Is Google insecure of Samsung’s position at the top of the Android charts? Well, if a Wall Street Journal report is to be believed, Google is worried that the Korean company's line of handsets is growing larger than the platform, which might put the search giant in a precarious position.
Samsung sells about 40 percent of all gadgets that use Google’s Android operating system, and executives at Google are waking up to the possibility that Samsung could become a bigger player than Google itself. The search giant is worried that Samsung could eat into the former's lucrative mobile-ad business.
At a Google event last year, Android head Andy Rubin spoke highly about Samsung’s spectacular success and said that its partnership with Google had been mutually beneficial. But he also went on to warn that Samsung could turn into a threat if it gained any more ground in the mobile sector.
The beginning of a new rivalry?
Samsung is currently crunching out sales figures to rival some of the largest mobile phone manufacturers ever. According to a report by the International Data Corporation released this month, last year alone, Samsung shipped 215.8 million smartphones and holds nearly 40 percent of the global smartphone market share, while Apple accounts for a mere 25 percent. The fear of the future is possibly why Google acquired Motorola Mobility, which serves as a kind of insurance policy in case a manufacturer like Samsung starts running amok with the Android platform.
Against the backdrop of the ongoing Mobile World Conference, Google is apparently meeting with other companies in hopes that it can use their Android devices as a base to keep Samsung’s leverage in check. The search giant is also hoping newer Android devices from HTC and HP’s stables will help challenge Samsung’s soaring popularity.
The strain in Samsung and Google’s relationship has been there for all to see. The one time BFFs remain partners, but only just so. However, there is no denying that both Samsung and Google need each other. Samsung is more than dominating markets worldwide with the Galaxy series, which not only has successful phones, but includes a range of tablets—all of which run on Android. Google knows Samsung is its golden child, no matter how strained their relationship may be. And they have a common foe in Apple.
Google’s cautious attitude is understandable and maybe this internal power struggle will have an amicable solution, but that does not look to be happening anytime soon. The rumoured X Phone, Google’s baby with Motorola, could change the course of this battle with its release. The phone is supposed to have a Kevlar body and Sony’s ‘stacked’ Exmor RS camera sensor and Google is looking all set to announce it at Google I/O on May 15. Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie is also expected to make an appearance at the event.
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