Will Samsung drive Google to lose control of Android platform

Telecom Lead India: Samsung is now the mobile phone
giant. Will the Samsung dominance drive Google to lose control of the Android

The data released leave a few questions on the table.

How will Nokia running Microsoft respond, and will their
new Lumia 900 have any impact in the market? Will Samsung create their own
Android ecosystem? Where will Samsung unlock more value outside of the normal
consumer growth sector?

In the latest results released by Samsung on Friday, it
seems that their focus on the smartphone market has paid off. Samsung reported
a first quarter profit of 5.05 trillion won ($4.45 billion), up 82 percent from
the previous year’s 2.78 trillion won. Sales were up 82 percent to 45.27
trillion won. Although Samsung do not release the exact figure of units sold
per category, it is estimated that 93 million mobile phones were sold, compared
to the 83 million sold by Nokia.

It is also predicted that Samsung might have outsold the
iPhone in the lucrative smartphone market. With Samsung set to release their
next version of the popular Galaxy S phone, in the next month, their impressive
record is set to continue. Samsung’s production of high quality TV’s, and other
white goods, has elevated their status in the West as a trusted brand.

Samsung is expected to continue their market domination
of the mobile phone market, as the shipment of the Galaxy range continues to
yield high returns.  Significant growth is also expected in China, Central
and South America, the Middle East and Africa. Samsung recently showed off some
of the products specifically designed for Africa, purposely built to deal with
the environmental conditions, like the inconsistent power supply experienced in
country. In so doing, they are placing high focus on the growth in Africa and
serving the needs of clients on the continent.

The fact that Samsung is dominating the market is
undisputed, looking at the latest results. But the fact that there is
uncertainty in the market regarding the fate of the Android platform, is not
good news. If the Android platform is split into many fragmented ecosystems, it
could be fatal. Any fragment in the market of the platform will challenge
developers, customers and enterprises in creating a shared ecosystem.

Samsung’s dominance seems to be stable, and Frost &
Sullivan expects great future prospects, although they will need to address
some of the platform related questions and decide how this will best serve both
the company and the needs of their clients in future.

If Samsung continue along their current path, and remain
as focussed on dominating the smartphone market, they will see an increased
dominance in the market for the next foreseeable future. The outstanding
performance of their mobile phone division, and performance of their other
product categories, will aid them in becoming one of the world’s biggest
provider of electronic goods.


Ian Duvenage, Frost & Sullivan’s Team leader for ICT
[email protected]