM the right to have it’s own flavor of android why should SAMSUNG be punished for it’s success 213 million devices sold in 2012 40% market share looks to me that Google has made plenty of cash off the backs of some hard work from Samsung. Google doesn’t help to develope Samsung devices nor do they market or advertise and Samsung products Samsung does all these things on it’s own accord. In the business you tip your hat to real and earned success Google/Android should be tipping their hat to the success of Samsung why because it’s the success of android. But no they rather try intimidation tatics or using the internet/media to prop up this stupid story which actually has no legs and if it does then GOOGLE should stand down. Point blank if any of these other manufacturers were on their A-game you wouldn’t be able to take Motorola, Htc, Lg, and Sony and put all it’s market shares together and they still don’t compare or past Samsung what’s wrong with that picture. What Samsung has done has earned it’s standing earned it’s overall place in the tech game due to excellent products and services on their devices. They have the BEST software and features solution on any smartphone in the industry and the overall services they offer on their devices are excellent. Meanwhile you have Google trying to influence/intimidate OEMS by forcing them to place that crappy chrome browser on it’s smartphones. As well as forcing OEM’S to make devices without sdcard slots or removable batteries so people can be forced to use the cloud ie GOOGLE DRIVE which doesn’t reflect choice. Clearly Google has forgotten where they came from before this operating system took off over three plus years ago. People have every right to continue using sdcards as well as removable batteries and should have as much storage options as possible that’s exactly what android was born on. What google has done is limited the choices for it’s users in such a haste as if users have no right or needs. Samsung has said NO we will use the stock browser, NO we will provide our customers with sdcard expansion, and NO we will provide our customers with the opportunity to remove/swap out batteries on Samsung devices period. And guess what SAMSUNG HAS THAT RIGHT to cater to it’s customers however way they seem fit. What GOOGLE needs to focus on is MOTOROLA and all it’s crappy devices and poor software/features as well as focusing on it’s dying/dull/boring Nexus brand experience devices they offer no real value in my eyes to the platform as a whole. They have poor battery life, no storage, and no ability to change batteries what makes that so important they are going backwards in my eyes. What people need to realize here is that in the real world your success usually reflects your efforts and Samsung has represented android to the highest level while all the other manufacturers have sat on their hands for years now GOOGLE is concerned. How can Hauwei be the closest android OEM with 6% market share according to The Wall Street Journal where all this hub bub orginated from. If this is truly the case sounds like Google needs to sell off Motorola and get their money back cause they definitely got robbed. The funny part is people underestimate people who use Samsung devices which is the biggest joke in the industry. 90% of Samsung users are repeat buyers and people who were iphone users or past android OEM users and they won’t change from Samsung incuding myself. In my eyes Google needs to wake up and smell the coffee don’t bite the hands that feed them since they are ONLY GIVING SAMSUNG 10% profit knowing full well that they should be giving more for all Samsung has done to keep the platform relevant. Funny thing is it’s suppose to be Google keeping the platform relevant but instead Samsung is doing that all on it’s own based on market share and direct sales. If you think Samsung will allow Google to push them around I can assure you that won’t happen. If Samsung stood up to Apple if need be they will stand up to Google after all they are the only one’s that can and have done so. Can Samsung create their own ecosystem and be productive YES they can Google did it on the backs of other manufacturers Samsung can do it on it’s own without any help. After all be serious the same services Google offers Samsung does also except for Gmail and Youtube and Maps and if you think those things can’t be replaced then your only fooling yourself. And guess what all 213 millions users and 40% market share will switch in a heartbeat. Like I was front and center on Google plus and Facebook regarding this topic I am front and center here taking on all those Samsung haters or people who live in a world thinking stock android is better well that is definitely not true because even Google’s Nexus line devices have poor sales so now what??? Google just need to shut up keep the updates coming to the platform and let the users decide what they want and where they will spend their hard earned cash casue they are only as good as the users buying the devices and only as good as the manufacturers creating the devices. If they think MOTOROLA OFFERS any help in this matter then they are as lost as Htc, Lg, Sony.. Like it or not I have said it before and will continue to say it…SAMSUNG IS ANDROID PLAIN AND SIMPLE….

      • snowbdr89

        Nexus a dull device? Obvious your to stupid to realize what a nexus device is for!!

        • Richard Yarrell

          Yes I said it…Dull/Boring/Poor battery life. what more needs to be said?? Rather it be the Galaxy Nexus on Verizon and Sprint or even this years Lg Nexus 4 on T-mobile what was the sales combined for these devices?? Nothing compared to the Galaxy family of devices. Samsung doesn’t owe you or anyone else anything either you buy or you don’t buy but don’t disrespect who has maintained your platform while everyone else has been falling on their face head first.

          • squiddy20

            “but don’t disrespect who has maintained your platform” That would be Google. Because I have a Nexus phone. Idiot.

          • Orion78

            Wow your obsession for Samsung has hit overdrive. You are the biggest moron on the internet. Don’t you realize without Android Samsung would never be where they are? So you mean to tell me that a device can have any os….as long as it has the Samsung brand it “pimpslaps” anything? You really need help and I’m not even joking.

      • squiddy20

        1. “Android is open source giving every OEM the right to have it’s own flavor of android why should SAMSUNG be punished” No one but stupid, ignorant you has ever said anything about Google “punishing” Samsung. Learn to read.
        2. ” looks to me that Google has made plenty of cash off the backs of some hard work from Samsung” Apparently you don’t understand that Google doesn’t make a penny from the direct sale of an Android device. They make money of of the ads and searches from a device, any device, whether it’s made by Samsung, ZTE, HTC, Sony, etc. Also, you talk about “hard work” in regards to advertising? Look no further than the Verizon/Motorola ads from just a few short years ago that really put Android as a household name.
        3. “Google/Android should be tipping their hat to the success of Samsung why because it’s the success of android.” And without Android, Samsung wouldn’t be where it is today. No Android? No Touchwiz or Nature UI, no Note 2 or S3, let alone the upcoming S4 and Note 3.
        4. “They have the BEST software and features solution on any smartphone in the industry” And that’s your fanboy opinion. There’s millions of people who would disagree with you, but your too stupid/self-righteous to realize this. You are literally worse than iPhone fanboys. They usually at least have common sense.
        5. “Meanwhile you have Google trying to influence/intimidate OEMS by forcing them to place that crappy chrome browser on it’s smartphones.” Influence? Yes. Intimidate? Hell no. Forcing? Again, hell no. Besides, no one’s “forcing” you to use Chrome. It’s not like you can’t go into the Play Store, type in “browser” and get hundreds of different Internet browsers. Typical ignorant moron.
        6. “As well as forcing OEM’S to make devices without sdcard slots or removable batteries so people can be forced to use the cloud ie GOOGLE DRIVE which doesn’t reflect choice.” With the exception of Nexus devices, Google has no control over what manufacturers do/don’t do with SD card slots or batteries. That’s up to the individual manufacturer, as it’s always been. Don’t like a device simply because it doesn’t have an SD slot? Simple solution: DON’T GET IT AND MOVE ON. No amount of whining and bitching will change the attitudes of multi-billion dollar companies.
        7. “What google has done is limited the choices for it’s users in such a haste as if users have no right or needs.” Hmmm… Not sure if you’re mistaking Android for Apple, or just stupid. Last I checked, there were still quite a few different phones with different capabilities and “features” (such as Sd slot or removable battery) at each of the carriers. There’s about the same amount of “choice” in Android phones as there were 3 years ago when it was just picking up speed.
        8. “90% of Samsung users are repeat buyers and people who were iphone users or past android OEM users and they won’t change from Samsung incuding myself.” A) I’d LOVE to see where you got THAT little statistic. Also, you said you’d never leave HTC/Sprint, and you’ve did that over a year ago. Never say never idiot.
        9. “After all be serious the same services Google offers Samsung does also except for Gmail and Youtube and Maps and if you think those things can’t be replaced then your only fooling yourself” And yet, many millions of iPhone users didn’t upgrade to iOS 6 until AFTER the release of Google Maps on the App Store. Also, name one video service even *remotely* close to Youtube. I’d bet you can’t.
        10. “SAMSUNG IS ANDROID PLAIN AND SIMPLE” And without Android, Samsung would be nothing in the smartphone world. The OS came before Touchwiz and “Nature UI”.

      • TruFactz

        Dude, what crack truck you fall off of? Google doesn’t promote samsung????? Umm, the Nexus 10???………..SAMSUNG. How is google promoting any nexus device made by them???? Hardware. Chromebook……..Samsung…..HARDWARE. GALAXY NEXUS…….Samsung…….HARDWARE. Get the picture

  • Sanchez

    it’s just that samsung is doing it better than its competitors at the moment, they have a competitive advantage with their software additions and supreme hardware. If they cannot remain that advantage customers will shift their attention to low cost phones, they are indifferent for the brand i guess.

    • Paul

      I go where the quality is. I used to use HTC handsets but then they began making less and less desirable phones, and Samsung, who started out weak, began making better and better phones. Now I’ve got my Note II, possibly the finest Android phone I’ve owned to date. But it doesn’t mean I love Samsung so much that I wouldn’t go to HTC, Sony, LG or Motorola if they began offering quality phones. I’m also Anti-iOS more than I’m Pro-Android, I can’t stand iOS’s policies in the name of consistency and such, and right now, Android is where it is at. Anyways, with Samsung’s user base, they could begin pushing an alternative store, like Amazon or Yandex or even one they create. If they treated their users good with good support and treated their developers even better with awesome support and listening to them, I could see a decline of Google’s control over Android and Samsung would never have to leave Android. It’s a similar trick that Amazon’s tablet did, it was “de-Googled”. I love Google but can’t stand their attitude towards users and developers alike.

  • da9el

    go google, nexus and motorola!

    recently i read about that samsung is south korea’s biggest food giant and provider of private life insurances. just an interesting fact:)

  • GMoneyGonz

    This article is spot on with my predictions. Either Samsung will go and severely fork Android and try to make their own app store(they already have many of their own apps) or they will adopt something like Tizen fully after the GS4. I believe that the S4 will be the last Samsung flagship phone to have full Android on it.

  • AvatarZ

    Ehh – this is just paranoia from the smaller handsets. As we learned from the Razar, today’s monolithic company is tomorrow’s 2nd tier. Samsung isn’t going to move out of Android because they want access to the keys to the kingdom (the marketplace) and they will only be domininte as long as they make good smartphones.

    All another manufacturer needs to do is make a good phone that connects to people – the software is all there thanks to Google.

  • PeterP

    Since the S2, Samsung has pretty much lost the plot. I would say more so than HTC even. The popularity or Samsung is clearly just like Apple before, it’s all in the marketing and brand loyalty from the SGS2.

    Samsung phones are overpriced, old tech with plastic, almost cheap looking, non aesthetic design. From what I see of the 4 and recent spy photos, Samsung IMHO need to change bigtime.

  • nmoline

    Google, just needs a quality phone, advertising, and distribution and their phones would outsell android. It’s a joke you can’t walk into att, verizon,and sprint and get a Nexus 4 . Most are still purchase phones this way.

  • prettyboyL

    GS4 vs Motorola X! Bring it!!!!!

  • Orion78

    Well one thing is for sure…my next phone will either be the GS4, Note3, or the X Phone. Bring it on!!!

  • CaptainDoug

    I don’t buy Samsung not only because of the cheap plastic feel but also because they really are too big for their own good. Their only checks/balance system is the consumer which they seem to have discovered how to manipulate just like Apple did. Not a good sign.

    • someone

      Lol, Samsung hasn’t led about any of it’s features our speed there of…

      Don’t even put those two companies together lol

  • Sir Alex

    If Samsung thinks it has a lock on Android users, it’s sadly mistaken. Fork and a massive chunk of its users will say buh-bye. Android users are not Apple users.

  • Broseph Stalin

    No, they aren’t. If Samsung disagrees with Google for some reason, what are they gonna do? Stop shipping Android devices? No way.

  • Jack

    Maybe instead of telling people what they don’t need, ie microseconds cards and removable batteries, maybe Google and others should give people what they want, ie expandable storage and removable batteries. Samsung, themselves, said they don’t try to innovate so much as give the public what it wants. Surprise, surprise, they’re number one.

    • Jack

      That’s microsd cards.

  • Dr.Carpy

    With Tizen, Samsung has the ultimate endgame of rising to prominence through Android, maintaining gained stature with Tizen. This should make Google weary. It’s never been a secret that Samsung wants to control both it’s software and hardware like Apple.Google needs to ramp up and mobilize Motorola (Xphone) as well as show willingness to buoy up small manufacturers. Create a standard level for devices and updates. Not everyone coming to the Google ecosystem know who the quality devices are made by. Samsung is a decent vendor, but their plans are somewhat transparent.

  • fab

    why would google be afraid of samsung and vice-versa? both got big because of each other. android would be nowhere without samsung and samsung wouldn’t be samsung now if it weren’t for android. so motorola is just the patent package and google will still cooperate with samsung big time. stop building up some momentum with a war that doesn’t exist.

  • Max.Steel

    Absolute rubbish. Samsung knows as well as any that detaching from Android would mean suicide for their sales numbers.

  • dpleus

    A lot of good points here. But there is a further explanation for Samsung’s dominance of the Android market share, and that has to do with their hardware deployment. As a whole, we like consistency in our lives, that is why a Big Mac is the same the most of the world over. And that is what Samsung has brought to the Android market.

    Samsung makes one phone for all carriers, and the only thing that changes is the bloatware added by said carriers. What this means for us consumers is that AT&T subscribers, Verizon subscribers, Rogers subscribers, Orange subscribers all get the same phone and the same experience. If your friend has a GSIII on Sprint, and you are on T-Mobile and want the same phone, you can have it.

    This is where manufacturers like Motorola, LG, Sony, Kyocera, Sanyo, et cetera, who make different handsets for different carriers cannot gain any major foothold. Because your buddy may have the new Droid RAZR Maxx HD, but since you are on T-Mobile you cannot get it, and you are not going to change carriers. HTC has started to embrace this philosophy with the new HTC One phone they just unveiled, despite Verizon passing on the device, anyone in the world can have that phone on any carrier.

    If Google is truly concerned about Samsung dominance, then the new Motorola X Phone should be the beginning of this same ‘one handset for every carrier’ model. If they can bring their new flagship phone to market, offer it for every carrier, and offer that ‘Nexus’ style software experience, they may be able to reclaim a large portion of that market share.

    • Max.Steel

      WELL SAID!! Couldn’t have said it any better!!!

  • ihatefanboys

    Lets tear away all the analyzing and speculation. The ONLY reason Samsung is so popular is because of marketing. The same and again ONLY reason the iPhone is popular as well. Put something in front of someone 24/7 and they will eventually buy it, its called advertising, and marketing. Its not new, its been around for a long, long, time. But apparently its something HTC, and other OEMs havent discovered yet. HTC needs a bigger marketing budget especially for when the ONE comes out next month, Google will need a big budget for the X phone as well. Things do not sell themselves, never did, never will.

    • chris kari

      Samsung slavishly copied iOS interface, marketed their device like crazy but then something else happened.. while all the other manufacturers continued the lazy old way of spamming the market with not very good handsets & then immediately abandoning them Samsung adopted a regular cadence of device releases together with, at least, modestly timely Software updating.
      People got tired of frozen in Amber handsets. The penny dropped that with Samsung you got at least SOME support of your OS.
      iOS devices were a smash hit because they were Highly original, High Quality & directly supported by their manufacturer for both repair & software updates.
      Putting it all down to advertising is so lame its laughably weak.

  • RobdeJuana

    I have to say that Samsung, on its own has never really done very well with software. They’ve always been better at hardware and “added value apps” on someone else’s OS. People have adopted Samsung thanks to their amazing marketing on top of very good hardware and Android, but at the heart of every purchase is the core fact that it’s Android.

    Forking Android wouldn’t work for Samsung because there are too many hurdles. They would have to become a software manufacturer and, (more importantly), a content provider. The only reason to fork Android would be to make more money off of it. The only way to do that is to get money off of the content purchased from the OS. To do this, Samsung would have to invest the money to build an app, music, video, and book/magazine content provision system. I don’t think that Samsung would be very bullish on that. Having Google as part of the package is very attractive for customers, and it lets Samsung make money while leaving the investment, development and heavy lifting of licensing to Google.

    While there is a serious issue with brand dilution and the danger that Sasmung could become synonymous with Android (at least in a small subset of the non-techy consumer space), the truth is that Google has recently been downplaying Android as a brand and trying to push “Google” as the brand. In this case, the Samsung dominance is little more than a nuisance. As long as they keep other manufacturers in the Android space, continue to make Nexus devices, and all of the Samsung devices continue to hook into Google’s content services, Google is making money, and at $800 a share, I don’t think they’re spending too many sleepless nights worrying about Samsung.

  • Ed

    Tizen can not be a viable OS like Android just because it also has the linux kernel. Tizen 2.0 demonstrated today at MWC is nowhere near completion. They have been working on it since Nokia pulled out of Meego in 2011. It probably needs a few more years to be at the level of Android 2.0. By then it is already too late to the market.

    What is clear is, ‘Ubuntu’ will be the next big thing, and possibly it will be the no 2. OS in a few years behind Android (millions of Android phones that no longer get updates can have the latest Ubuntu on them). What Ubuntu brings is far more unified and promising than Android, let alone all the others such as WP8, BB 10, Sailfish, Firefox os etc.

    Samsung will try a few different options to have greater control of software, but Tizen will fail, as even the Meego Harmattan of 2011 is far more advanced than Tizen. Therefore Samsung will stick to Android. Samsung brand isn’t Apple, most people don’t buy a Samsung phone for the brand, they buy it for Android. Otherwise how comes their Bada phones were not as successful as Android? Obviously they had more Galaxy devices, but even if they had more of Wave devices , this would have been the same, as people buy phones for the ecosystem.

    Take Android out of Samsung, people will rush to buy HTC or Sony. In fact in 2013 Sony will take a stronger position in Android market, as they bring their new products in line with current state of technology.

    Samsung may want to do what Amazon did, but this isn’t easy, as Amazon sells content which Samsung doesn’t have. In addition this will severely damage its relationship with Google, which wont benefit Samsung at all. Google promised to keep Android free for 5 years when it bought Motorola, so expect in 2017, Google to make Android more closed, leaving likes of Samsung out if by then Samsung is still using Android.

    • chris kari

      Surely you jest? Ubuntu OS may appeal to geek fantasies but it takes savy decisions by executives in the real world to succeed. Engineering alone does not guarantee success. Android is in the mess it is because of Google’s lack of business expertise. Google ain’t Apple. They prove it again and again. Nokia made a fabulous geek toy called the N900 with a full Linux OS on it. It failed in the market place. Toilet geeks need to calm down I think hehehe ;)

      • Ed

        I actually wanted to buy N900 at the time. Maemo looked cool until I saw an incredibly fat phone in the phone shop. Ubuntu in new phones faces the same challenge as other os but at some point many people will have 2 or 3 phones lying at home that is slow and buggy due to lack of updates. You won’t need to be a geek to add the ubuntu to your old android phone once it is released. Think of apple users. They just plug their phone to iTunes and it is automatic. This may be the same for Ubuntu. Any person that has used android for a while can easily update their phone and there are millions of those people. I think it is a misconception to think that you have to be a geek to do that. With little experience I flashed my old galaxy s 1 many times. Anyone can do it. The question is will there be the need or demand for this? The answer is yes because at some point all phones will have the quad cores same screens and almost the same design. Why would people spend money to buy what they already have once again. Since only the stock android ( I am using SG nexus with 4.2.2) is actually a good version of android (people have their own tastes but most people don’t like the bloatware on added skins), people stuck on lower quality or older versions of android (with a phone that has good specs) will have the choice of adding something powerful that gets regular updates on their phone with ubuntu. Ask yourself if you have a quad core phone with crisp screen and you are out of contact will you buy a new phone that is the same or improve your phone with Ubuntu (if you don’t have stock android) and get a cheap sim only plan?

      • dcds

        The N900 was a geek toy, but it wasn’t by any means fabulous. In early 2010, I had to decide between the N900 and a few others… Android was starting its rise. When I saw the N900, used it for a day and tried to do things with it, I decided to keep the Milestone (original Droid for Americans). It was the best decision I could ever take.

        It didn’t fail bbecause of this “savvy decisions” you speak of (and use as argument to dismiss Ubuntu). It fail also because it was a huge brick, didnt have even basic applications that people care about, Nokia itself didnt market it… Android catapulted after massive “Droid” campaigns… if your own company doesnt believe, why should users?

        And I could go on and on… mind you, I’m a “geek”

  • chris kari

    I think it’s quite possible Android could fizzle out.
    Google made the fatal mistake of not getting Apple style control from the carriers.
    Samsung could try to fork Android yes, but in the long run it will back fire on them.
    Their devices are OK but lets face it, they slavishly copied iPhone at the start of their quest and their devices are not that great that they can swing any power with the carriers.
    If Blackberry can get into the same position as Apple in controlling Operating System update distribution & having a polished innovative new OS that business people will like then they could well come back as a force to be reckoned with.
    Stranger things have happened..

  • Irwincur

    This is one of the issues with open source development. It is in effect designed by committee, and the committee has competing interests. When one member gains too much power it is no longer in their interest to waste time working with others when they can improve it faster themselves. In the end the closed operating systems (windows and ios) may end up with an advantage. I am not talking tomorrow or even next year, but if android fragments it will benefit those that have a tight leash on their environment. This is a long game, and the last thing android needs is a civil war, and it looks to be coming.

  • Nathan D.

    I like Samsung but I like to support the little guy or at least the unknown phone the general people don’t know about and still are good device.

  • Bryan Stoner

    Competition is good and what makes android awesome.

  • donger

    I don’t like Samsung phones. Cheap looking and feel to it. Samsung made 2 Nexus phones which both sucks.

  • jamal adam

    I think that Andy Rubin was correct in pointing out that Samsung has done well because of their execution on all aspects of their products.

  • http://mihai.discuta-liber.com/ tmihai20

    You too, guys? Since when does its most fierce supporter becomes its enemy? Yes, Samsung can use the Galaxy brand to move away from Android, but it will lose a lot of customers. It can’t gain a monopoly on Android yet, Google is still strong in supporting Android. It’s not Samsung’s fault that other manufacturers didn’t manage to sell that many devices. As a matter of fact, the other manufacturers should seriously reconsider their strategy.