This seems like a very strange statement for a company that just topped the sales charts with the Galaxy S line and has some major buzz surrounding their upcoming Android devices. Samsung seems to be shifting their focus to Windows Phone 7 (WP7) in 2011. A report in iMobile.cn says Samsung will build 63% of devices with WP7, 32% with Android, and only 6% on their own platform BADA. This comes right on the heels of a report last week the Samsung will be internally focusing on WP7.
So why, after selling almost 5 million Galaxy S devices would Samsung suddenly shift their focus to WP7? Could this be saying something about the Android OS? I can’t help but think this is just another way for Samsung to diversify themselves as a company. Just as they released the Galaxy S on all four major US carriers AND many smaller regional carriers too. Something all but unheard of before. While every single manufacturer has several Android devices, very few are embracing WP7. This leaves Samsung to take their popular form from Android and stand almost unopposed in the WP7 market.
This may seem as a foolish move on the part of Samsung as the WP7 OS has very little customer base and we have no real idea how the public will accept it. Also, Microsoft poses more restrictions on manufacturers then Google, meaning custom UI’s like TouchWiz are a no-no. WP7 also requires a licensing fee that Android does not.
Why take all this risk over an unproven OS? I think Samsung is hoping Microsoft will spend big to keep this platform moving. Much the way they did with the massively popular Xbox 360. Remember, Samsung isn’t abandoning Android, they see an opportunity with WP7 and are going to run with it. Smartphone sales continue to rise for every OS. While Gartner forecasts WP7 with just a 4 percent market share in 2014, this can easily change. We have seen Android grow by leaps and bounds in 3 short years. Hopefully this is a venture that proves to be profitable for Samsung. More important, I hope Samsung keeps their Android devices in the top tier with the quality many of us love in our Galaxy S phones.