The Google – Motorola deal makes Samsung worried about its software competitiveness
A couple of days ago, Google has shocked the mobile world by announcing it would acquire Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion. The news was welcomed with mild enthusiasm by most of the major Android partners, including Samsung. J.K. Shin, President of Samsung’s Mobile Communications Division, said: “we welcome today’s news, which demonstrates Google’s deep commitment to defending Android, its partners, and the ecosystem.”
However, the South Korean company seems to be worried.
According to Yonhap News, Samsung held an emergency meeting with company executives after Google and Motorola announced the deal. Reportedly, Lee Kun-hee, Samsung’s chairman, really wants the company to strengthen its software competitiveness, and “more actively seek mergers and acquisitions.”
“We must pay attention to the fact that IT power is moving away from hardware companies such as Samsung to software companies [such as Google]”, declared Lee Kun-hee.
After Moto belongs to Google, the Mountain View giant will (kind of) become one of Samsung’s direct competitors on the smartphone market. At the same time, it will remain the provider of Samsung’s most successful smartphone platform – Android. Yes, that is a bit weird, but I don’t see any real reason for Samsung to be worried. It’s not like this will stop it from selling tons of Android smartphones. Maybe Samsung won’t make any new Nexus handset, that’s certainly a possibility – but the Nexus line was never meant to be a hot-seller anyway.
And let’s not forget that Samsung will launch Windows Phone Mango devices starting September. Moreover, it already has its own mobile OS: Bada. About 5 million Bada smartphones have been sold in 2010, and the company plans to sell more than 10 million this year, when Bada 2.0 is going to be released. Sure enough, Bada is non-existent on the US market, but if Samsung wants to make a push with it there, it has the power (brand-wise, and money-wise) to do it.
(Samsung Galaxy S II, the Android Gingerbread smartphone sold in more than 5 million units until now)
All in all, if Samsung keeps on making awesome hardware (which may soon include Super AMOLED HD displays), and Google won’t treat Motorola as its only spoiled child, everything should be fine for the South Korean giant. Certainly, acquiring smaller software companies, and improving Bada OS and TouchWiz (Samsung’s own UI that runs on top of Android) will help a lot – but that’s probably what Samsung was going to do even if the Google-Moto deal hadn’t existed, isn’t it?