According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, Google is growing increasingly concerned with Samsung’s dominance of the Android – and smartphone – landscape. Supposedly, the topic is being openly discussed at Google, and as far as I’m concerned, that’s great news.
I’m pretty sure most of you are aware what this is about. Samsung dominates Android, and could start asking for more from Google. If Google doesn’t give in, Samsung could pull an Amazon and fork Android, cutting Google out of the loop entirely. Alternatively – and I think because of how Tizen 2.0 looks this is more and more likely – Samsung builds its own smartphone operating system.
This is a horror scenario for Google. Samsung has become a strong brand, while the brand Android has fallen by the wayside. If Samsung takes matters into its own hands, users would still buy Samsung phones, even if they don’t run Android. With the way Tizen looks almost identical to Android/Touchwiz, users wouldn’t even notice. Google, on the other hand, would lose its position in the smartphone market almost overnight, since the other Android OEMs are hurting bad.
Apparently, Google bought Motorola as insurance against this very scenario. So far, we’ve only seen Motorola phone coming out, so it’ll be interesting to see when the first true Google device comes out of Motorola. Hopefully for Google, it’ll be able to gain traction in the Android OEM market.
For us users, though, this is great news, since it’ll break up the dominant position of Android. If Samsung backs Tizen big, we’ll suddenly have a huge third contender, leading to increased competition. We’re already being spoiled by Ubuntu, Sailfish, Firefox OS, BB10, and others, but those don’t really stand much of a chance if Android keep dominating the way that it does. If Android breaks up into pieces, the market will be wide open for other players.
So, Samsung, do it. Get behind Tizen, or fork Android. Break the market open before it’s entirely wrapped up in Android and iOS.
The moment Samsung ditches Android, people switch to another manufacturer. While more time passes Android users are becoming more tied to the platform, knowing or not if it is Android, be it applications, Google services, etc, like iOS users that are tied to their App Store applications. Do you think people will switch to Linux if the big PC OEMs ditch Windows for Linux? Not gonna happen, people will switch to the next one that gives them Windows.
When an OS reach the kind of numbers Android and Windows have, no change on the OEMs will make big change in numbers, this kind of changes only happen when the new competitor innovates so much that people change.