Google and Samsung back together, competitors beware

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.

Source: Recode

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Both Google and Samsung have already co-produced the previous Nexus phone (Nexus S) and Samsung already let Google's vanilla Android run on their S4, so this makes sense. Now is the question of how to make devices like the Note 3 even better, since that's running quite a lot of Sammy's software on top of Android.

"While this is definitely a big win for Google it's not exactly clear what the OEM is getting out of this"

That's a great point. This all seems to benefit Google. Samsung seemed to be moving toward Tizen, so why would they suddenly do this instead? What's the benefit to them?

What's wrong with Motorola... This is good news and bad news really. Samsung hasn't designed any good phones that compete against the HTC One or Lumia 1020 or iPhone. There phones are cheap plastic, there too round and curvy. Nothing that looks sturdy, no industrial design, no character.

There is no color or texture on the phone like other manufacturers are doing like Nokia or Motorola. Their AMOLED displays are mediocre, they burn-in quite easily and produce very saturated colors. Their phones have the most bloatware, there's a whole kitchen sink and more under the notification bar of dumb options.

And with phones getting bigger and bigger, Samsung phones look comical because they take part in sizing everything up so you have no more space on your home screen or more space to read a webpage, its all scaled higher. At least that's what I saw in stores trying their phablets.

This might reverse their bloated operating system into a more Google experience device. And hopefully by now they realized how to design a damn phone in time for the Galaxy S5. But Motorola shouldn't have been dumped, they had great devices like the Moto X with its character. Assembled in the US, and it had features like Active Notifications which integrated very well with Android.

I don't know. I hope something like this doesn't happen with Microsoft and Nokia after 2 years...

And yet more and more people are buying them. People just look around to see what everyone else is getting, then they get one for themselves. At least that's how the US market works.

Sionic Ion said,
What's wrong with Motorola... This is good news and bad news really. Samsung hasn't designed any good phones that compete against the HTC One or Lumia 1020 or iPhone. There phones are cheap plastic, there too round and curvy. Nothing that looks sturdy, no industrial design, no character.

There is no color or texture on the phone like other manufacturers are doing like Nokia or Motorola. Their AMOLED displays are mediocre, they burn-in quite easily and produce very saturated colors. Their phones have the most bloatware, there's a whole kitchen sink and more under the notification bar of dumb options.

And with phones getting bigger and bigger, Samsung phones look comical because they take part in sizing everything up so you have no more space on your home screen or more space to read a webpage, its all scaled higher. At least that's what I saw in stores trying their phablets.

This might reverse their bloated operating system into a more Google experience device. And hopefully by now they realized how to design a damn phone in time for the Galaxy S5. But Motorola shouldn't have been dumped, they had great devices like the Moto X with its character. Assembled in the US, and it had features like Active Notifications which integrated very well with Android.

I don't know. I hope something like this doesn't happen with Microsoft and Nokia after 2 years...

Says the qualified expert...

Sionic Ion said,
What's wrong with Motorola... This is good news and bad news really. Samsung hasn't designed any good phones that compete against the HTC One or Lumia 1020 or iPhone. There phones are cheap plastic, there too round and curvy. Nothing that looks sturdy, no industrial design, no character.

There is no color or texture on the phone like other manufacturers are doing like Nokia or Motorola. Their AMOLED displays are mediocre, they burn-in quite easily and produce very saturated colors. Their phones have the most bloatware, there's a whole kitchen sink and more under the notification bar of dumb options.

And with phones getting bigger and bigger, Samsung phones look comical because they take part in sizing everything up so you have no more space on your home screen or more space to read a webpage, its all scaled higher. At least that's what I saw in stores trying their phablets.

This might reverse their bloated operating system into a more Google experience device. And hopefully by now they realized how to design a damn phone in time for the Galaxy S5. But Motorola shouldn't have been dumped, they had great devices like the Moto X with its character. Assembled in the US, and it had features like Active Notifications which integrated very well with Android.

I don't know. I hope something like this doesn't happen with Microsoft and Nokia after 2 years...


Both of those device's sales combined don't sell as much as Samsung's GS4 or Note 3 have.

Sionic Ion said,
There phones are cheap plastic, there too round and curvy.
Wow, the same word used in two different incorrect ways in a single sentence!

Nothing wrong with Samsung's build quality IMO, although on the software side boatware is a real problem.

I had no idea Google dropped Motorola. Smart move. They should have made a pact with Samsung from the beginning. The original Nexus S was a smooth phone back when it came out.

Good. Less crap on Samsung phones, faster updates. Which is a good thing.

Would be great if Google made these agreements with other OEMs as well.

google is telling all other oems that they don't matter. google are pretty much sucking upto Samsung with this deal before Samsung took over and left google in the dust.

FloatingFatMan said,
Just as long as this means a "Google Edition" ROM gets released for my Note II, and that godawful KNOX bootloader garbage is removed...

I'd love a ROM like that for my note 3. I don't see why Samsung are fighting custom ROMs etc, Samsung are one of the most popular device choices for this (minus the Exynos versions)

McKay said,

I'd love a ROM like that for my note 3. I don't see why Samsung are fighting custom ROMs etc, Samsung are one of the most popular device choices for this (minus the Exynos versions)


Why not root it and just install CyanogenMod? It's the next best option you're gonna get to a Google Edition ROM. I personally can't see Samsung changing there ways with less TouchWiz and faster updates, maybe with their new handsets but definitely not current.

Well. This kind of makes more sense. Google agrees to not compete with Samsung with Motorola, and Google gets the top OEM to make their devices more inline with their vision. As for Motorola, I'm sure lenovo will take good care of the assets. So no reel casualtys in the end of the day. Win Win Win!

Edited by Ad Man Gamer, Jan 30 2014, 1:48pm :

Samsung was way powerful than google themselves. in one word, android is galaxy series now. touchwiz is more popular than stock android. google in a sneaky move again did the right thing joined the top android seller.