Google and Samsung are apparently working on a solution that would give Google products support to Samsung smartphones, according to a Bloomberg reportThis means that Google could gain better access to Samsung users while Samsung’s own ecosystem intervenes.
Samsung is the world’s largest smartphone maker and its operating system is Android from Google. However, if you’ve ever used a Samsung device, you know that Samsung has its own ecosystem that is constantly trying to move – to the extent that there is an overlap. Bloomberg says the agreement seems to be aimed at giving Google more control over searches on Samsung phones, as well as at Samsung suppressing its own application store and Bixby – a digital assistant that no one has asked for – for Play and Google Assistant.
There’s a lot to check about this potential deal, but at first glance it looks like a lot like Google takes on the role of Regina George from a teenage classic Bad Girls, says Samsung Gretchen “Stop trying to make Bixby happen! It won’t happen! “Samsung my he tried very, very hard to make a thing out of Bixby – over the years he built it on his phones, smartwatches and even in various in-ear headphones. It didn’t work while Google Now made the same progress over the same time period. When it comes to Bixby, Google may be right.
In addition, the benefits of this potential solution are obvious to Google. What is less clear in it for Samsung? The global pandemic has led to the sale of smartphones falling 20% in the first quarter of 2020, with Gartner noting that Samsung saw a double-digit decline of 22.7%. This could mean that Samsung has less bargaining power at the moment, and agreeing to promote Google Assistant and the Play Store would be a big payout for Samsung. As Bloomberg noted, Google is pleased to raise a large amount of money, which will be Apple’s default Safari web search engine. There is no reason why you should not rush to become a more prominent part of every Samsung smartphone.
Still, it might also look like Google is a bit … bullying Samsung when it’s down. This is a particularly interesting timing, as Google is in the middle antitrust hearing, The Play Store, and whether Google used it as a means of bullying phone manufacturers to preload their apps, was a matter of dispute during the European Union antitrust investigation against Google in 2018. This is also something like that will probably come during the current hearings experts are divided about whether Google (and Apple) are stifling little boys by dominating the platform. It remains to be seen whether congressional antitrust proceedings will affect Samsung’s Google-spoken agreement.
“Like all Android device manufacturers, Samsung can create its own app store and digital assistant,” said a spokesman for Bloomberg, a spokesman for Google. “It’s one of the great features of the Android platform. And while we regularly talk to partners about ways to improve the user experience, we don’t plan to change that. “
Samsung, meanwhile, also told Bloomberg that “Samsung continues to be committed to our own ecosystem and services. At the same time, Samsung works closely with Google and other partners to provide the best mobile services to our users. ‘ “
Hmm. These statements have all the typical corporate security you would expect from an official comment. It would not be surprising if Samsung’s home alternative settled in the back seat on future mobile phones.