What’s been Sammy up to off late other than launching a device with a giant screen and calling it a phone? A whole lot actually. If the rumors are true, of which there are many, Samsung will be changing the mobile landscape one more time, sending jitters down Google’s spine marking the first biggest casualty in the post Googola world.
If it is a rumor, why not make it large.
There are two rumors flying in the blogosphere. The first of the rumors is Samsung’s plans to support Meego in the absence of Intel. The second, Samsung is looking to dump Android and Windows and develop its own mobile operating system based on Linux kernel. Samsung has already said a big NO to WebOS. If Samsung drops Android and Windows, and if rumors are true, it will still be left with three OS’s : Samsung Bada, Meego and a new in-house OS based on Linux kernel. There’s a possibility that Samsung will cherry pick the best parts of the operating systems to come up with a Bada 3.0 version.
None of this is exactly good news for Google. Samsung is a major Android handset manufacturer. It has shipped 19.2 million smartphones in Q2 2011, majority of which are Android phones. However, this isn’t totally unexpected. A drop of a major manufacturer is always on the cards after Google’s Motorola acquisition. If we leave Google’s pains aside, this news is very encouraging for mobile phone ecosystem and consumers alike. Now Apple has one big reason to look for even more litigations to corner Samsung.
Average smartphone buyers aren’t looking to buy the latest and greatest hardware. They are looking to buy an total experience. Android unfortunately hasn’t provided that experience as it lacks vertical integration. Many manufacturers have tried their hands to skin up Android but in a post-iPhone world, users need little more than a pretty theme. None of the Android manufacturers have provided that. Amazon and Baidu are looking to explore own OS options and in all likelihood they will succeed.
Developing a new operating system seems to be in vogue today and all the players have gotten their confidence from Android success. The launch of their own Android forks by Amazon and Baidu, with excellent integration to their cloud services, have only renewed everyone’s confidence. In case of Amazon it plans to sell books, movies and music by keeping the OS free and the hardware cost minimal. Same is the case with Baidu.
Now what services can Samsung sell to justify a home-grown OS?