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Are the carriers the reason for Samsung’s lagging Windows Phone effort in the US?

Are the carriers the reason for Samsung’s lagging Windows Phone effort in the US?
Samsung is the big kid on the block. The Korean manufacturer is the largest handset maker in the world. In the US, half of all the Android devices lighting up the networks are made by Samsung.

No doubt, Samsung carries a lot of clout, they make and sell hundreds of millions of smartphones every year, so the company knows it is doing something right. Samsung was the first manufacturer to announce a Windows Phone 8 handset, the ATIV S, way back in August 2012.  Then, news about the Samsung ATIV S was relatively uneventful for a while. The Samsung ATIV S was never announced for the US market, though the device is available in Canada, Europe and elsewhere.

The official word from Microsoft was that Samsung would offer the ATIV Odyssey in the US on Verizon starting this past December, but we all know how that went. We got to see the ATIV Odyssey in action at CES a couple weeks ago, but still no official date as to when it would be available. Information about a possible release on the 24th is still based only on a leak.

Why has Samsung, a company that knows how to dominate a market segment, been so slow off the blocks to bring a Windows Phone 8 device in the US, and an entry-level one at that? Well, analysts tell The Korean Times that carriers are being “intentionally less enthusiastic” about Samsung’s Windows Phone 8 devices. It would seem that the carriers do not wish Samsung to dominate two platforms.

The more dominant the manufacturer gets, the more it is able to dictate the terms for its devices being offered in a given market. Kim Sang-pyo of HMC Securities believes that carriers will eventually bend to Samsung’s pressure to offer more Windows Phone devices. Citing that the Android ecosystem is getting more and more saturated, Samsung sees Windows Phone as a solid diversification avenue since the outlook for Windows Phone 8 is looking good, and Nokia just posted some great sales figures to back that forecast.

A couple other analysts agree with that overall outlook, with one noting that Samsung also has a stronger brand loyalty over whatever loyalty there may be to Android as an operating system. One example given is Samsung’s sales of the Windows 8 ATIV tablets, in South Korea, Samsung has sold over 80,000 of them, beating sales of the Nexus 7.

Maybe Microsoft played favorites with Nokia and HTC to give the two underdogs a foothold with the new platform. It is certainly feasible that US carriers scoffed at Samsung’s plans for a higher end Windows Phone, given the manufacturer’s success with Android it is entirely possible Samsung wanted volume guarantees that the carriers, particularly AT&T and Verizon, were not willing to sign up in the wake of anemic Windows Phone 7 sales. What do you think? Is this the work of the carriers keeping Samsung at bay?

sources: iFans via WPCentral

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