Motorola is Google's defense against Samsung's Android dominance

Motorola is Google's defense against Samsung's Android dominance
Samsung is a huge success. The company was responsible for almost 40% of the entire smartphone market for 2012, and a large portion of that number is from Samsung’s Android devices. It’s hard to ignore Samsung, and it looks like Google can’t ignore it either. A new report says that Google is worried about Samsung’s dominance and could be using Motorola as defense against Samsung controlling the ecosystem too much.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Google executives have had discussions about Samsung’s dominance over the past year. Android head Andy Rubin praised the company’s success, but also said that Samsung could become a threat. Rubin apparently went on to say that Google used the buyout of Motorola as a “hedge” against such a threat.

The biggest concern seems to be that Samsung is so far ahead of its nearest competitor within the Android ecosystem. According to IDC, Samsung makes up about 40% of the Android ecosystem, and the next closest manufacturer is Huawei at just 6.6%. And, in the world of Android tablets, Samsung has been making strides, and even outselling the Amazon Kindle Fire at the end of last year.

The worry is that Samsung could use its dominant position to fork Android, just as Amazon did, and take a large portion of Android users along with it (aka a large portion of Google’s ad revenue from various apps). Given Samsung’s position in the market, it seems reasonable to be careful, but forking Android would pose a number of issues that we’re not sure users would ignore.

If such a fear were to come true, Samsung would need to replace all of Google’s apps, including Google Maps, Gmail, YouTube, and most importantly, the Google Play Store itself. Samsung could relatively easily replace Google Calendar (and has basically already done so with TouchWiz), but everything else would be much more difficult to replace. The biggest trouble being the Play Store itself, because if users bought a new Samsung Galaxy device running a forked version of Android, it would be very hard to pass off a new app store.

Samsung has already bit into Google’s revenue by pushing its own Music Hub, which takes purchases away from Google Play. And, it seems possible that Samsung could do the same with videos, but completely replacing Google Play means also replacing the book and magazine sections, and of course the app section, which currently offers upwards of 800,000 apps.

That’s why we can understand that Google would be monitoring the situation, and may well have bought Motorola to be a “hedge” in case Samsung went rogue, but we’re not too sure that there is all that much to be worried about. At least, there shouldn’t be too much concern about Samsung forking Android. The company could still exert quite a bit of influence in other ways, and continue to cut into Google’s revenue streams with other services and content stores.

source: WSJ



1. nikenturd unregistered

With Google's hatred towards sd expansion slots and removable batteries...It would take a miracle for them to topple Samsung....

5. jan25

Posts: 470; Member since: Feb 26, 2012

The mainstream consumer doesn't care much about SD expansion or removal batteries. Marketing aside, a Moto-Google device could do better if it had enough storage and a big enough battery.

9. Hammerfest

Posts: 384; Member since: May 12, 2012

the moment they get the bill for going over B/W... they do/will care...

10. nikenturd unregistered

why so hypocritical about it? people dont want extra storage for their HD films, videos, pdfs and pics?.....come on now...SD slot IS a dealbreaker to many...

39. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

A lot of people I know transfer their content thru SD card since Nokia time. Many use cloud but SD card give extra storage on the cheap offline, so it's a must for me too.

17. redmd

Posts: 1941; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

well i guess im not mainstream because i want removable battery and micro sd.

44. ivanprskalo

Posts: 124; Member since: Dec 09, 2010

Who says people don't care for expandable storage? That's a big fat lie. I care, and all people I know want microSD card slot in their phones. For Gods sake that is the reason why HTC is falling down. It is obvious and noone wants to say it. Just look what Galaxyies have and One-s and Xperias, from last year lack: Expandable storage is the answer. For example, I have my microSD card 32GB class 10 and it is nearly 90% full, which means all my favorite music, pics and apps are in there. How on earth I'm gonna transfer that stuff to my new phone when it has 8 or 16 GB on board storage??? (And of that 16, to user available is 12!!) It is one of the reasons why I didn't bought HTC DNA/Butterfly, Oppo Find 5, HTC One X, and many, many other phones that I like... What am I gonna do with my SD card, throw it away? Well I will, just give me a good reason to. Let's say HTC One X+ with 64GB internal is a good one, maybe HTC ONE 64GB version (if it will be available outside of damn China). I would like if xperia ZL comes with more on-board storage, but now when I know it has microSD card slot - now I'm again interested in Xperia line. That is how it works, let's not fool ourselfs. And - no, world is not ready yet for cloud. Not with these batteries in phones, not until whole world is covered with 4G. Removable batteries? Well almost the same story as with microSD cards, so I better not repeat myself.

59. jan25

Posts: 470; Member since: Feb 26, 2012

i never said 16 GB is the ideal amount of storage, i only said people want sufficient amount of storage and they will be happy. i am not saying more storage is bad, it's just irrelevant when comparing devices if the storage provided is enough for most users who don't store HD movies on their phones. personally i would choose a Moto-Nexus if it had a big battery and 32 gigs of storage over a Samsung with expandable memory and replaceable battery. Samsung is dominant because they produce the most reliable Android handsets out there with a great combination of software and hardware. most people don't swap their batteries and the ones that do will be happy with a phone that lasts them throughout the day.

74. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Samsung is successful as all my mate that use it told me the same thing, Samsung is the only brand that give them what they want, biggest possible screen, with the largest possible removable battery and a SD card slot. No one i know told me that they love Samsung plastic design or they can't live without the touchwiz interface. In fact they are willing to overlook that for above mentioned feature. Ask Samsung whether they are willing to forego SD card in the S4 design..LOL!! Google is the same as Apple on this they sell content, books and music, content owner don't like offline storage prefer everything to be steamed. Reason why i will never buy Nexus. Furthermore telco is putting less data into bundled not more as its threaten their core business. LONG LIVE SANDISK micro SD CARD!!!

87. Jillxz

Posts: 149; Member since: Jun 04, 2012

I don't care for removable batteries. I will always choose a phone with a larger battery anyway. and if the phone has at least 32GB of storage , then I would not care for the sd card slot .

6. wendygarett unregistered

Yup, Google is a chicken as always, using an anti competition just to block sammy's victory :)

11. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

Is this for real? This is why Google acquired Motorola?? I thought all Android OEM's are fine tuned with each other. This can be big...big enough to burst Google's bubble.

13. MataKiriSakit

Posts: 3; Member since: Feb 26, 2013

This is a lie spread over by MICROSOFT STRATEGIST (the LOW DOG named MARK PEEN) to DISCREDIT GOOGLE/ANDROID​just-the-beginning-kitchen-sink-on-the-way_id37729

29. jsdechavez

Posts: 807; Member since: Jul 20, 2012

you're crazy...

22. _Bone_

Posts: 2155; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

Put it like this. You own a restaurant named Galaxy and have a great food supplier so both of you are happy to earn money. But then the food supplier buys the lot next door and plans to open Restaurant X holding back the best meat and vegetables for itself - you are hardly happy about it anymore, are ya? So if you have any business sense you consider creating your own food supply and answer back to the threat at hand, and that's exactly what Samsung is doing.

24. wendygarett unregistered

Because Google want moto patents to protect itself from disgusting Apple two years back then... That's why Google is a chicken, and Apple is rotten

41. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

So this week you're anti-Apple & Google, and pro-Samsung? Would it be possible to have a schedule of who you're gonna be fanatic for for the next few weeks? That way I can prepare arguments ahead of time.

45. ivanprskalo

Posts: 124; Member since: Dec 09, 2010

Pretty good point. Nice comparison.

53. yuvananda

Posts: 9; Member since: Jun 18, 2012

Google's owns Motorola but releases its mainstay Nexus devices with LG and Asus, it seems sort of a weird logic.Google's not believing in its 'HEDGE' theory afterall.

54. yuvananda

Posts: 9; Member since: Jun 18, 2012

Google owns Motorola but it releases its mainstay Nexus devices with LG and Asus, it seems sort of a weird logic.Google's not believing in its 'HEDGE' theory afterall.

102. Jonathan41

Posts: 532; Member since: Mar 22, 2012

This is why Google/Motorola and others companies are not including SD Card slots on their device. "We got tired of seeing OEMs include many GB of internal storage for music, while users were still running out of space for apps and data. This approach lets us merge everything on one volume, which is way better." Dan Morrill, Android engineer at Google I agree.

2. darac

Posts: 2156; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

I don't care if Samsung forks out Android, as long as they keep full access to play store.. would that combination even be possible? Anyway, all I care about, is a good OS. This can only force Google to up its game even further

7. nikenturd unregistered

SAMSUNG in-house apps suck....nobody wants would be a terrible mistake for them to fully abandon the Play Store... massive exodus, myself included.

49. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

Before any anyone gets access to android, the have to sign an agreement. In basoc terms anyone can do absolutely anything they want to android, fork it, make it unrecognizable, whatever, but they just need to understand that doing so loses them access to Google's apps. If they want Google's apps, then they mustn't try to fork android. So far the only company to do this is Amazon with it's Kindle series devices, but they had enough pull to start their own app store. Apparently the skins that the OEMs put on android do not fall under this agreement. Last year Google blocked the launch of an Acer phone because they did fork android and were planning to launch them with Google's apps, which violated the agreement. Google gave them 3 choices, launch the phone as is but without Google's apps, go back to a standard version of android, or cancel the launch. They cancelled it.

3. _Bone_

Posts: 2155; Member since: Oct 29, 2012

All this talk about Samsung, a physical product company threatening Google, an online firm is a bit BS. Android grew up with Samsung and the crowds clearly like it's HW-SW combo, generating huge money for the search giant. Android would not be here without the Koreans. And if Samsung threatens Google by entering the online services market? Well, Google can only blame itself, because by buying Motorola THEY upset the status quo entering Samsung's territory and becoming competitors, so you come to my house, I'll come to yours is the proper answer by any profit making company. Actually, shortly after the GOOG/MOTO deal was done several Android smartphone makers started developing an own platform because they felt threatened, so Samsung is hardly in the wrong here.

15. tusshharish

Posts: 342; Member since: Oct 23, 2012

only nokia (with android) can stop samsung

16. maccess

Posts: 742; Member since: Jan 16, 2013

lol.. but i believe it will happen if nokia jump to android..

98. 14545

Posts: 1835; Member since: Nov 22, 2011

I can say for 100% I would try a nokia android phone. Screw their WP8 devices, as I hate WP8. But I would try it with basically any other OS other than WP8.

18. redmd

Posts: 1941; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

I think I have to agree with you.

21. yahoo29

Posts: 71; Member since: Sep 15, 2012

Yeah i think only nokia can stop sammy if nokia make android phones if nokia really make anroid it will be huge success for nokia.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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