Saturday, April 12, 2014

Samsung (plans) to drop Android

Does Samsung have the know-how to deliver a robust operating system? How about apps- do they feel they can learn (and improve) from the Microsoft experience? If true, then Samsung really will have demonstrated the confidence it takes to become a world technology leader.

The danger is that India is one of their largest markets (44 mil smartphones sales in 2013 up from 16 mil in 2012, 38% market share for Samsung) and the customers may prefer to stay with Android (they are already registering unhappiness with Samsung).

Internal documents revealed today show how Samsung was looking at not only itself and Apple but at competition from other Android device makers and even Google.
- Samsung didn't see HTC and other Android device manufacturers as allies.
The documents note HTC's success at launching on major carriers simultaneously, providing a consistent look and feel across its range of devices, and building "carrier friendly, good enough" phones.

- Samsung noted that its biggest internal problems were a weak brand and low quality.
To emphasize these points, the documents note that carriers were more than three times as likely to refer customers to an Apple device than to a Galaxy phone and that there were more than 30 delayed Samsung product launches in 2011 alone.

- While Samsung's Galaxy phones rose to prominence thanks to the Android ecosystem, the company has been planning for years to ditch the platform for its own operating system as soon as it can.

That last point could have an incredible impact on the smartphone market. Samsung sells more devices and makes more profit than anyone else in the Android space, if any one company could develop a competitor to Android and iOS, Samsung would be the company with the resources and sales volume to do it.
So far, Samsung has only brought its open-source Tizen operating system to prototypes and smartwatches. It'll be interesting to see whether the South Korean giant actually tries to to take on Google in the years to come.  

The biggest hurdle the company would need to overcome is app availability: so far, users seem to be wary of moving to new platforms with more limited selections of app than what they can get on iOS and Android today.



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