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06 May 12 How Long Until Samsung Forks Android For The Galaxy Smartphone Range?


Samsung Logo Suomi: Samsungin logo

Samsung logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve not been through Samsung’s presentation of the Galaxy S III at Earls Court with a forensic filter, but one thing that struck me was the absence of Google from their presentation. By concentrating hard I picked up mentions of Android, but on the software front the dominance belonged to the ‘S’ suite of applications that Samsung describes as bringing intelligence to the technological flagship.

Which is probably the only sensible long-term approach to marketing the Galaxy brand. The S III’s tech specs are only inches ahead of the competition and I could probably make a good argument that the HTC One X is a better hardware platform that the S III.  Samsung  is the leading smartphone manufacturer in terms of  market share and there is no need to sell the handsets with the promise of compatiblity with Google’s Android ecosystem. The goal is to pull away from the crowd and stand alone.

Does Samsung need Google?

I think it’s fair to say Android is needed, because I don’t think the alternatives – Bada, Windows Phone, or Intel’s Meltimi – are a good fit for Samsung’s current market position. That doesn’t mean Samsung need Google, Samsung needs to be in control of Samsung’s destiny as I discussed last week. That means control of the smartphone’s operating system. Not just access to the changes, but total control.

Samsung should fork Android.

Samsung should take the Ice Cream Sandwich code base and follow the path blazed by the Kindle Fire; using TouchWiz user interface to maintain continuity; and the ‘S’ apps to  form part of the core operating system; while continuing to work on the software services and cloud support to replicate Google’s services so any transition for the majority of the Galaxy users would be seamless.

And Samsung should be working on this right now to take on the next waves of smartphones due up at the end of the year. A mythical iPhone 5 is likely to blow the Galaxy S III out the water, HTC is swinging hard to reach the perimeter, and Windows 8 could have a noticeable impact on the whole mobile consumer electronics space.

Samsung is one of the leading players in the smartphone world. It’s time to grow up and own the hardware and software that is vital to the continued success of the Galaxy range. And that means putting some distance between the South Korean company and Google.

Article source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/ewanspence/2012/05/05/how-long-until-samsung-fork-android-for-the-galaxy-smartphone-range/

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