Google and Samsung haven’t been seeing eye to eye recently. Sure, both companies have profited enormously from their cooperation but many in the industry have seen the tell-tale signs that the two companies were drifting apart and might even become competitors. However that all seems to have changed during the past weeks and Google and Samsung seem to be closer than ever.
Both Google and Samsung have lost some of their shine recently. Despite the fact that Android has become ubiquitous and Samsung is the top player in that ecosystem, rising competition from smaller OEMs means that both companies are facing a threat.
The South Korean company has seen its growth slow down during the past quarters especially in developing markets such as China and India, where local manufacturers are winning the race. And these same local manufacturers are skimping on Google’s Play services and opting for different software solutions, which is the search engine’s worst nightmare.
But now the two companies seems to have banded together to strengthen their market positions. First up, in a surprising move, Google has dumped Motorola Mobility. The buy-out of the company a few years back was seen as Google distancing themselves from Samsung’s dominant position in the Android space. But now that the search giant has dropped its handset manufacturing dreams, Samsung can re-become their primary focus and partner.
Secondly the two companies have signed a wide-ranging deal that allows them to cross-license patents so as to fight any lawsuit against Android or Samsung’s devices. The deal would also allow the South Korean manufacturer to create better and/or cheaper devices.
And finally, details are now coming out of a second deal between the two companies that will bring Samsung devices in line with Google’s vision for the OS. This means we’ll see a lot less customization on Galaxy-type devices and more focus on Google’s Play services instead of Samsung’s own software offerings. While this is definitely a big win for Google it’s not exactly clear what the OEM is getting out of this, though perhaps we’ll see a new Samsung branded Nexus device in the near future.
With this new cooperation as well as Google’s tighter grip on Android and Samsung’s marketing push the two companies have once again become a major threat to their competitors. As we mentioned before, 2014 is shaping up to be a hell of a year for the smartphone wars.