Did you think that Samsung only made Android devices? Turns out Samsung is planning to offer at least the following lines:
- Galaxy - Very popular Android O/S series (includes S3, S4 and Note 2)
- ATIV/Cronus - Windows Phone O/S series (Cronus not yet released)
- Wave - Bada O/S series, Samsung's home-brew O/S
- ??? - Tizen O/S series (aiming for Q3 2013)
(Look for a future blog posting on Tizen OS coming soon!)
This is over and on-top of Linux distribution that is already currently in Samsung SmartTVs that also runs apps. I do think there are plans to migrate that over to Bada platform at some point in the future (and LG is already committed to using WebOS in their TVs), but you can see how this is quickly this approach is filling up the Samsung Developer portal:
At some point you have to wonder how is Samsung going to even handle the roadmap and competition of resources for all these platforms. Logically I believe that Bada will eventually be rolled into Tizen and SmartTV linux platform phased out. Still, while Samsung appeared to be the champion for Android OS devices, it seems somewhere along the way they got diluted and likely that means they aren't 100% committed to the Google platform long term as everyone once thought.
Contrast this to Apple who has a single unified iOS platform with no fragmentation. They control both the direction of the OS and the production of hardware and therefore can optimize the development of both. The only other vendor with the same strategy is Blackberry (with BB10).
Let's review the current IDC's current Mobile OS breakdown from Q42012:
By effectively offering multiple OSs, we can add Android's 70.1%, Windows Phone's 2.6% and Linux/Other 3% to give Samsung access to 75.7+% of the market. (I put "+" because both Android and Windows Phone had huge growth between 2011 to 2012, so we expect that trend to at least continue.) Besides BB10 and iOS, they are trying to 'cover all the bases'. Those are some staggering numbers that few other vendors can claim.
If you have the time, a very interesting read is an article by Chris Velazco of Tech Crunch here (however, be warned it's very very long):
How Samsung Got Big - http://techcrunch.com/2013/06/01/how-samsung-got-big/Basically it tells of how Samsung came into power and shows how Samsung is really the GE of Asia. Tales of corruption and family politics reminds me a lot of Korean Drama 'Live in Paris'. A family run-empire in which chairman Lee Kun-Hee had to be pardoned by a Korean President twice to avoid jail time! The very same chairman that radically changed Samsung from a low-cost, poor quality alternative to industry leader did so with drastic moves, including being quoted as saying:
"Change everything but your wife and kids..." - Lee Kun-Heeand having a bonfire the consumed $50 million of shoddy equipment in one day in 1995 in front of 2000 employees! (I don't even want to *think* of the environmental consequences of something like that...)
Ultimately Samsung's foray into High-end Mobile Handsets is a lot like how they overtook many Chinese and Japanese rivals. Turns out that doing business in Korea is not that different from anywhere Asia.
Bottom Line: A part of me is still worried that the biggest, baddest champion for Android is really just a 'part-time' champion. So while Samsung is investing and making innovations that help shore-up Google's inherent limitations/weakness in things like security with AES and KNOX, ultimately it seems that Samsung doesn't view Android as "their" own OS (like Bada for instance). Given a couple of years, would Samsung be pushing Windows Phone or Tizen over Android if the market seemed to be swaying that direction? Letting HTC, Huawei, ZTE, LG and others fend for their own (excluding Motorola who is owned by Google)?
Comments? Thoughts? Concerns?
Hope that helps...
p.s. if you're looking for more Korean Movies/Dramas, might I suggest My Sassy Girl and it's prequel Windstruck. It's one of my wife and I favorite movies.
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