Yes, Google (and partners) should be worried about Samsung's Android dominance

Yes, Google (and partners) should be worried about Samsung's Android dominance

Summary: Android is the platform that isn't. There are a lot of players, but lump all of the Android phones and tablets together and Samsung still beats them all.


Liam Tung of ZDNet pointed out that Google is worried about the might of Samsung in regards to its Android platform. The theory is that Samsung's Android sales outpace the competition by such a large margin that the Korean company can put pressure on Google for better business terms.

(Image: James Kendrick/ZDNet)

Google certainly should be concerned about Samsung, and it's not the only company. As I outlined earlier this month, Samsung is the only Android smartphone maker that matters. Samsung's sales of both smartphones and tablets are far ahead of not just other Android players, but also the entire Android ecosystem. Samsung is Android.

Samsung has accomplished this through good hardware design coupled with intelligent Android customization that puts the customer first. The Samsung-Android fork is arguably better than Google's own version of the OS.

There are smartphones with better hardware on the market, but Samsung has put the entire package together to great effect. Decent hardware, good software, and great marketing combine to make Samsung Android phones a top brand. There are not very many in the US who are not familiar with the Samsung Android products.

Samsung is already what most consumers think of when they think of Android. If they think of Android at all.

Google knows that Samsung is close to reaching such a dominant level in the Android space that it may start asking for cuts in the lucrative search revenue, as Liam pointed out. Samsung is already in a position to do so, and it wouldn't be a surprise. It would be good business.

Samsung is already what most consumers think of when they think of Android. If they think of Android at all. Samsung is now the recognized brand of Android, the only one with legs.

See also:

Topics: Mobility, Android, Google, Samsung

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • What About

    What about Motorola? Isn't they owned by Google now? I'll be honest, I don't know what shape Motorola is in, but I would think Google would try to do something with that asset other than patent games.
    • don't worry

      Funny nonsense paid by Microsoft? Samsung depends on Android so till Samsung innovates, rocks..... a little hiccup of Samsung's innovations means fast consumer switch to HTC, Motorola etc...... so this article is base less :-P
      • Funny nonsense paid by Microsoft?

        What the heck is that supposed to mean?
        I Am Galactus
      • Nothing can stop Samsung from forking Android

        Just like Amazon and put HERE maps, bing search, their own store etc. Google should be careful.
        • Actually, there are two ways Google can fight back...

          1. Android is a trademark. Google could just pull the rights to use the name and logo.
          2. There's Android.. then there's Google Android. Those Google apps are kind of important. If you've ever used an Android device without them, you realize how clumsy they are. Samsung *could* write their own, but it's not that easy to do... (then again, Samsung+Bing?)
          • hmmm..

            Have you ever heard of the expression "cutting off the nose to spite the face?"
          • Errrr......

            Can you say you are missing a few points?
            First, Samsung, like the other manufacturers have licenses the Android OS. Unlikely that Google can cut them off. Where Android OS goes, so does using Google for anything attached to it. Google pulls Android for no REAL reason, say a major lawsuit and the US DoJ could also investigate.
            Second, Google makes money off the apps that are sold. As Samsung sells the most phones, their users probably buy the most amount of apps.
        • Of course they can't fork Android

          All Android phones are licensed through the Open Handset Alliance. One primary part of that license: no forking of the OS.

          Sure, Samsung could do what Amazon did, build what amounts to a new OS using the Android code base. But they can't call it Android anymore. They won't have access to any of the Google non-FOSS software or services.

          What would be the motivation? Samsung's obviously not afraid of any competitive within Android. They already have offerings outside of Android (BadaOS, Windows Phone, and Real Soon Now, Tizen), but of these, only BadaOS has significant numbers, and still pretty tiny and low-end compared to Android.
        • read more, please :)

          youre funny :)
          HTC ONE, Motorola, LG is fully comparable to SGS3, Amazon will never be more and you have better arguments :)
      • Huh?

        Don't know what the phrack are you talking about. and it seems I'm not the only one. Your statement makes as much sense as when Dubya said [basically] the war was over in Iraq in 2003.
        •

          read more, you will understand more.....I can easily shift from Samsung phone to LG, HTC etc.... do you understand now? :)
      • Umm

        You do realize Samsung is making their OS called Tizen right? Is that enough innovation for you? Coming out this year at some point.
  • LG Nexus4 is not Samsung

    Which Samsung dominance? I buy the Nexus models. The Nexus4 and Nexus7 are not made by Samsung.
    • Seriously?

      The S3 and the Note2 are beat out the sales of the Nexus4 by 10 to 1 easy.
      Johrten Sternberg
      • Likely

        Only techies are mostly buying the Nexus 7. The Note 2 though is WAY more popular. Considering most of the reviews are from iOS users, that tells you everything right there.
        • "considering most of the reviews are rom iOS users" ?

          And how would you know that?

          Pagan jim
          James Quinn
    • Errr...

      Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 10 are both made by Samsung. So was the Galaxy Droid. Just because you personally don't buy something doesn't mean the company doesn't have significant influence...
      • But non-Samsung Nexus are less enpensive

        I know Samsung made a few Nexus devices. But the Nexus4 is cheaper and better than the Galaxy Nexus. The Nexus 7 is obviously cheaper than the Samsung Nexus 10 b/c it is smaller. However, if I buy the Nexus 7, it counts as a non-Samsung.

        Samsung devices are not cheap. I'd like a Note2 but it's too expensive. Wait a few more months there will be competitors to Samsung with more reasonable price. Samsung can dominate whatever it wants, its high price leave a lot of room for competitors. And not everybody will accept the Samsung OS. I know of someone who is totally pissed off by his Samsung device with Bada instead of Android. This person will never buy Samsung again.
        • Pretty comparable

          The Google version of the Galaxy Nexus sold online for $349, with 16GB Flash and 3G/HSPA only, no LTE. A year later, the Nexus 4 came out at $299 with 8GB Flash or $349 with 16GB Flash, and 3G/HSPA only, no LTE.

          Yeah, it's a better device... a year will do that. No cheaper. I have every expectation that whatever Google puts out as a phone next November/December will be an improvement over the Nexus 4. And probably cost $349 for the 16GB version...

          The real significance of this isn't any specific device, but Google finally doing something about the artificial pricing scam the major telcos have on consumers. If you price the Nexus 4 compared to, say, an Apple iPod, you'll notice that the Nexus 4 is actually a pretty good deal... $50 more, less flash, twice the CPU, and of course, it's a smartphone, not just a PDA. Apple's going to charge you about $700 for the iPhone. Not because it's any more expensive than the Nexus 4 compared to the iPod, but because they're forced to price their models based on sales deals through the telcos. Which have been designed to create the illusion of a great subsidy deal, and of course, keep you on-contract.
      • Wrong......

        The Nexus tablets are made by Asus, not Samsung. The screens may be Samsung, but the tablet is Asus.
        linux for me