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back to article Android? Like Marvin the robot? Samsung eclipses Google OS - Gartner

Samsung's soaraway successful Galaxy smartphones are starting to overshadow their Google-built Android operating system. That's in the mind of the public at least, who can't tell the difference between an Android mobe and a Samsung Galaxy, according to Gartner. Gartner Analyst Anshul Gupta explained in the report Mobile Phones, …

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jai
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I dunno, I'd imagine Google exec's aren't entirely happy about this news.

What happens if Samsung suddenly decide to switch their devices over to Bada instead?

If the general public are buying Samsung's because they're Samsung's and not because they are Androids, then there's the risk that Google will lose that install base.

This gives Samsung a very strong hand against Google, should they ever wish to use it.

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If Samsung suddenly switched its devices to Bada then:

(i) developers would abandon them because a weird variant of C++ (Bada-custom collections, two-stage constructors, etc) is hardly attractive;

(ii) subsequently users would abandon them for the lack of Temple Run or whatever it is next month.

People aren't buying Samsung phones just because they like the word 'Samsung', they're buying them because they like Android — they just don't know what Android is and, as long as the phones continue being high quality, probably don't care.

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Samsung markets their Bada-powered devices under the Wave brand, as opposed to the Galaxy brand. It seems that it's the Galaxy brand, not necessarily just the Samsung brand alone, that matters to customers buying Android-powered phones who might be otherwise confused.

All Galaxy-branded devices ship with Google Play. Even if Bada were 100% compatible with Android and Dalvik, Google almost certainly would never license the Play Store to it. Whether customers know the difference between Android and the Galaxy brand or not, most do use the Play Store and would expect any purchases made in Android to be accessible from any Galaxy-branded phone.

If Samsung ever did hope to overthrow Android with Bada, they would have to do it by increasing consumer awareness of the Wave brand instead or by emphasizing their own app store in the Galaxy brand, downplaying Google Play. In the long term, things may be different, but as things stand, Samsung can't afford to drop Android. Sudden execution of the Galaxy brand would be corporate suicide, so for now at least, Google really doesn't have much to worry about.

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Anonymous Coward

Why would they switch to bada? It's much more likely that they'll fork android.

That way they take control of their own OS, and they can start rolling out their own maps, email, search and whatever else, taking a big chunk of business from google in the process. They're big enough now that it's viable to do so, and it would bring in a chunk of extra cash while reducing a risk for the company (relying on somebody else's software isn't a good move).

I suspect google are very worried indeed :)

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Anonymous Coward

Totally agree that forking android is much more likely.

And seeing how Amazon has fared with their fork and their own app store leads me to believe it may happen sooner rather then later.

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I would have thought their biggest issue was not buying Motorolla phones...

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Thumb Up

>"What happens if Samsung suddenly decide to switch their devices over to Bada instead?"

Then probably Google would make money off Bada user's searches and Google maps usage, just like they make money off searches and map usage from iPhone users and Win Phone users and Blackberry users. Remember - the whole point of Android was to create a cheap mobile ecosystem that would stimulate billions of new users to access the internet from their phone.

Once those new users get onto the internet Google is well-situated to monetize their searches, as is shown by the fact that Google makes more from each iPhone user than they do from the average Android phone user.

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Pint

@jai "I dunno, I'd imagine Google exec's aren't entirely happy about this news."

Personally, I think they'll be ecstatic.

My evidence is purely anecdotal, but here goes...

For Christmas my kids (both under 11 years old) wanted tablets. I took them around the shops and let them play with everything in sight. It became obvious that the 10 inch format just didn't appeal to them, and the alternatives ran Android. I think it's safe to assume that they didn't care which O/S their toys ran.

I have a Nexus 7, my wife a Galaxy Tab II. So, after playing with them both, and when it came time to write the lists for Santa I was a bit surprised to find that both my kids asked for the Samsung devices.

Two months down the line; The hardware has been bought from Samsung, but all of their apps have come from the Play Store.

Sounds like a marriage made in heaven to me.

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Boffin

Until you can replicate google maps/mail you don't have a hope of mobile success without google.

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@ThomH

People aren't buying Samsung phones just because they like the word 'Samsung', they're buying them because they like Android

----

If you talk to average non technical people, you'll find you're mistaken. The article is correct, most people don't really know what "Android" is, they are buying a Samsung phone, not Android. If Samsung changed to a different OS, most wouldn't really notice unless they went out of their way to make it really look different.

I also think you'd find that developers wouldn't abandon them, because Samsung is the big dog in the market, and is still growing share. The remaining Android market is fragmented amongst a number of small players who each have their own GUI layer added on top of standard Android, run different versions of Android etc. so a platform as uniform and updated by end users as quickly as iOS would quickly be accepted. I don't know how Bada's C++ works, but it can't be any more alien to developers than Apple's Objective c++, can it?

I think Samsung will move to cut Google out, one way or the other. Why should Google make all the money after sale and Samsung get nothing? They're going to make sure they take it.

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Anonymous Coward

@ThomH

People don't give a shit about Android - they get Samsung's because they look pretty good and they're cheap post supplier contract discount, and after Apple, Samsung are the next big goto brand for phones.

The only people that care about Android are fucking dicks. Just like the fucking dicks that care about Firefox/Chrome/IE or the fucking dicks that ramble on about Linux/Windows/OS X.

Normal people couldn't give a flying turd.

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Re: @ThomH

He'll yeah! Those people are dicks!

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Re: @DougS (was Re: @ThomH)

If you talk to average non technical people, you'll find you're mistaken. The article is correct, most people don't really know what "Android" is, they are buying a Samsung phone, not Android.

I think this is only partly correct.

I agree that most people (probably even most technical minded people) arent looking for an Android device first, they are looking for a device they like the look of, they like using and is at a price they are willing to pay. This sort of explains why Samsung is (currently) demolishing the competition from other Android manufacturers.

However, people are going for the Galaxy brand rather than (for example) Wave, which means the OS must have some impact over and above the Samsung brand.

This could be how the OS works, it could be how the OS looks, or more likely it is about what the OS provides in the way of apps and stuff. There is no reason to assume that this would transfer equally to a different OS - and given that one of the remaining arguments for iOS is the sheer volume of its AppStore, going to an OS with a much more niche app selection would be a very bizarre move for Samsung (minimal gain potential, massive loss potential).

Realistically, there is no strong motivation for Samsung to move to cut google out. Samsung is not a software development brand, its strength lies very much elsewhere and the costs of developing and maintaining their own ecosystem appear to monumentally outweigh any potential increase in profit share they would drive. Even if Samsung did create its own system, it would still be paying Google for some things (maps etc).

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FAIL

@p. Lee

"Until you can replicate google maps/mail you don't have a hope of mobile success without google."

Why?

I never open maps on my phone. It is a non-parameter in my purchase decision. What makes you think people who are perpetually lost are the prime movers in the smartphone market?

There are alternatives to google mail, and one could license Nokia Maps (apparently quite good) as an alternative (unless MS forbid it).

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Linux

Re: @ThomH

You must be a Symbian/Windows Mobile/Palm user.

Most people care not about the OS but about what software can they run on it.

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Re: @ThomH

"If you talk to average non technical people, you'll find you're mistaken. The article is correct, most people don't really know what "Android" is"

You've missed the point he's making. Sure, most people don't know what "Android" is, but it could still be that they buy it because of Android, even if they don't know the name.

If they like the way it works, the applications, or whatever else, and those are part of Android rather than TouchWiz, then it's Android. Just like Apple users might say they like features, that are part of IOS, even if they don't know what IOS is.

It's easy to think that people should just carry on buying Samsung phones - but look how that worked for Nokia. It was surely the case that most people saw them as "Nokia smartphones", with the name "Symbian" having far less brand awareness than "Android", yet we've seen hardly any of the vast Symbian sales carry over into the WP sales.

As for developer support - well, it would make sense to support Samsung no matter what the language. But that doesn't mean people do - support seems to have little in common with market share (consider that iphone always gets supported before anything else, despite never having been number one; and Symbian was last to get any support, despite being number one as late as 2011).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: @p. Lee

@philip Lewis

What makes you think your disinterest in maps carries over to the rest of the smartphone market?

Yes there are alternatives to gmail and google maps but both have a ginormous user base that has, historically, shown a dislike to change.

If you can convince them all to abandon gmail and move to outlook.com, I think MS might want to offer you a job.

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Alert

Hmm

I know Android is far from perfect but I'd hate to think what it'd turn into if Samsung's keyboard monkeys ever manage to wrest control from Google.

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Re: Hmm

but I'd hate to think what it'd turn into if Samsung's keyboard monkeys ever manage to wrest control from Google.

Errr why would they want to do that?

At the moment Google pay for the development, if Samsung were to try and wrest control, they'd end up having to pay for the cost. The whole point of Android as far as the phone companies are concerned is that they don't have to pick up the R&D tab.

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Re: Hmm

Because they'd like revenue from data, advertising, and purchases instead of Google.

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This post has been deleted by its author

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Re: Hmm

>"Because they'd like revenue from data, advertising, and purchases instead of Google."

Samsung is more conservative than that. I don't think you would ever see Samsung kicking out Google Maps and thinking they could do mapping better from scratch - like Apple. That's a fool's game, and a quick way to waste a lot of money. And unlike Nokia, I don't think you would see Samsung drop the world's best-selling mobile OS for one that's still in development.

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Re: Hmm

"I know Android is far from perfect but I'd hate to think what it'd turn into if Samsung's keyboard monkeys ever manage to wrest control from Google."

I have a Nexus 4 which is running a vanilla Android 4.2 and it's pretty damned impressive. The UI is extremely smooth and responsive, the usability is great and there are settings under the cover to tweak the things that need to be tweaked. I haven't found a problem in the OS yet which I would consider impedes usability or the experience.

In fact what I've seen has convinced me that I'd *never* want a customised UI again if at all I can avoid it. Phone manufacturers aren't exactly known for the promptness of their firmware updates and I believe in part that's because they customise the OS too much making it harder to support their own devices.

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Wonder what would happen if they branded one of their windows phones as a galaxy, would everyone instinctively go out and buy it?

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Anonymous Coward

Why would Samsung commit brand suicide?

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Unhappy

eek!

That's what Palm did, and look how they ended up...

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Well they did have a Samsung Omnia phone which ran Windows 7. It wasn't much different from a Galaxy aside from having a Windows logo. I suppose it's a bad idea to mix operating systems under the same family name because it just confuses people.

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Linux

The General Public

Can barely tell their collective arse from their collective elbow.

This is good isn't it? Phones are supposed to be appliances, not a religion.

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WTF?

"according to Gartner"

Can someone review Gartner's past predictions over (say) the last 5 years and see how many they got right and wrong (or how right/wrong they've been) because they do seem to talk a lot of excrement based on spending their time talking to the wrong people.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "according to Gartner"

I think this is a research result, not a prediction.

That being said, the quality of Gartner's predictions is not that good, supposedly based on their research, not?

So one might question the quality of the research on that basis alone, but it is a tenuous link.

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Joke

Re: "according to Gartner"

I put "according to Gartner" into Google Translate. It said "Who's paid us for this report"

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Re: "according to Gartner"

Easy question to answer - if they'd flipped a coin they'd have been right 87% more of the time.

Gartner say what's either required by the client or what was the situation somewhere specific 2 years ago.

It would be like using FOSSPatents to predict court case outcomes ;-)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "according to Gartner"

Generally, Gartner trends & predictions are either about 18 months late or simply wrong.

Their research has a tendency to combine the obvious (and already reported / evidenced) with randomly sponsored insight and conclusion.

I wouldnt be hugely surprised if a Gartner report said "the sun rises in the east, in the morning and as a result this will drive adoption of Office 365 across enterprises leading to an infrastructure saving of 37 million percent for the enterprise."

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Stop

Apps store

Samsung did a good job with the Bada app store, even in China they have plenty of app stores but, who, on their minds think that starting a new app store for a new OS will be easy for Samsung?

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FAIL

Re: Apps store

Earth calling "'merkins"

Most of the world does not have English as their native tongue.

Please get used to the idea.**

It is perfectly possible to make money in many with app stores in other language constituencies. Previously, Nokia was very big in many languages most Americans cannot even spell, and which constitute substantial markets.

Asia > America

** Someone suggested tome that "bad English" aka. Engrish is the world's most common language, but I don't have a citation.

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Pint

I've lived in the States for 20 years...

And as far as I can tell, English is not the native tongue of Americans, either.

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Headmaster

Re: Apps store

> Someone suggested tome that "bad English" .....

Was it a weighty tome? A learned tome? Pedantic minds kneed to now.

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Re: Apps store

"tome" = "to me" - my space bar got stuck ;)

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Windows

Dunno, really.

If I can fire up my Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 'fondleslab' , open Polar offcice, press the speech input button, and say - albeit in a quiet room - "Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of the party".

...and this South-Korean thing writes it flawlessly, after it does a bit of thinking. Think they've got something right...

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Re: Dunno, really.

What's an Offcice?

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Stop

Re: Apps store

@Philip Lewis:

Good points but:

Previously, Nokia was very big in many languages most Americans cannot even spell, and which constitute substantial markets.

Not substantial enough to save Nokia.

The non-English language market is almost certainly bigger than the English language market, but for some reason people the world over still want access to the AppStore and Google Play (and as far as I can tell, both support non-English languages..)

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Re: Apps store

Nokia's issues are not with their app store, sadly.

Apparently Nokia's Mapping application is excellent. I guess that is what is on my N9, but as I am not directionally challenged, I rarely open it.

I don't use Android, so I have no clue how well languages are supported on Google Play, however, based on how badly google.com deals with languages, I would not be particularly sanguine about the prospects.

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Re: Apps store

Given that Symbian outsold IOS during its lifetime (and outsold Android for most of it - number 1 until 2011), it can't be a case of "people the world over still want access to the AppStore and Google Play". And most people are wanting Android anyway - with its 75% and growing, all other platforms are pretty niche.

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Re: Apps store

Do you mean most people want android but not google play or did I misread?

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Happy

Re: Apps store

"Nokia was very big in many languages most Americans cannot even spell, and which constitute substantial markets."

Works just as well this way...

Nokia was very big in many languages, and which constitute substantial markets. Most Americans cannot even spell

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So much for Eadon's assertion that consumers are "demanding Android".

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Another fine piece of non-journalism from the Chaebol Defence Alliance's premier cheerleader.

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Anonymous Coward

wish I could downvote you twice...

once for the stupid post and once for the stupid handle Mr Leakage.

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Windows

Re: wish I could downvote you twice...

Methinks the moniker is uncannily appropriate... judging by what just seeped out.

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Facepalm

Stupid coment of the day winner!

who can't tell the difference between an Android mobe and a Samsung Galaxy,

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