Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 29th Jan 2014 22:40 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless

In early January, while the rest of the consumer technology world at CES marveled at the sheer size of Samsung's upcoming Galaxy tablet, Google execs were dismayed by what they saw on the screen of the massive 12.1-inch slate - a fancy new user interface called Magazine UX.

[...]

Multiple sources familiar with the companies' thinking say the two technology giants began hammering out a series of broad agreements at CES that would bring Samsung's view of Android in line with Google's own. The results of the talks, which have only just begun dribbling out to the public, also underscore the extent to which Google is exerting more of its influence to control its destiny in the Android open source world.

Dilemma. I don't like Google exerting control in this manner, but, on the other hand, anything that - for the love of god - makes Samsung stop building its own software for phones is a good thing. Tough call. Then again, this deal may also simply be another aspect of the big patent deal, indicating that this deal is about much more than patents alone.

In any case, the recent renewed collaboration between Google and Samsung seems to indicate that Samsung has little to no intention to move away from Android, and with Samsung still shipping exactly zero Tizen devices, I have little hope we'll ever see that platform jump front and centre.

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Yeah well...
by dennisma on Wed 29th Jan 2014 23:03 UTC
dennisma
Member since:
2013-12-05

I don't quite agree. Some of the software on my S4 I am not interested in (I don't like waving my hands or it following my eyes). I do use Knox and found it pretty useful for me.

On the Galaxy Tab I use a good deal of the built in the software there; especially anything to do with stylus. Better than any crap out of the Google play store.

Personally I'll never buy a Motorola phone or Nexus tablet again. Pieces of chit.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Yeah well...
by dragos.pop on Thu 30th Jan 2014 08:49 UTC in reply to "Yeah well..."
dragos.pop Member since:
2010-01-08

I don't quite agree. Some of the software on my S4 I am not interested in (I don't like waving my hands or it following my eyes). I do use Knox and found it pretty useful for me.

On the Galaxy Tab I use a good deal of the built in the software there; especially anything to do with stylus. Better than any crap out of the Google play store.


I don't think that this is about specific Samsung features. Samsung will never agree to cut this.
The idea is to make touch-wiz look more like stock android.
The direction is to extend the stock android features, not to reimplement them.

Pen related functionality in Note tablet and phone will remain, as well as the wave/follow eyes... functions, or the dual apps views.

On the other side, the home screen, mail client... will look more like stock. And less Samsung Hub stuff.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Yeah well...
by Deviate_X on Thu 30th Jan 2014 11:19 UTC in reply to "Yeah well..."
Deviate_X Member since:
2005-07-11

I don't quite agree. Some of the software on my S4 I am not interested in (I don't like waving my hands or it following my eyes). I do use Knox and found it pretty useful for me.

On the Galaxy Tab I use a good deal of the built in the software there; especially anything to do with stylus. Better than any crap out of the Google play store.

Personally I'll never buy a Motorola phone or Nexus tablet again. Pieces of chit.


Generally the market seems to agree with you, rather than buying pure android phones they are buying Samsung, hence Samsung is rolling round in $$$ while companies like panasonic are feeling the pain http://news.techworld.com/mobile-wireless/3408229/panasonic-to-leav...

Reply Score: 2

Really?
by BenGildenstein on Wed 29th Jan 2014 23:25 UTC
BenGildenstein
Member since:
2013-09-20

Taking the assertions of "sources" (or "multiple sources") and considering them seriously is preposterous. This type of practise is called gossip and will likely yield an perspective that is at least a few inches outside of reality.

Reply Score: 5

Interesting
by Windows Sucks on Wed 29th Jan 2014 23:56 UTC
Windows Sucks
Member since:
2005-11-10

The pressure goes both ways it seems cause they just threw away Moto losing 9.6 billion on the deal and it looks like the Nexus brand might be gone also.

Hummmmm.

Reply Score: 3

Math mistake
by ricegf on Thu 30th Jan 2014 11:56 UTC in reply to "Interesting "
ricegf Member since:
2007-04-25

Your forgot the $2.35 billion sale of Home to Arris, plus they keep most of the patents they originally (over)valued at $5.5 billion (probably worth less than a billion now), they got some leverage in the Samsung deal, and may have traded Tizen's life for Nexus. Or not.

According to a Pacific Crest financial analyst quoted at http://www.zdnet.com/googles-motorola-mobility-detour-running-the-n... they also got $2.9 billion cash in the original deal, and may get to claim $2.4 billion more in tax loss assets. They may have avoided some patent litigation (and certainly countered the impression that Android was legally doomed). But they also lost operating money, of course. The analyst thought they may have broken even, but that seems overly generous.

Bottom line is that they probably paid between $1.6 and $4.0 billion for a set of standards-essential patents, some positive legal press, and some negotiating leverage. That's bad enough even when you do the math correctly, but let's at least do the math correctly!

Edited 2014-01-30 12:12 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Math mistake
by Windows Sucks on Thu 30th Jan 2014 12:43 UTC in reply to "Math mistake"
Windows Sucks Member since:
2005-11-10

Your forgot the $2.35 billion sale of Home to Arris, plus they keep most of the patents they originally (over)valued at $5.5 billion (probably worth less than a billion now), they got some leverage in the Samsung deal, and may have traded Tizen's life for Nexus. Or not.

According to a Pacific Crest financial analyst quoted at http://www.zdnet.com/googles-motorola-mobility-detour-running-the-n... they also got $2.9 billion cash in the original deal, and may get to claim $2.4 billion more in tax loss assets. They may have avoided some patent litigation (and certainly countered the impression that Android was legally doomed). But they also lost operating money, of course. The analyst thought they may have broken even, but that seems overly generous.

Bottom line is that they probably paid between $1.6 and $4.0 billion for a set of standards-essential patents, some positive legal press, and some negotiating leverage. That's bad enough even when you do the math correctly, but let's at least do the math correctly!


You surely have better Math then I posted but that 5 billion in Patents was Googles own est of how much they felt they were worth, not anyone elses.

But you are right, that is better math.

Reply Score: 1

v I love it
by bowkota on Thu 30th Jan 2014 00:42 UTC
RE: I love it
by BallmerKnowsBest on Sat 1st Feb 2014 19:02 UTC in reply to "I love it"
BallmerKnowsBest Member since:
2008-06-02

It's funny how 9 out of 10 times when Google is caught being naughty, he'll acknowledge to begin with BUT, there's always a but that will follow or a counter argument. Hilarious...


Not nearly as hilarious as the way that iFanboys will constantly beat the "OMG Android fragmentation!!!!" drum - and then when Google does anything to address that issue, they immediately change tunes to "OMG Google is trying to steer the direction of a platform that they're the primary developer of, OMG EVIL!"

Reply Score: 3

All this makes sense for both companies
by lancealot on Thu 30th Jan 2014 01:26 UTC
lancealot
Member since:
2007-02-25

Looks like Google and Samsung will team up to fight Apple in the mobile device area. It all makes sense:

Google: Google sells Motorola and gets out of the mobile device hardware area. They team up with Samsung and convince Samsung to promote Google's services. If Google does not do this then Samsung threatens with Tizen and replacing Android and Google services. Google wins because they bring all Samsung devices more into a pure Android experience, which includes using Google services. A big part of this deal was promoting Google Services on their devices. Google gains all these Samsung users using their services, including their big money maker, their ad services. I would expect Google gets out of the hardware business, and sticks to software and patents, which means they will dump the Nexus line, and Google Glasses will be made by Samsung.

Samsung: To challenge Apple they need a ecosystem. They started to threaten to create their own with Tizen. Even with Tizen, Samsung had a huge uphill hike to get a fully mature ecosystem that rivals Apple. Google decides to work more closer with them, and Samsung accepts because they will now have the ecosystem to challenge Apple. Samsung wins because they get a full mature ecosystem to challenge Apple without putting in the time and money to catch-up with Apple which would not be easy. In addition if Goolge dumps the Nexus line, then Google uses them for devices, not LG (Nexus 4 and 5) and Asus (Nexus 7). Possibly either Samsung or Google creates a new name for a group of phones highlighting the use of Google (just like the Nexus line was).

I am sure there are financial incentives for both companies in the form of kick back agreements. So in the end is all fits together for the sole purpose of fighting Apple.

If Nokia was smart in the past, instead of selling to Microsoft, they should have done this instead of Samsung. So it seems after all the recent shifting you have 3 big players: Google/Samsung, Apple, and Microsoft (which just bought Nokia hardware). All three of these companies have hardware, software, and services ecosystem. The losers, everyone else: LG, HTC, RIM, and Sony. Don't be surprised if some of these companies disappear from the mobile device area.

Reply Score: 4

CapEnt Member since:
2005-12-18

Neither Samsung nor Google is really bothered with Apple anymore: they outsell iPhone in almost every country, perhaps with USA as exception. Apple refusal to license his OS for other manufacturers only means they will become increasingly niche.

Personally, i bet Microsoft as a more serious competition for now on, simple due they relentless insistence to push WP forward despite all negative results so far. Eventually they will get it right.

And Samsung does not need to go for Tizen: they could very well just fork Android.

I think the reason for this patent deal to be less threatening than your post suggest: Samsung is the biggest Android phone maker, and Google is doing a exceptional job leading Android development, so it is logical to expect closer collaboration between those two companies.

I don't believe there is anyone in Google or Samsung management that takes seriously the possibility of a split between the companies.

Reply Score: 5

lancealot Member since:
2007-02-25

Neither Samsung nor Google is really bothered with Apple anymore: they outsell iPhone in almost every country, perhaps with USA as exception. Apple refusal to license his OS for other manufacturers only means they will become increasingly niche.

Personally, i bet Microsoft as a more serious competition for now on, simple due they relentless insistence to push WP forward despite all negative results so far. Eventually they will get it right.

And Samsung does not need to go for Tizen: they could very well just fork Android.

I think the reason for this patent deal to be less threatening than your post suggest: Samsung is the biggest Android phone maker, and Google is doing a exceptional job leading Android development, so it is logical to expect closer collaboration between those two companies.

I don't believe there is anyone in Google or Samsung management that takes seriously the possibility of a split between the companies.


The other exception besides the USA would be Japan, where Apple does very well.

I agree that Google might not be bothered by Apple, but I would disagree about Samsung. Samsung sells the hardware, but they don't have an ecosystem. What Apple does when someone buys a iPhone or iPad is they pull them into the Apple ecosystem, which generates revenue. This includes music (iTunes), video (iTunes), iCloud, App Store, and payment processing (which they will expand into more soon). So by Google and Samsung working together they both win. Google gets more people using their services on some of the top selling mobile devices (no more Tizen), and Samsung wins since they get an ecosystem to match Apple which gives customers more reason to buy their phones, plus I wouldn't be surprised if Google is not giving them some type of kick back (besides patent access). Google doesn't have to deal with or spend money on hardware, but instead stick to the software services side where they make all their money. So both companies win in this agreement. I think the next company to make the same agreement with Google will be Lenovo's Motorola unit. So in the end the biggest winner will be Google, and I think the idea of Tizen running on the most popular phones (Samsung) drove Google into this agreement.


I think Microsoft has potential, but they are still lacking in the apps department. I would have considered a Windows phone myself, but they didn't have my banking app, VOIP app, and a couple other apps I must have which were available on Android and iPhone, so I couldn't buy one (I ended up getting a Nexus 5). The one big advantage Microsoft has over even Apple and Google (for now), is the Xbox (why they made the SmartGlass mobile app). Microsoft really has the most potential because they have a large ecosystem that covers a lot of what both Google and Apple have. Of course Apple might counter this soon with a AppleTV that offers games (with bluetooth controller sync), and who knows, maybe a PlayStaion Now client when that comes out this year. I do hope Microsoft gains more market share, competetion is always a great thing to have.

Reply Score: 4

majipoor Member since:
2009-01-22

Samsung is not threatened by Apple, nor is Apple threatened by Samsung. There is place for several winners in such a big market, at least one for each successful ecosystem (Android, iOS and arguably WP). The question here is just which ecosystems are and will remain successful.

Competition is however strong withing a given ecosystem. Samsung is thus threatened mostly by the rise of other Android OEM, especially Chinese OEM such as Lenovo or Huawei and until now, potentially by Google/Motorola.

With the recent moves between Google/Motorola, Samsung and Lenovo, Google gives up its OEM status in order to please its partners because Samsung and others were obviously not happy to see the platform owner being also a competitor. A lot of conflicts of interest here.

For me, selling Motorola to Lenovo, the #3 smartphone manufacturer, is a way for Google to lessen Samsung domination on the Android platform.

The recent moves from Google are a sign that they are trying to keep a tight control over the Android platform.

While many want to see a platform war between Apple and Google/Samsung, I think that there is no war here: Apple only want to keep its platform very profitable and fight fiercely to defend their "walled garden". But Apple doesn't try to expand this garden much and Google is for sure fine with their 80% share.

But there is a war between Android OEM (Samsung being the king until now). Google was participating with Motorola, but today, Google decided to step back and in the future, they will encourage the Android war so as no Android OEM can threaten the Android platform which would be a potential disaster for them.

Edited 2014-01-30 10:08 UTC

Reply Score: 5

cdude Member since:
2008-09-21

and Apple continued to lose market share in 2013, down from 18% in 2012 to 15% in 2013, to Android...

http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS24645514

Reply Score: 1

Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

Nope to many things can't be forked anymore:

http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/10/googles-iron-grip-on-android...

But maybe Samsung now has access to the source as part of their agreement ?

Reply Score: 3

Lorin Member since:
2010-04-06

Makes perfect sense when you factor in the Lenovo deal too, China will protect it's domestic companies above all others and this will result in the supposed Apple/China Mobile deal being far less valuable for Apple.

Reply Score: 3

it's pretty obvious
by unclefester on Thu 30th Jan 2014 02:15 UTC
unclefester
Member since:
2007-01-13

Samsung becomes the "official" Android hardware supplier selling stock Android. Google gets out of the hardware business. Tizen is dropped. Simple.

Reply Score: 5

Comment by ddc_
by ddc_ on Thu 30th Jan 2014 10:16 UTC
ddc_
Member since:
2006-12-05

Apparently Android open source development model shapes up: vendors fork, and popular forks are merged after enough critical aclaim is gathered. In other words Android becomes more open source.

FWIW I'm not sure this particular merge is benefitial for Android - I never could get on with Samsung's additions, albeit I only faced them on my mother's S4. (She apparently likes it.) Still, it's my personal opinion, and man owners of Samsung voted for this merge with their money (being informed or not), so it may happen that the platform as whole will benifit from the merge. Particularly if they will end up being optional.

Reply Score: 2

In Related News...
by tidux on Thu 30th Jan 2014 11:06 UTC
tidux
Member since:
2011-08-13

The US government has been increasingly leery of electronics made by Chinese companies, especially when it comes to secure systems. I predict a collapse of Motorola's marketshare in the US within two years.

Reply Score: 0

RE: In Related News...
by smashIt on Thu 30th Jan 2014 11:25 UTC in reply to "In Related News..."
smashIt Member since:
2005-07-06

The US government has been increasingly leery of electronics made by Chinese companies, especially when it comes to secure systems.


or were they just pissed off when chinese manufacturers didn't cooperate with the nsa?

Reply Score: 6

RE: In Related News...
by cdude on Thu 30th Jan 2014 15:38 UTC in reply to "In Related News..."
cdude Member since:
2008-09-21

That, the Moto collapse, did happen already or? Telling thay Lenovo's first choice was RIM/Blackberry but they got rejected and only then turned to Moto.

Reply Score: 1

Interesting
by wocowboy on Thu 30th Jan 2014 11:14 UTC
wocowboy
Member since:
2006-06-01

The central thesis to the article is this:

"The fact that Apple wields such tight control over its own software-and-hardware combo seems to be the only thing separating Google from the M-word and competition scrutiny, considering its large and growing market share."

But there is a BIG difference between the way Apple and Google are operating, which the article neglects to point out. Apple makes its own devices and does not license iOS to anyone else or supervise the way other manufacturers make devices that use iOS, because none do. Google does. Many manufacturers make Android phones. Google does not make its own devices with its name on them, outside the Moto G brand (which they are selling) other than picking some other manufacturer to make one model phone with the Google Nexus brand on it once in a while. Big difference.

This difference is the reason Google is treading on thin ice with regulators as the article points out. There is nothing wrong with Apple exerting tight control on their own devices that they make, because they're the only company to make them, but Google exerting such control over multiple manufacturers must be done carefully to avoid regulatory scrutiny.

Edited 2014-01-30 11:23 UTC

Reply Score: 4

Maybe not so dramatic
by Windows Sucks on Thu 30th Jan 2014 13:07 UTC
Windows Sucks
Member since:
2005-11-10

Update: Samsung tells us that it "will continue to identify and provide differentiated and innovative service and content offerings on our mobile devices." The company's full statement follows below.

Samsung strives to deliver great user experiences through our mobile devices and, as such, we also offer consumers a wide selection of differentiated service and content offerings. On Samsung’s Android devices, these offerings include Google services in addition to a variety of services offered by carrier providers as well as Samsung's own proprietary services.

To continue our momentum of delivering great user experiences and bringing greater value to people’s lives, Samsung will continue to identify and provide differentiated and innovative service and content offerings on our mobile devices.

http://www.theverge.com/2014/1/29/5358290/google-samsung-finally-ag...

Reply Score: 3

Comment by Dr-ROX
by Dr-ROX on Thu 30th Jan 2014 14:24 UTC
Dr-ROX
Member since:
2006-01-03

For my taste Samsung core apps and TouchWiz are looking better and have more useful features, like swiping left or right on a message to reply or call, calling by placing phone to ear when reading messages. And more of these small thing that make it easier. I have tried vanilla android and it was a bit scarce.

Reply Score: 2

...
by Hiev on Thu 30th Jan 2014 15:29 UTC
Hiev
Member since:
2005-09-27

The question is now, what about the other OEMs? Samsung getting preference it really looks bad for other powerful Android companies like LG and HTC.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by shmerl
by shmerl on Thu 30th Jan 2014 16:59 UTC
shmerl
Member since:
2010-06-08

Samsung has Tizen. Nothing stops them from using Sailfish as well, or making another Mer derivative.

Reply Score: 1