Can Samsung benefit by breaking away from Android?

January 18, 2014

    samsung nexus

    The idea that Samsung and Google are locked in battle for the soul of Android won’t go away. Thus far it has been a symbiotic relationship that has propelled the platform into millions of people’s lives. Which of them is getting a better deal out of it is not an easy question to answer. As it stands they have both reaped huge rewards. Why would either one of them want to sour such a productive partnership?

    There are many reasons that talk of Samsung breaking away persists, and it does have some foundation, but it’s far from definite, and if it does happen, it certainly won’t happen overnight.

    Is Galaxy bigger than Android?

    Samsung Galaxy Brand BTS Galaxy Studio AA -3

    More than four out of every five smartphones sold in the third quarter of 2013 were running Android, according to IDC. Samsung is the biggest smartphone manufacturer in the world by a distance. The South Korean giant accounts for almost a third of all the smartphones sold worldwide. If we take a look at Gartner’s third quarter results for 2013, Samsung is top of the chart with 32.1% of the market, Apple is second on 12.1%, and Lenovo came in third on 5.1%. Google and Motorola are nowhere to be seen in the top ten.

    This time last year the news that “Galaxy” had surpassed “Android” as a popular search term in the U.S. was taken to be a significant sign of Samsung’s dominance (Android still trumps Galaxy if you search worldwide). It’s common for people to talk about getting a Galaxy now, and it’s no wonder when you consider Samsung’s marketing spend. If you cast your mind back to 2009 you’ll remember that this happened before when the Droid brand briefly overtook Android.

    Is this a disastrous thing for the Android platform? Some commentators certainly thought so, but here we are a year down the line and what has changed? Samsung’s dominance has grown, but the real question is whether a consumer would buy a Galaxy, regardless of the OS, over an Android.

    Mounting evidence

    Tizen

    Speculation about Samsung’s future with or without Android keeps coming up, and there are reasons for that. You can interpret them as definite proof that Samsung is hell bent on emulating Apple by gaining control over the hardware and the software, or you can argue that the company is pragmatically hedging its bets with a plan B.

    There has been talk of a rival platform from Samsung for quite some time now. Bada was demonstrated at MWC in 2010 and by the first quarter of 2012 it hit a high of 2.7% worldwide smartphone market share. By that time Tizen was on the scene and Bada was quietly folded into it.

    Tizen Association Partners 2014

    Tizen is ostensibly an open source platform and various companies are members of the Tizen Association, including Huawei, Intel, Panasonic, Sprint, Orange, and Vodafone, but Samsung is in the driving seat. It’s not entirely clear how much of Samsung’s contribution comes under the open source license. Samsung’s ownership of the “open source” Tizen platform actually looks a lot like Google’s ownership of the “open source” Android platform.

    The expectation that Samsung will release a flagship smartphone on the platform is growing, and MWC next month could be where we’ll see it, but is Tizen a match for Android? The short answer is no. It takes years to refine a platform and develop a good base of apps and games. That process has certainly begun for Tizen, Samsung has been offering some serious carrots to attract developers, but it is still far behind Android and it will need a solid USP or two to make gains.

    Samsung apps not Google apps

    Stock Android 4.4 vs Samsung Touchwiz Galaxy Note 3 DropDown

    The first Samsung Developer Conference was held in October last year and saw the company release five new SDKs (Software Development Kits). The event also enabled Samsung to pull together the strands of its growing ecosystem regardless of the platform running underneath.

    Anyone who has bought a Samsung phone and seen a stock Android device knows all about Samsung apps. The manufacturer has been differentiating itself from the Android pack and adding value through its TouchWiz overlay and a range of pre-installed software. Wherever possible Samsung seeks to usurp Google and replace its apps. We have S Voice, S Memo, Samsung Wallet, S Suggest, WatchON, Samsung Hub, the list goes on.

    Samsung Galaxy TabPro 12-2 -CES 2014 3

    Samsung has also created the Magazine UX for its new line of tablets. Critics are suggesting it looks an awful lot like Windows 8, but Samsung has already claimed that consumer demand is behind the new look. There’s certainly a case to be made for improving the Android tablet experience. Google has been relatively slow to address this issue for Android, but the new UI isn’t just about making things more user friendly, it also affords Samsung another opportunity to push Google’s Play Store and apps into the background and put Samsung’s offerings front and center.

    Everyone does this

    Android-overlays

    When there’s talk of Samsung edging Google out, it’s important to remember a couple of things.

    Firstly, every manufacturer does this to some degree. In the Android space OEMs have got to differentiate and they generally do that by adding their own software and UI on top of the platform. If they’re in a position to offer content directly, like Sony, for example, then they’ll do it. Of course they’ll try to persuade consumers to buy things from them and not from Google; they want to make more money.

    Secondly, Google is not Android. Samsung can gain by breaking away from Google without ditching Android. If you really consider Android as an open source platform then it’s clear that Google is doing the same thing as the rest of the OEMs. The exclusivity of the Google Experience Launcher on the Nexus 5 is the clearest signal of this yet. How is GEL any different from Sense or TouchWiz?

    A fork in the road

    Samsung Galaxy TabPro 8.4 -2

    Samsung is very unlikely to abandon Android. Perhaps at some distant point in the future its focus will shift to another platform, but not until that platform has a decent market share. It would not benefit Samsung to ditch the platform today and that’s reason enough not to do it.

    Right now Samsung has two options with Android, it could fork it like Amazon and give up Google services, or it could continue as it has been, edging its own UI and apps front and center and pushing Google into the background. The Google Play edition of the Galaxy S4 suggests it will continue to work with Google for now. If Samsung is anything, it’s pragmatic. Even during a bitter dispute with Apple, Samsung continues to supply parts to its biggest competitor, and it shows no desire to end that relationship.

    Driven by profits

    samsung-galaxy-brand-ces-2014-2

    Samsung’s Android smartphone sales are phenomenal. All this talk of “disappointing” S4 sales ignores the fact that Samsung is shifting millions of units. The only disappointment is that it isn’t hitting ridiculously high expectations by selling twice as fast as the S3. There’s a big difference between failing to meet extremely ambitious targets and actually failing, just ask Apple.

    If profit is Samsung’s basic motivation, and it clearly is, then there’s little to gain by breaking away from Android at the moment. Avoiding having all your eggs in one basket is a different matter, that’s just common sense. There’s no reason Samsung can’t build the Galaxy brand on top of multiple operating systems.

    Samsung vs Google

    Samsung Galaxy TabPro 12.2 vs Nexus 7 2013 -2

    While Samsung is not about to drop Android completely, there is a storm brewing. The symbiotic relationship between Google and Samsung is all well and good, while both benefit. The companies actually want different things, though, and that could be a real problem. Google wants to own your data and Samsung wants to sell hardware, and Android has been a useful vehicle to deliver for both up until now.

    If Samsung makes moves to cut Google services and apps out, as it is doing with TouchWiz, Magazine UX, and the Samsung Hub, then Google stops benefitting from Samsung’s success. If Google releases amazing hardware at knock down prices and optimizes the Android experience for lower-end hardware, as it is doing with the Nexus 5, Moto G, and Android 4.4, then Samsung’s profit margin is squeezed.

    Google-Nexus-5-black-vs-white-aa-12

    A recent New York Times piece talking about Samsung’s fourth quarter decline in earnings cited analysts at Sanford C. Bernstein pointing out Samsung’s average smartphone selling price has dropped to $290 from $320 a year ago. Google is definitely making moves to combat Samsung’s dominance and we can expect the world’s biggest smartphone manufacturer to come out swinging.

    With a refresh for the Nexus 10 long overdue it will be interesting to see if Google switches manufacturer and we can expect a real statement of intent from Samsung around MWC.

    To answer our original question, Samsung doesn’t really stand to gain by breaking away from Android right now, but in the future it could. It may even consider challenging Google’s ownership and claiming the platform for itself. Much depends on whether Google and Samsung can continue to see the benefit in working together.

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    Comments

    • Jack Parker

      You’ll get the die hard galaxy fans who will go over to tizen but the majority of people will go with HTC or Sony just like I did after Samsung started making terribly slow software ( touchwiz )

      • MadCowOnAStick

        tizen tyranny

      • John-Phillip Saayman

        If I don’t like tizen I think I’ll go to LG g2 type phone. That’s a nice phone.

        • Mike Bastable

          it is an AWESOME phone!

        • Jack Parker

          Go for a sony :P

          • John-Phillip Saayman

            Yeah Sony is good as well.

            • Jack Parker

              I ditched my S3 and got a Z ultra

      • Joshua Hill

        Outside of the ‘die hard galaxy fans’ no Galaxy owners probably even know what OS their phone is running or cares.

      • Jesus

        If not Samsung, I would’ve gone with a Nexus or nothing.

      • Conan

        I moved over to Samsung from HTC due to the horribly slow Sense.

    • elros mente

      great article!

      • iFaitPlay

        Great article???? LOL
        Just a pile of ignorant iBS and intrigues , To help their beloved Apple.
        There is no one popular(US) tech site , that hire non-iLoyal staff.
        Remember it!!
        No matter what name they choose.

        • On a Clear Day

          Really well thought out, balanced and organized piece of writing Simon, thank you.

    • MasterMuffin

      Well GEL is different from Sense or Touchwiz because it’s just a launcher :)

      • jeff

        I agree !!

      • Abhishek Kumar

        actually i you want to get Play Store on your device, you have to get the whole gapps pack. I remember Microsoft sued Google in EU on this matter.

        • MasterMuffin

          :/ Smart/evil Google

          • T.J.

            How is that evil? If you want Android for free along with access to the millions of apps in the play store, you just have to include Google’s apps. It doesn’t sound evil to me.

        • Abdel Aziz Farhi

          This is how Google is making money, They force you to use their products. Notice that every service Google provides has to be related to internet somehow. They make sure you’re always hooked up bro.

          • S sheep

            Google made android what it is… of course they are gonna use their own products. Do you expect them to just hand it over for nothing? its already free. Besides samsung apps suck, just slows your phone down

          • Abhishek Kumar

            Forced? is Bing blocked on Android? or are there no other Maps apps other than Google Maps? Google has to put their apps. They are developing the OS. It is there but you don’t have to use it.

            • Abdel Aziz Farhi

              Still forcing to me. If you chose not to have Gaps on your device you won’t be able to use Google’s play store. I don’t know what you call this but it looks like forcing to me.

      • mastermuffinfan21

        MASTERMUFFIN I AM A FAN!

      • samsp

        Gus Gus gusta!

    • Mali

      I won’t ditch Android.. I have a galaxy note III.. But you know I have no problem if this was to be a right now change going over to lg and getting the LG flex.. I loved my nexus 4 when I had it.. And it as we know was LG built. Now for the default software.. Two different world’s.. But my point is LG is always a nice second if samsung wants to bail. Personally.. I think no one will care.. I am very also upset I cannot root my phone.. I don’t wanna risk loosing my phone insurance.. Thanks to Knox.

      • JT

        There’s already ways around that. Or don’t drop your phone, I never have or broke one.

      • vgergo

        Knox is like a virus. New samsungs come infected with it :-(

    • Ruz

      Samsung misinterpreted OS as software development.. What was required was apps to be developed specially suited with Samsung mobiles whereas they r doing totally opposite

    • Bone

      Samsung has a larger home vision than Google: they want the WHOLE house smart-controlled, not just the TV but kitchen electronics, lights, heat, windows, even the fish tank, and as Apple shows, in-house development is the best way to go, as they simply can’t tell Google to develop Android in their favor. Hence Samsung is developing Tizen OS.

      • jeff

        I think we better get ready because this is the future of home automation. !!! JMO

      • saba

        what about android 4.4 it is meant for lower-end hardware meaning it could work for home appliances

        • Bone

          But it’s not designed for such OEM variety, basically Samsung would have to record Android themselves and recode it every time Google comes out with an update. They can code Tizen to all-around support from the get-go, that’s FAR better.

    • Balraj

      If android apps can work on tizen then ya
      Samsung has a huge upper hand
      It can sell devices in the name of privacy at least :-P
      Samsung has lots of money & they are cunning..huge shameless copycats
      So ya,I think they can pull it off in distance future

      • Shark Bait

        They wont properly. Especially as play services becomes a more integral part of android

        • AA :P

          yeah. having the ability to run apks is not going to be enough, and google got there just in time in its last version. play services are a genius stroke by google.

          • Shark Bait

            yep, Its win win. better for the user for quick updates. better for google for security. I hope more and more it put into play services

      • AA :P

        “huge shameless copycats”
        well, everyone is. no one ever came up with anything that’s virgin tech. sorry, you are trolling

    • motomud

      Well, we never heard how many Nexus device was sold? So, can anyone give us a good number here? I guess all Nexus device combined sales can’t even match the S4 sales figure. Anyone?

      • Jacques Hragar

        Not sure if its accurate but i heard nexus 4 sales were around 3 million

      • Azeem

        If Google really marketed their phones, they could sell a lot of them, but that is not their goal. Their goal is to show off the latest and greatest of Android.

    • Al-Mothafar M. Al-Hasan

      Well, i’m java developer (not android dev. yet but I’m thinking to go for it), I see if Samsung did that, it would be big gift for another android OS based companies and apple too, as I developer and I really like Samsung but simply I have no problem to say to Samsung “Go To Hell with you Tizen” then!

      Even if you are big enough to start your own OS its not means you will success, its maybe will be your fail cause ! where developers that you need to make big apps market like Play Store or Apple App Store ! you will not even Microsoft Store (I don’t remember its name).

      And who told Samsung that ppl will change android even if you made better platform? look at Google+ vs Facebook , Google+ is better as I see but still ppl like facebook, you can search about reasons !

      Not count many platforms like Mozilla’s one and Ubuntu !

      • asd

        Thats so true when you say And who told Samsung that ppl will change android even if you made better platform? look at Google+ vs Facebook , Google+ is better as I see but still ppl like facebook, you can search about reasons !

    • dandroid13

      It would be very expensive for Samsung to fork Android considering that they would need to license some maps data from Nokia or something in millions of devices.

      • http://annunakimaster.blogspot.com/ AnnunakiEnvoy

        I believe ‘google map’ is among the driving force behind googles success. I doubt if samsung can come up with an equally superior counterpart.
        I love ‘TouchWiz’ no doubt. That is basically what made samsung different. [aside from s-pen]

        • My name is….

          who loves touchwiz?

          • http://annunakimaster.blogspot.com/ AnnunakiEnvoy

            I proudly say – I do.
            I can’t imagine how I will enjoy my note3 if it was just fitted with that boring looking basic android.
            Go to shopping malls near you and see what phones shoppers are looking at. Samsung phones basically looks physically similar to others phones or sometimes even uglier, but what should be the reason for people to prefer samsung more than from many brands available? Did they inject some kind of harry potter magic so that people follow just as they do?

            • My name is….

              Marketing, Samsung throws a lot of money.

              TW is heavily lagging

          • Jesus

            I’m coming from a neutral perspective.

            I don’t think anyone ‘loves’ Touchwiz. THen again, do people ‘love’ GEL or Sense? No.

            THey are just launchers. If you don’t like it because it doesn’t suit your need, that’s OK; just install a different launcher.

            Bottom line though: Touchwiz (like many other launchers) does its job well. And Samsung’s in demand, so they are doing it right.

            (BTW, I am a BIG fan of Samsung’s multi-window; it should be a android feature, not a Samsung exclusive…)

            • Lindle

              I heard that OmniRom is making it a part of their rom.

    • gavin33

      I would not want to rely on Samsung apps. In a Google fan. Not a Samsung. They are taking the slow approach with the nexus line. It will make it big. And touchwiz just sucks. IMO. But I do have people ask me IF I have a galaxy. I simply reply, “no way, this is a nexus 5 mofo!” Lol

    • Shark Bait

      good read, for me you answered it from the start. ” Why would either one of them want to sour such a productive partnership?”. Business is about making money and samsung are making plenty of money off android. Why would they change?

    • Tricky

      First, all but multi window S-apps suck! First thing I did was wipe all the bloatware off my note 2, and have never looked back. Custom ROMs kill every last company bloat launcher out there, if you want the features back. If Samsung ditches android, it will go the way of windows phone and Samsung will hand over there crown to LG.

      I like Samsung because there hardware nails it on the head for me. They cater to everyone’s hardware needs and that is why Samsung is ahead. Lets be real who started the big phone trend? samsung did thats who. what real competiton is out for the note series thats sells 15 million phones per year? Sony ultra? Thats a laugh…. If you think Samsung is ahead because there software then please see a doctor! Honestly how greedy can one company be… Samsung you make enough money as is, god!

      • tomas

        You don’t like popup browser?

      • vgergo

        Unfortunatelly pedometer, always listening voice wakeup, 4K video, thermometer, quick glance don’t work on the Note 3 without proprietary drivers. You are tied to their ugly looking, low quality, sluggish, memory wasting, battery hungry buggy software.

        • Tricky

          Best thing about android is the absolute freedom. root your stock firmware, install a good root file explorer (es file manager is great!) uninstall everything you hate on your phone. get greenify (so nothing you don’t want to run in the background doesn’t), nova launcher (or your favorite launcher). Find and flash a good kernel with overclocking and under clocking, last but not least go to xda developers and download one of the great mods from their huge community. i reccomend pure performances x. like magic you have a stock feel with a samsung, no battery issues and all the features you love. Feel the boom hahaha.

          i will admit pop up browser is nice too but easily replaced with Gplayer, and snote with papyrus.

          One thing people forget is the developer community, i dont believe tizen will ever reach the support that android has. just go to xda developers and see what i mean. if i had stock tw i would throw my phone at the wall. all the mod that came from the community made me fall in love with my phone.

      • iFaitPlay

        iBS
        Different ppl like different features . No need to wipe the features you don’t like , because you don’t know who’s gonna buy it one day from you.
        And you can just deactivate them(no need to root)
        May be you must not see doctor, but your Messiah .
        Bet that you are iphone owner.
        This, “I have Note” statement , is old dumb iTrick. LOL
        If you were really Note uses , you would mention S-Pen feature, too. But you didn’t
        You iboys are pathetic, ignorant, liars..

        • Tricky

          You ever heard of restore, you can reset your flash counter too (for warrenty)? Hahaha you know nothing, and you call me ignorant! You troll. If you could comprehend at the same time you read, then maybe you would understand my point… Android brings freedom of choice! samsung would be retarted to step away from that platform. Also don’t ever call me an Iphone user again it hurts my note 2 feelings.

      • On a Clear Day

        There comes a point with any product or market segment once it has matured to a certain point – as has the cell phone market – where differentiation becomes more and more important to a purveyor.

        People often – too often – base their decisions on what they buy not on what is in actuality, if one reviewed their alternatives logically, the best alternative to fulfill their needs, but on hype, on what their friends have bought – voila – the Apple success story – and the reason behind their vicious, “nuke em” approach to anything that even remotely threatens the BS perception they have perpetrated and perpetuated on a foolish and ingenuous world.

        Thus, it behooves Samsung, for both the sake of its long term survival as a dynamic, corporate entity and world manufacturing power, to never stop exploring alternatives, options, new systems, new tech – new everything, and just like any “brainstorming” ideas that are posited in a brainstorming session, most in the end are discarded as unworkable, but in some cases some of the options considered ultimately prove to have merit on their own or when combined with other ideas.

        This is not greed; that is the natural expression of intelligence in the face of the incredibly intense and financially dangerous and wonderfully dynamic, creative world that is born of capitalism and the free market economy. Get used to it – it ain’t goin away.

        • Tricky

          Great response, that is a valid point. I do like competition, in the end it only makes us as the consumer have more choice and freedom. Tizen could surprise us all and bring new and exciting innovation to the table. I am always surprised how well made all the Google apps are. I believe Google has some talented devlopers, and they make it clear in their work. However, android does have its issues, and tizen might be a way to solve them. If it gives Samsung the opportunity to make their products better, then I am very welcome to that idea. If Samsung uses it as a way to lock me down to what they tell me I will like, then I will not get their phones any longer.

    • AA :P

      if samsung promotes tizen in a big way, then it might replace wp as the third biggest OS. that’s a win for me !

      next, lg/ sony/ htc/ and the mom and pop phone makers of china will thrive !
      it’ll be pretty interesting though

    • Brendon Brown

      Does anyone know if there is a way of getting the GEL onto other devices ?

    • Carlos Portillo

      Great article! I think there are nice options out there if Samsung ever moves away from Android but, as it was said, I think they’re doing just fine as it is. I got a Note 3 (Also my first Samsung and Android phone) and I love it! I also believe Samsung keeps improving and evolving its interface.

    • Lindle

      “adding value through its TouchWiz overlay and a range of pre-installed software.”
      More like removing value. Samsung developers suck, be it on basic phones to smartphones. Have you tried on of their basic phones? It’s crap compared to a Nokia one. Another example is their file explorer. Lenovo’s is far better than theirs.
      “optimizes the Android experience for lower-end hardware, as it is doing with the Nexus 5, Moto G, and Android 4.4,”
      Nexus 5….. lower-end hardware……… really?????????

      • Ariya SD

        Interesting that you decided to remove the first part of that sentence (which actually relates to the Nexus 5):
        “If Google releases amazing hardware at knock down prices and optimizes the Android experi…”.

      • vgergo

        Yes, svoice actually reduces the value of samsung phones. You feel ashamed if it accidentally lunches and someone hears the debil sounding samsung tts voice and sees the bad siri knock off screen. I twitch when I see it. It can be replaced by Google Voice Search btw: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=hu.viczian.deathtosvoice

    • Groud Frank

      Hahahahaha, I’ll never use an OS from any OEM that had a hand in making Kies….again.

    • Data

      I think Tizen is a backup plan in case the alliance with Google turns sour. Samsung and Google are starting to compete on multiple fronts, with the Motorola purchase and Samsungs own services on Android. I don’t think they’ll drop Android in the near future but Samsung will always have another OS alongside Android.

      • jeff

        It very well be a duel OS.

    • DarxideGarrison

      When I had the GS3 I had to think for second (Were the Samsung apps bloatware or were the preinstalled Google apps?) I mean it is Samsung’s device. I realized that I barely use the S Apps and never used the Sprint apps! I was pissed because “officially” I couldn’t uninstall them but when I stumbled across Cyanogenmod things were pretty cool. I got rid of the bloat and had a free mobile hotspot. Since I switched to the N5 the only things I’ve done was root and unlock it but I feel no need to flash any Custom Roms. I think a lot of consumers would be happier if the pre installed apps were removable because I know there at least 2 or more apps on people’s phones and tablets that hasn’t been used and never will be.

    • jeff

      I think that they compliment each other so well that I cant see a breakup. The reason is being the sheer number of phones that they have sold. That is why a partnership like theirs gives them the advantage in the smartphone arena. JMO

    • http://techonblogger.ward.pro/ Stynkfysh

      Seems to me that Samsung has led the pack by getting to market first and tons of marketing. In the end, their hardware is not superior, and their software additives are poorly executed and many go unused. I am of the opinion that Samsung can be supplanted as the Android leader far FAR more easily than say, an Apple. Forking Android or launching their own OS as the only platform they offer would cripple them. They have yet to show the sort of innovation to be an industry leader based on superior product quality and design without riding someone else’s coattails (Google, or copying Apple outright).

    • Abdel Aziz Farhi

      Samsung has a very long way to catch up with Google’s Android. It took Google years to get Android to what it is today and i don’t see how Samsung is going to avoid going through the same path. I’ve been a loyal Samsung costumer for a long time but im not planning to ditch Android unless the alternative is better. With “Better” i mean a better optimized OS which is the weakness of Android. Better features i mean we don’t want another iOS.. A wide variety of apps unlike Windows store. better phones and updates support for our phones. If that comes true i might consider switching to Tizen.

      • Jesus

        “Samsung has a very long way to catch up with Google’s Android” I stopped reading there.

        These days, as the article points out, the argument is that Google’s Android IS Samsung.

        ALso if you want ‘optimization’, maybe you should try Nexus, a ‘pure’ Android phone.

        • Abdel Aziz Farhi

          “I stopped reading there.” “ALso if you want ‘optimization’,”.. Thought you stopped reading there. Anyways Android is much more then being Samsung. As for Nexus i did clearly state that i want something made by Samsung + Optimization.

          • Jesus

            “”I stopped reading there.” “ALso if you want ‘optimization’,”.. Thought you stopped reading there.” I stopped reading there.

            Readception.

    • Roger_Morgan

      Of course Samsung won’t drop Android. “Emulating Apple by gaining control over the hardware and the software” is a strategy for failure – even Apple, the most effective marketing company ever seen, couldn’t make it work. Apple has failed in this marketplace. What makes Android devices attractive to customers is the huge and ever-increasing number of quality apps for it – and what attracts developers of apps is the open platform.

    • Cal Rankin

      I kinda like Tizen in the fact that it’s always nice to have another open-sourced OS on the market. I dislike that it is controlled by Samsung in an attempt to become Apple. I fear that Samsung is trying to make Tizen an open-source-in-name-only OS. However, that’s probably because Tizen doesn’t have much exposure outside of Samsung, and so it’s probably unclear how much is really Samsung-only.
      I don’t think TouchWiz is terrible (I don’t think it’s the best-looking either), but I dislike that TouchWiz is system-intensive. If this is just the look of Tizen, maybe it won’t be as intensive as TouchWiz.
      If Samsung does ditch Google, I could see a possibility of other OEMs establishing a different brand identity for Android, one that is beyond the shadow of Samsung.

      • Kash Gummaraju

        If Samsung does ditch Android. I will rejoice, Samsung has muddied up the Android name for far too long. DROID was synonymous with Android, because partly due to droid seemed like a shortcut way of saying Android, sort of like how k is a shortcut for okay. I really hate Samsung for several reasons
        1. Touchwiz
        2. The cheap materials it uses for its external design
        3. Making Android look like a copycat os, when Android somehow became the same thing as Samsung
        4. Its high prices for its tablets
        5. Gimmicky software features
        6. Amoled
        7. People look at my HTC one when I’m having wifi issues and ask – what phone is that? Is it an iPhone or is it a Galaxy?

        • Cal Rankin

          That would make the Android brand identity stand out. We would then have iPhones, Galaxies, and Androids.

    • Stephen

      Excellent !!

    • Patrick Smithopolis

      The first thing I did when I got the S4 is to download Nova Launcher because Touchwiz is so ugly and childish. It’s too bad Nova can’t change the ugliest parts of the UI – the notification shade and the settings menu. If Samsung abandoned Android there would absolutely be no reason for me to buy their devices.

    • Shepherd

      And there go the Ssheeps, right next to the i sheeps… lol
      Android will continue to dominate with or without sammy.

      • Chaturanaga Manchanayake

        Totally.

    • iFaitPlay

      What a pile of iBS article. LOL
      1. All the tech media are doing this dirty intrigues between Samsung and Android, since years. Hoping that their beloved Apple could benefit of that.
      But Samsung will NEVER leave Android as long as have profit of that. And Google are not “angry” by anyway to Samsung, but happy of the Samsung’s success, witch is Android success, too.
      2. Samsung is not the only one that put own TouchWiz over the Android. Or use their OWN services(look Amazon that chopped Android and use the rest of it, to sell own things)
      3. “Google fighting Samsung with cheap Nexus and Moto” GRAND iBS.
      Wow. The cheap Nexus and Moto have more effect to the other Android OEM’s that hardly breath. Samsung can ANYTIME put on the market cheaper devices that work OK having popular brand. And not Google make Nexus. There is , and should be , team-work between Google and OEMs (Samsung is one of them , and everything is OK there)
      4. Tizen is more like MS rival , than toy-OS rival. Tech media know it , but backing up the beloved Apple, make them do “miracles”
      5. Don’t let be fooled by the name of this site. There is not even ONE(US) media not owned by iExperts/ LOL.
      They put the name with “android” (like the site “Cult of Android”) to fool you.
      Remember what this site said about “Samsung f500 vs iphone ” design similarity? ?????
      DEBUNKED!!!!! Yes, that’s what they said.
      ROTFL

    • joemama

      Hilarious! Good luck to Samsung and their iSheep wannabes.

    • fredphoesh

      Let Samsung try to leave android, I would dump them like a tonne of bricks… I am guessing that most android “power users” or those that like to hack their phones would share my sentiment, that it is andriod they love most… more than any one manufacturer.

    • edictogram

      Google kills its Notifier app for mail and calendar events see http://goo.gl/2jz1wJ

    • vgergo

      Note 3 – this is probably my last Samsung. Hardwarewise it’s perfect, but it’s already a pain to root it without loosing warranty and the samsung apps, although necessary to access some of the hardware features are extremely low quality. They cannot even be mentioned on the same level as real apps. 50MB bloated piles of garbage to replace much better Google alternatives (settings.apk = 56MB apk!!! help.apk=54MB storybook=50MB what are these people doing?). Now imagine this much trash, with nothing the sweeten the pill – no gmail only smail. no google now only sfind and svoice. no google translate only stranslate. Forget it!

      • A googler

        I find Samsung the easiest to root and the first thing I do is ditch the Samsung bloat apps once you get rid of all that crap it becomes a great device

    • Andre Obradovic

      Samsung will do whatever it needs, to be number 1 market share. They are totally focused on being able to say we are number 1 market share, They will also do what is needed to grow profit. I am no authority on the Samsung Google relationship but from my experience partnerships with companies like Google, Microsoft etc are not a strong point for Samsung leadership. Customer oh sorry forgot about them no problems they will buy from us we are Samsung LOL…

    • Cal Rankin

      If I recall correctly, Tizen has Android app compatibility. That would make it certainly possible for someone to port Google Apps to one.

      • A googler

        What’s the point of buying a “compatible system” when you can buy the proper version you might as well buy a blackberry playbook!

    • AROD NYC

      well I don’t think that Samsung could ever leave android ,, because at least for me .. Android is the reason I have 2 Samsung phone ..if they were to switch to Windows ….I would no longer buy Samsung ..

      • A googler

        Same here if the s5 was loaded with Windows or god forbid Tizen or whatever it’s called I wouldn’t touch it I would switch to Sony

    • Alphere

      Too many Operating Systems are sprouting, and I don’t like it. I am not against competition but they will divide the developers and the apps and there will be a time in the future where we have many OS with few apps instead of few OS with millions of apps.

      • A googler

        But in some ways is a good thing as it encourages developers not to build apps that are too os specific which makes interoperability a lot simpler and easier

    • A googler

      Why don’t they just build the devices then offer multiple os versions of the same device this could even be done by the provider just load the appropriate rom

    • Vitalariu Olivian

      Hello to all. Great article! As is written in the article, both SAM and Google are the biggest fish in the water, but in my opinion is not bad if SAM want to break up from Google and brings a new OS.
      SAM: GO AHEAD!
      Competitiveness is good, and probably if SAM brings a new OS is gone compete directly with ANDROID(SAM=a lot of $ invested in R&D).Right now Android is dominating the OS marker(the only who can tickle Android is iOS- they still have a lot of work to do to mach android, WP is good but it is in deep waters right now).

      Google probably will try to invest more in MOTO and probably we’ll see some great phone that will match SAM hardware and outmatch SAM price.
      So in conclusion it is a WIN-WIN situation for us, the consumers.

    • An0nym0usC0ward

      Can’t wait for Ubuntu Phone to come out. Then I can have the same OS on all my machines (not necessarily the same distro, though – but I don’t know of anybody else porting Linux as it is to phones than Canonical).

      As long as Samsung doesn’t start selling ad space and Google doesn’t start selling hardware, I don’t see them competing. No matter how much Apple fans would love it.

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