If you have a close look at Android’s growing popularity over the past 2 years, there’s no denying that Samsung has played a huge role in Android's success. They are the only Android OEM that has managed to create a device that rivals the iPhone in sales (GS2). They are the only company that has generated as much hype and consumer interest in a smartphone as much as Apple has (GS3). They are the only company who markets Android devices very aggressively. They are the only Android phone maker with record breaking numbers over the past 2 years. They are the only company who not only dominate other OEMs when it comes to Android device sales, but in other sectors as well (TV’s, Blu Ray, computers, ect).
But those aren’t the only things that can be said about Samsung. One of the main things that I left out is a fact that many people do not yet realize: Samsung doesn't give a s**t. They will do whatever they need to do to reach success, and considering that their new CEO has just called for the company to redouble its focus on software, abandoning Android seemingly becomes more and more of a possibility. Or does it?
Disloyal, or simply innovative?
CEO Kwon Oh-hyun is a huge supporter of Samsung investing more in its own software, and in an interview with Wall Street Journal, he stated that the company should have more focus on serving existing customers by building up its software capability, user experience, and design. This would allow them to have more control over their devices, as they wouldn’t need to depend on Google for software. This would also allow them to stand out from the hundreds of devices running Android. Interestingly enough, Samsung has stated that they do expect to compete directly with Google when it comes to hardware, which is again something that could create differentiation issues. That being said, they also look forward to the “legal cover” that Motorola’s patent protection would bring to the entire Android ecosystem.
This might sound a bit “disloyal”, but in all honesty, can Samsung be blamed? Samsung could actually update their devices faster if they put more effort into their Tizen operating system, and functioned without Google at the helm, right? And with the growing consumer base that Samsung already has, developing software for their own hardware could be a considerable strategic advantage. Doesn't sound so crazy. Actually, I know another company that has adopted exactly that business model (software for their own hardware), and they seem to do pretty well: Apple. If there’s any company in the world that has the power and consumer base to take on Apple, it’s Samsung, which dovetails into my next point nicely (LMAO, I’ve always wanted to say that)....
Samsung already dominates Android...their eyes are on Apple
With the success of the Galaxy Nexus, GS2, Galaxy Note, and GS3, Samsung has literally made a mockery of other Android OEMs. Sales wise, they have no competitor. HTC’s numbers hit all time lows last year (improving now), LG isn’t fairing much better (also getting slammed by Samsung in TV sector, ect), Sony is almost non existent (also getting slammed by Samsung in TV sector, ect), and Motorola, well..we’ll get into Motorola later. Bottom line is, the only competitor Samsung has left, is Apple. If I were Samsung, I would probably ask myself “since we dominated Android OEMs, what’s stopping us from dominating Apple? Is our reliance on Google for Android updates hurting us? If we built our own OS built around Touchwiz (Tizen), and could update it and optimize it for our phones, wouldn’t it solve the update issue for us AND distance us more from the hundreds of other phones running Android?”.
Do I think Samsung has considered leaving Android? I certainly do. Do I think they will actually do it? Nope. Do I think they are trying to use “scare tactics” with Google? I certainly do. Will I call that bluff? Sure, why not? :-D
Samsung still sees Motorola as a huge threat
Google purchasing Motorola has gotten Samsung pretty damn nervous, which is understandable. That perfect ecosystem of Android software and hardware is now possible for Googlrola, and I don’t blame Samsung for noticing. Sammy probably sees it like this: “So Google bought Motorola, and has the perfect chance to optimize Android for their own hardware, yet they're telling us they vow not to do it? Uh huh. Maybe we should just beat them to the punch, and focus more on Tizen”. Sure...Samsung could do that...but I’m pretty confident they won’t.
Samsung might not give a s**t about a lot of things, and they have proven that. But one thing is certain: they certainly DO give a s**t about the success that Android has brought them, and the billions of dollars they could potentially lose should they choose to abandon that little green Android who gave them a top spot in the mobile ecosystem. And hell, even if they DID choose to abandon Android, Google would then have no reason in the world to hold back in using Motorola to take Android to the next level, which is exactly what Samsung fears the most.
Samsung is conducting a clever marketing ploy/bluff, and they do it more out of fear than pride. They want to remind Google how much Samsung is NEEDED to promote Android, and how much Samsung helped to elevate Android to the heights it is now. Samsung has always been known for making great hardware, NOT software. The hard fact of the matter is, Google needs Sammy, just as much as Sammy needs Google.
Picture credits: www.warungdigital.com (edited by myself)