Samsung has not only become the number one Android manufacturer, but the number one smartphone manufacturer worldwide. And now that they have such a market lead over the other Android OEMs, Google is worried. How fast is Samsung growing? Well just last year they shipped 200 million more Android smartphones than the number two Android OEM. While that has boosted Google’s mobile-ad revenue it’s also creating concern inside the search giant. Executives at Google are worried that Samsung could extract financial or other concessions if it gains more leverage over other OEMs, this is coming from people with direct knowledge of the matter.
Mobile World Congress is currently going on in Barcelona this week, which is the Mobile Industry’s biggest event of the year, Google’s Android exec’s are meeting with the company’s partners. Google’s hoping that new Android devices from veterans like HTC and newcomers HP, can become legitimate competitors to Samsung. Which is something we’ve talked about many times here at Android Headlines.
Of course representatives from both Google and Samsung declined to comment on the matter. Although, inside Google concerns about the South Korean manufacturer are being openly discussed. In fact, last fall Google had an event for its executives where Android head Andy Rubin praised Samsung’s success and said their partnership had been a mutually beneficial one. This is coming from someone familiar with the meeting. But Andy Rubin also stated that Samsung could become a threat if it keeps the dominant position that they are currently in. These sources also stated that Google’s reasoning for buying Motorola Mobility was an insurance policy against manufacturers like Samsung who are gaining a lot of power with Android. That’s in addition to all the patents that Motorola had.
Google does have hope for some new Android entries like HP, who announced their Slate 7 yesterday in Barcelona. We, along with Google are also hoping that existing OEM’s can pick up their game. We’d love to see OEM’s like Huawei, ZTE, Sony, HTC and Motorola give Samsung a run for it’s money. But we’ll have to wait and see what happens in the next year or two. With Samsung’s Galaxy S4 being announced on March 14th, that will probably give them even more power over Android. Perhaps the HTC One and Sony’s Xperia Z can help stop that or stall it at least.